The Degree Requirement in Hiring

It’s about time people started talking about the insanity of every job out there requiring a bachelor’s degree.

“When you ask people what they think about postsecondary education, they say ‘bachelor’s,’” said Mark Schneider, Vice President and Institute Fellow of the Education Program at the American Institutes for Research, or AIR.

“I think of this as a bachelor’s addiction which has to be broken and has to be changed,” Schneider said. “The contemporary bachelor’s degree takes too long, it’s too expensive and it’s not for everyone.”

Schneider presented wage-earnings data that show various one- and two-year degrees and several certificates enable holders to command salaries that surpass those of some bachelor’s degree holders.

Technical careers are particularly rewarding, Schneider said as he presented figures that show plumbers and technicians in a variety of fields that only require a certificate all earn upward of $71,000 — several thousand dollars more per year than many bachelor’s degree holders — a decade after they complete their educational program.

I have often argued that you could make the same case for many IT careers as well. Simply put, the technology we work with changes so quickly, that having a 10-15 year old bachelor’s degree in Information Science has been rendered completely pointless. What good, for example, would a IS degree earned when I was in college in the late 80’s-early 90’s be to what I do today? The technology I work with, and train on, everyday didn’t even exist then. Give me someone well-versed in current technology and trends instead of someone who earned a BS degree and hasn’t been working with current technology. The degree doesn’t help me as an employer.

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