RECRUITMENT / AUG. 28, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Should a College Degree be a Minimum Requirement When Selecting Employees?

I won’t beat around the bush. I will answer the question right from the onset. My answer is a resounding NO! And don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against college education. In fact, I have a BSc Degree and am going for my masters very soon...but there is a huge problem in our present society and something needs to be done or else...

We go to school to be trained in our respective fields and by the time we graduate, we are ready to be successful employees. We start dropping our CVs in a frenzy like life depends on it - and in most cases it sadly does- and if we get lucky, we get some interviews and may even be hired in the first year of graduating. That is how the system works. And that is where I find fault in the system. The system has positioned an invisible and intangible watchman at the gate of opportunity and woe to you if he asks for a degree and you don’t have one!

“You have a college degree? That’s your passport to a great career. You don’t have a college degree? Take a walk. Or go get one and come back.”

And just like that, our unseen gatekeeper has locked out so many talented young people from the fast-lane.

President Obama was right!

President Obama became my hero during his first term when he said,

’’It’s what you can do that should count when you apply for a job, not where you learned to do it’.’

It would seem that the president was using the pedestal of the oval office to undermine the importance of a college degree in the quest for employment. But was he?

In the current society, college education is becoming more of a luxury for the rich than a basic necessity for everyone. What with all those huge tuition fees and the many other related costs like accommodation, travel, library etc. It appears that the college grandaunts of this generation are those who come from backgrounds that are affluent enough to put them through college education.

The majority of the population however may not necessarily afford the present day expensive college education. These not so lucky kids also want to have a flat platform to compete for opportunities with their other “luckier” friends. But in the present system, for them to have a fair ground to compete, the only option is via a four year college degree.

Don’t get me wrong on this - I have nothing against the liberal forms of education. It is imperative for the student to look out for every available opportunity that will allow them to realize their vocation and be productive in it. They should also be encouraged to take courses that may not directly contribute to their vocation. It helps to have professionals who have a wide range of knowledge. But the problem is that the threshold of having a college degree as a requirement for employment is a requirement that is locking out so many talented young people.

There are many other ways of determining job seekers’ abilities than checking their transcripts. For instance, a portfolio of past projects tells much more than an A grade will ever tell. Employers should be daring enough to rethink the whole “minimum entry requirement” thing. Is this mere wishful thinking or is this doable? I certainly believe it is doable… but I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Drop them in the comment section below

 

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