According to a new report from Cengage Group, 62% of employers require a degree for entry-level jobs, despite the fact that nearly half (43%) of employers say skills training credentials are more important than a degree when considering a candidate for a position.
This misalignment comes amidst a talent crunch, with 65% of employers struggling to find talent. In addition, 66% of employers who are struggling to find talent believe that removing degree requirements for open roles would help them find qualified talent more easily.
While skills certifications are held in high regard, nearly half (47%) of employers says it's difficult to gauge the meaningfulness of certifications or credentials in their line of work because they're not familiar with them (16%) and they aren't sure which certifications or credentials have credibility (36%). Only 22% of employers say they don't require a degree because it's essential to creating fairer employment opportunities.
“Employers seem to be stuck in a contradictory cycle, where they recognize that a degree is not an indicator of job readiness, but nonetheless require them as part of their candidate screening process. This outdated mindset and degree stigma is not only widening the labor gap, it's costing businesses time and money and turning away potential talent," said Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage Group.
As the rate of technological advancement continues to pick up pace, many sectors and functions will depend less and less on degrees for qualified candidates. Job requirements will have to change in order to reflect these developments.