Last month, I was excited to read that many of America’s leading companies are wising up to the fact that good employee candidates don’t have to come with a college degree:

“Today’s tight labor market continues to be a promising landscape for job seekers, with economists even predicting more opportunities for professionals without a degree.

Job-search site Glassdoor compiled a list of top employers who are expanding their talent options by no longer requiring applicants to have a college degree. Companies like Google, Apple and IBM are all in this group.

In 2017, IBM’s vice president of talent Joanna Daley told CNBC Make It that about 15 percent of her company’s U.S. hires don’t have a four-year degree. She said that instead of looking exclusively at candidates who went to college, IBM now looks at candidates who have hands-on experience via a coding boot camp or an industry-related vocational class.”  (CNBC)

This echoes a position I’ve advocated for some time and have even referenced two of the very best VPs that ITC ever had — neither of whom had had any schooling after high school.

We’ve posted many times about skills training and its extreme importance to the many emerging job needs of the future.  Whether those skill sets are secured from a two-year community college or  acquired through online programs or local workshops, they are becoming important to the job openings of the future.

“Self-made millionaire James Altucher has some strong opinions when it comes to the value of college.

In many cases, “a degree means nothing,” he tells Farnoosh Torabi on a recent episode of her podcast “So Money.”

“We’re in an idea-based economy and a skill-based economy, not a certificate based economy,” he continues. “We used to be in a certificate-based economy. It’s just not true anymore.”

More and more companies are saying you don’t need a degree to work for them, Altucher notes: “Ernst & Young, the top accounting firm in the country, said they’re not even going to ask you anymore if you have a college degree. And Google no longer asks if you have a college degree.” (CNBC)

But, let’s not get carried away here.  A college education is of extreme importance when it comes to our nation’s future as it prepares one to think critically, discuss intelligently, and learn from history’s best minds.

“ .  .  . there is more meaning to the “value of education” than just the price of tuition. Human beings are intrinsically drawn toward learning. It is a natural phenomenon that we yearn to learn more, know more, and feel more from the information we hear about, read about and collectively absorb.  .  .  .

Being in a learning environment forces students to ask questions and make decisions on how to proceed toward greater critical thinking skills and success. Equally important lessons include personal growth, time management, leadership development and the feeling of accomplishment. As such, “accomplishment” isn’t determined by earning an associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree. The true test of success is whether students have optimized their potential, achieved personal growth, and have accomplished their goals, whatever they may be.

College is a place that challenges and changes individuals. New courses are taken and topics are taught by professors who motivate students to explore answers to new, thought-provoking questions. Educators often push our students’ instinctive need for knowledge beyond their comfort levels. Students subsequently gain confidence in their intelligence and competencies. College is the groundbreaking influence that creates a drive toward lifelong learning.  .  .  . “  (The True Value of a College Education by Dr. Anne Randeau, HUFFPOST)

I have argued, and will continue to, that the reasoning skills developed in a good college environment are vital to the individual and to our nation.  But, I have also argued, and will continue to, that many of our young talented citizens, should not be expected to “go to college” if their path leads them in another direction.

Finally, America is wising up.  Both directions are now producing acceptable job candidates for many companies.  Hooray!  We’ll only become stronger as a result.

More on Wednesday  –  –  –

 — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning 
November 5, 2018  (Mondays & Wednesdays)


 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)