It used to be that a college degree was the golden ticket to kickstarting a professional career. With the signature stamp of approval from an institution of higher education on your resume, candidates could expect to be on track to a comfortable salaried position with benefits. To a certain extent, this remains trues even till today.

However, while the positive correlation between tertiary education and long-term income potential had been consistent, growing constraints, especially the ever-increasing cost of such tuition have made the goal unattainable for many otherwise qualified individuals.

Unfortunately, many HR departments have been slow on the uptake. Hiring practices, for the most part, remain rigid with regards to the selection process and many recruiters still limit the review of potential candidates to those with the relevant degree. This is a missed opportunity for both applicants and companies looking to fill positions. As such, companies might want to consider switching to a non-degree skills-based hiring process to take advantage of the talent pool that is slowly drying up.

Fortunately, there are several industry leaders who are paving the way for a massive shift towards skill-based hiring. Apple for example has stated that as many as half of Apple employees did not hold four-year degrees. Other big names such as Siemens CEO Barbara Humpton and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have both been known to question the true value of a four-year degree and are proponents of hiring employees without college degrees.

The COVID-19 pandemic which has been causing all sorts of havoc throughout the world has only served to highlight the aforementioned issues even further. Unemployment is skyrocketing as businesses seek to cut costs and survive amid the current hostile economic climate. While many jobs are unfortunately being lost, just as many new jobs are being created as companies are adapting and pivoting towards new methods of conducting business. The talent pool is quickly drying up as companies scramble to bring on-board talent that are in high-demand, but they mush consider the possibility that those with the desirable talent may not have the certification to prove it.

Not surprisingly, HR systems are not currently set up for this level of skill-based evaluation. It is evident that a widening talent gap needs to be filled. HR departments can no longer succeed by relying solely on the college diploma as their main filter for candidates. There needs to be a streamlined way to match non-degree skilled talent to employers.


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