Last month, led by Abigail Carlton of the Rockefeller Foundation, I re-posted a Rockefeller Foundation Blog titled "Throwing Out the Resume." The article began by saying "it's no secret that today's youth are facing the biggest unemployment crisis of our time".
Only one month later, more compelling data has hit via Huffington Post UK on the value of the degree. And, what it really proves. In the article by Lucy Sheriff, Ernst & Young, one of the UK's biggest graduate recruiters, has announced it will be removing the degree classification from its entry criteria, saying there is "no evidence" success at a university correlates with achievement in later life or workplace.
In an unprecedented move, the accountancy firm is scrapping its policy of requiring a 2:1 and the equivalent of three B grades at A-level in order to open opportunities for talented individuals "regardless of their background".
They will now use online assessments to judge the potential of applicants."
And, even more....
A report published last week and highlighted by Huffington Post UK indicated that wealthy kids are 35 percent more likely to become high earners than clever, disadvantaged young people, even if they are not academically gifted.
So, why is this all in the UK and not the US? It seems that the U.S. is still setting barriers to employment based on degrees and experience, reducing the opportunity for many low income youth and workers to find employment. But, many organizations are focusing on "skills based hiring" which includes online skills assessments, online assessments, and online and blended training. Companies across the U.S. are hiring out of bootcamps such as Hack Reactor, Dev Bootcamp and General Assembly. And universities are catching on as well. Salt Lake City Community College and Utah Valley University are creating their own fast paced, competency based certifications that will provide fast growing tech companies in Utah the talent they need.
So, the SHIFT is happening, and there is no turning back. It will take time for companies to lower the bar and shift to competencies, but to remain competitive they will have to do so. College degree means four years of time and four years of money. It does not mean you are smarter than one that doesn't have that.
The next presidential candidate(s) need to make this a priority. There is no elevator or cab that one can have this conversation where there is disagreement, unless it is in a four year institution elevator that realizes they are in trouble.
Bravo Ernst & Young.