Employers Make Big Hiring Change
In the past, a college degree was seen as the golden ticket to a successful career. Graduates were highly sought after by employers, who placed a high value on higher education. However, a recent study sponsored by RedBalloon and PublicSquare, called the Freedom Economy Index (FEI), has revealed that employers now have a different perspective. The FEI surveyed 70,000 small businesses between October 25 and 30, with 905 respondents, and found that employers no longer value college degrees as much as they used to.
In fact, the survey revealed that a staggering 67% of employers strongly believe that institutions of higher education are not graduating students with the relevant skills that today’s business community needs. Another 24.4% responded somewhat negatively to this question, leaving only a small percentage of employers who see the value in a college education. This outlook is in stark contrast to the past, when a college degree was considered a valuable asset for job-seekers.
According to Ken Rusk, a former construction worker and author of “Blue Collar Cash,” this shift in employer attitudes comes as no surprise. He says, “Colleges used to be a place where you would get a degree, and that would only enhance an effective human being, an already effective human being. Now we’re seeing colleges attach these degrees to people that literally can’t come out and do some of the life skills that we need.”
Employers who participated in the survey echoed Rusk’s sentiment, with many expressing frustration at the current state of higher education. One employer stated, “The talent shortage will just get worse because high schools and colleges produce no talent.” Another called for relevant skills to be taught in high school, while a third, a former college graduate, called advanced education a “waste.”
The survey also asked employers if they are more or less likely to consider a job-seeker with a four-year degree. Shockingly, only 10% of participants said that a college degree would make a potential job-seeker more hirable. On the other hand, over 40% said that a college degree would make them less likely to hire a candidate, while the remaining respondents said it made no difference.
In response to this changing attitude towards college degrees, several major companies, including Walmart, IBM, Accenture, Bank of America, and Google, have removed the requirement for a college degree in their job postings. This shift can be attributed to the rising costs of higher education, which has made obtaining a degree a financial burden for many.
According to Rusk, this shift presents an opportunity for job-seekers to consider alternative paths, such as learning a trade. He says, “Let’s use this to apply the law of supply and demand in our favor here, where supply is low and demand is high. That’s where the money goes.” Rusk emphasizes the importance of learning a trade, as it not only provides valuable skills but also allows individuals to earn money while learning, unlike a traditional college education.
With the rising costs associated with higher education and the low value placed on college degrees by employers, it is clear that the job market is shifting towards valuing skills and experience over education. This change presents a new challenge for job-seekers, but also an opportunity to explore alternative paths to successful careers.