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Why is a College Degree a Requirement for Nearly Every Job?

How many times have you come across the perfect job where you meet each and every single requirement except one – having a bachelor’s degree? Even more frustrating are those jobs that shouldn’t require a 4-year degree to do the work but do! In these cases, a college degree is the ONLY thing standing in the way of you and a job.

What if I told you that college degrees won’t be the focus of determining a job candidate’s qualifications in the (near) future? And would you believe me if I told you that this shift is happening already?

Job Requirements are Changing

In my last post, I wrote briefly about coming changes in the workforce and how skills considered vital to specific industries or professions will be valued over traditional academic degrees.

Sometime during the 1980’s, an increasing number of employers began adding a college degree to their list of requirements for various reasons. For some, it’s been an effective technique for filtering through an overwhelming applicant response to a job posting. For others, it’s a way of ensuring direct access to applicants with more holistic job skills like a sharp eye for detail, creative problem-solving abilities, a collaborative mindset, an ability to shift and adjust easily to change, or an aptitude for operating through ambiguity and complex concepts.

Earn While You Earn Apprenticeship Programs

However, relying on a college degree requirement as a screening method has led many employers to realize it might not be so effective and that a lot of talent has sadly been overlooked. This realization has given rise to apprenticeship “earn while you learn” programs offered by forward-thinking companies like IBM, Amazon, and Lockheed Martin. These apprenticeships provide candidates with highly specialized, paid training AND a job once the apprenticeship ends. Best of all it provides a pathway to economic and career advancement without incurring crushing debt. I expect many more companies to adopt this model.

If you’re interested in an apprenticeship earn as you learn program, visit to learn more and find local opportunities.

Image Credit: Campaign Creators

Now be honest… is the resume and cover letter you’ve been submitting for jobs getting you noticed? How about your LinkedIn profile? Are you receiving invitations to interview? If not, we should talk! Contact me by phone: 1-866-562-0850, email:, or text: 256-733-0560 to schedule a NO COST, NO OBLIGATION 15-minute consultation.


Kimberly Ben is a multi-credentialed Professional Resume and LinkedIn Writer and Job Search Coach. She has written hundreds of resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and other career communications for multiple career industries and professions. Kimberly’s extensive education, training, and experience have resulted in a clear understanding of current hiring best practices and the most effective job search techniques, branding strategies, and insight on what it takes to gain the competitive edge and impress employers in a challenging job market.

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