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Many American Companies are Not Requiring College Degrees as School Costs Soar

Alt: College graduates throwing their caps in the air
Source: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

While the financial burden of a college degree is ever-increasing, its value seems to be decreasingly substantially. In fact, many corporations and even some government entities are changing their educational requirements for applicants so that even those who do not have a college diploma are welcome to apply.

Companies such as IBM, Bank of America, Google, and Walmart have already announced that they plan to change a number of their job listings to state that a college degree is not necessary. And experts believe that these businesses, as well as other companies who will certainly join the movement, will lead to 1.4 million more jobs for Americans without a college degree over the next five years.

With this new information, many people are wondering: Why are these companies changing their tune when it comes to college degrees? Some argue that with the constantly increasing tuition prices, many incredibly intelligent people will be deciding to forgo a four-year institution over the coming years, and that these companies still want these people to apply. Whereas others claim that companies have simply realized that requiring a degree doesn’t ensure the best possible applicants.

National Business Capital CEO and founder Joe Camberato told the press that he “[has] been very successful by focusing on the individual and these three simple things: Do they Get it, want it and are they capable? If they nail those and are a culture fit, they are hired.” Essentially saying that it’s about the person who is applying, not the academic credentials on their resume.

As well, Ted Jenkin, CEO and founder of Exit State Left Advisors and Oxygen Financial, explained how he sees things: “If you are going to work for a tech company, what’s more important? A college degree or practical experience that you can code. It’s becoming clear with the out-of-control cost of college education that the very word ‘degree’ is getting watered down and companies want to hire people who can prove they can get things done.”

And there is no doubt that the “out-of-control cost” as he puts it is troubling the next generation in America. Currently, there is over $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt across the country, which is, of course, a real problem for individuals as well as the economy as a whole.


Michael Gibson, venture capitalist and author of the book, Paper Belt on Fire explained, “the most aggravating part is that everyone’s paying attention to the poor students who are billed, but no one is blaming the universities themselves for teaching worthless things or not providing the sort of career advice that they should.”

There are certainly others who still believe a college degree is essential for a successful career and life. But the bottom line is that the way most employers around the country see higher education is changing, and it’s changing right now.


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