Disclaimer: Originally published in August 2018. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today.
There’s this perception that a college degree is a guaranteed ticket to a successful career with a stable income and a secure and reasonably comfortable life.
It’s time to bust this myth as many gen-tech companies now don’t see this as the norm. It’s not just ultra-educated but the prospects for workers without a degree are at an all-time high.
The changing perception about a college degree
Most jobs in the current scenario required a college degree even if they are not relevant, or hold no magnitude of significance for the job.
If you’ve always aspired to work at Apple, Google and IBM now is a good time to rejoice as it has recently emerged that these bigwigs companies no longer require you to have degrees to work here according to a list published by Glassdoor.
Apart from this, the list included companies like Whole Foods, Hilton, Publix, Ernst and Young (EY), Home Depot, Starbucks, Bank of America, Penguin Random House, Nordstrom, Costco Wholesale, Lowe’s and Chipotle.
Students are of the opinion that they are better off not attending mediocre universities, especially if they are planning for a major in arts, education, and psychology because the cost incurred in obtaining a degree is not compensated by the salary earned after post-graduation.
More than 60% of India’s population attends private colleges and universities. The cost incurred in those is significantly higher than public institutions, forcing the students and families to resort to borrowing. Thus making students question the idea of a college degree.
How do companies in the US look at it
Many companies have acknowledged that they would hire employees whose experience and skill-set suit them for the job. Some may have a college degree and some may not.
Google several years ago said that test scores are worthless predictors of future job performance.
“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,” a Google executive told the New York Times in 2014.
Finance giant, Ernst and Young managing partner for talent Maggie Stilwell in 2015 said that academic qualification is an important criteria during the screening of a candidate, but it is not the difference to hire one person over the other.
Speaking to CNBC in 2017, IBM’s Vice President of talent, Joanna Daley, said that about 15 percent of her company’s U.S. hires don’t have a four-year degree. She went on to say that IBM now prioritises hands-on experience via a coding boot camp.
This does not mean that a college degree is useless. For most, college is a place where one acquires professional skills that matter when they go out in the field.
But discounting the same person who has acquired this skill on his own while managing a full-time employment is problematic. After all the knowledge of a person is of key and not how they have acquired it.
The scenario in India
Since forever Indian corporates have focused on your degree as well as any academic performance they can dig out. No marks no job. But have things changed?
Afraid not. In India firms still consider your degree to be important, but firms are now increasingly flexible to take people who graduate from streams other than engineering for technical roles in a bid to attract diverse talent.
But for sure Indian recruiters are not doing away with the degree in India yet. India is churning out nearly millions of people in its graduate programs and corporates are at a war when it comes to areas such as cognitive, cloud, data analytics, IoT, security, blockchain.
Technological fields such as blockchain, analytics, and the internet of things, where there is not enough trained talent available in the market, companies are surely adopting the Western way and going for skill and talent.
There are developers below the age of 16 who are coding non-stop developing applications on Android and Apple. How can an average person even compete with them?
Although companies are going out of the box in their recruitment process and moulding them to bring innovative and effective ways in judging one’s skill set you cannot afford to miss college if you’re an Indian.
Image Credits: Google Images