A new campaign encourages employers to consider talent without a college degree. Tear the Paper Ceiling – from Opportunity@Work and the Ad Council – notes STARs, people Skilled Through Alternative Routes, are viable job candidates.
Maria Flynn, president and CEO of Jobs for the Future – JFF, says the four-year degree as a default hiring mechanism leaves behind many workers of color and those from rural areas. She notes that alternative routes can create opportunity but adds that STARs need to be supported in the navigation of the many, many credentials that are out there.
Speaking about JFF, Flynn says, “About three years ago, we dropped degree requirements from all of our job descriptions. As of today, we are about 300 employees and probably only about 5% of those employees were hired without a degree. So, the needle hasn’t moved much for us.”
She continues, “It really needs to change. Where you’re recruiting from, how you’re recruiting, how you’re going about interviewing, application screening. Even after an individual from a non-traditional path is hired, making sure they have the supports that are built in post-hire, as well.”