While a college degree used to be a standard requirement for many office jobs, that's increasingly no longer the case. Major firms are now ditching the application requirement of a four-year degree, according to data from job site Glassdoor.
Many talented applicants might be self-taught, or have a serious set of skills they acquired outside of traditional academic institutions. These job seekers can still provide the work ethic, talent, and grit needed to excel in a role, the Glassdoor blog post said.
SEE: IT jobs 2018: Hiring priorities, growth areas, and strategies to fill open roles (Tech Pro Research)
According to the post, these are 15 companies that no longer require a university degree for some of their top jobs:
- Ernst and Young (EY)
- Penguin Random house
- Costco Wholesale
- Whole Foods
- Home Depot
- Bank of America
While a company like Google doesn't disregard academics, its strategy revolves more around creating paths for nontraditional candidates. In a 2014 New York Times interview, Google's former senior vice president of people operations, Laszlo Bock, said that "when you look at people who don't go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people."
In the same interview, Bock said that many colleges don't deliver on what they promise to students—leaving them in serious debt without many life skills.
In a 2015 Huffington post article, Maggie Stilwell, EY's managing partner for talent, explained that: "Academic qualifications will still be taken into account and indeed remain an important consideration when assessing candidates as a whole, but will no longer act as a barrier to getting a foot in the door."
While many companies will likely follow Ernst and Young's lead—simply no longer requiring a degree, but still taking it into account—the change brings a host of new opportunities for job seekers without a diploma.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- Many tech companies like Google, Apple, and IBM no longer require a college degree for some of their top jobs, according to Glassdoor.
- While many companies still require a degree, others have begun to realize needed skills and experience that can be gained through nontraditional routes.
- Special report: IT jobs in 2020: A leader's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- The best job in America is, oh, software developer (CNET)
- How to become a developer: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- America's 13 highest-paying tech jobs for 2018 (ZDNet)
- What it's really like to interview at Facebook, Google, Apple, or Microsoft (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.