Something out of the norm is happening! More and more companies no longer require candidates joining them to possess a university degree. This means that the job market is becoming more accommodating to skilled individuals who lack conventional academic papers.
Apart from these tech giants, other companies in other industries have embraced this outlook as well including EY UK, Hilton, Starbucks and even Bank of America. While you might argue that all these companies are international, this is a wave that might just hit home soon.
So, why is this becoming a trend?
When all candidates in your talent pool have similar traits and lack the little extra something you feel will be excellent for a certain role in your company what do you do? You create a new talent pool that has less of the stringent items in your previous criteria. The Head of Talent Acquisition at IBM, Sam Ladah says that they consider their candidates based on their skills without taking into account their education background. He calls this new talent pool the “New Collar Jobs”. Candidates from the new collar pool possess technical skills that they have gained through certifications and even coding boot camps. He goes on to say that the greatest requirement is a passion for technology, proved by technological prowess, technical know-how and previous projects as well as certifications.
The former SVP of People Operations at Google echoes this by saying, “When you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings.”
This is actually true, just look at most of the biggest innovators of our time!
Some Industries Are Likely To Remain As Is
While this new wave is exciting and great news to the job market stakeholders, it is not to say that academic papers will become completely useless. We do not expect some industries to embrace this trend, which is indeed reassuring. Imagine a scenario where you discover that the surgeon operating on your loved one only has a passion for cutting people up but has no real academic backing to show for it!
Understandably, academic prowess in some industries like medicine, law, accounting and finance, among others will remain key for a long time to come.
Happening Closer Home,
Andela Kenya is one such company interested in individuals with a passion for software development, regardless of their academic background. “We believe that brilliance is evenly distributed. We have developers now working for global companies in Andela who do not have degrees in Computer Science and others who do not have undergraduate degrees at all. Through our tests in the recruiting process, we’re looking for individuals able to deliver high work outputs and those aligned with our company values. This is not determined by an academic paper” says James Ndiga, Community Manager for Technical Talent at Andela.
Once hired by Andela, developers first undergo intensive simulative training for 6 months under the leadership of senior engineers after which they work with the company’s global partners. Read more about the Andela Fellowship here. If you are interested in being a developer, apply for this position here.
It will be exciting to see local companies jump on this trend and begin looking more for technical skills and passion in candidates above academic papers.