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Half of U.S. Companies Plan to Ditch Bachelor Degree Requirements for Jobs in 2024

Nearly 50% of companies in the U.S plan to devalue the college degree.

Bachelor's degree requirements are no longer necessary for some companies in the job market. Credit: Shutterstock/Anel Alijagic

A new survey has revealed that almost half of US companies intend to remove Bachelor’s degree requirements for job positions. Starting next year, a bachelor’s degree or proof of higher education will not be necessary for various job positions.

55% of US companies have stated that they’d already eliminated degree requirements in 2024, according to a survey of 800 US employers last November. Shortly afterward, companies such as Walmart, IBM, Accenture, Bank of America and Google announced similar intentions.

The survey discovered that the same employers that have already removed Bachelor’s degree requirements were likely to continue doing so.

Nearly half of US companies plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements for some jobs in 2025, according to this survey. Credit: Intelligent.com

Mainstream companies choose to remove college degree requirements

Accenture has launched an apprenticeship program in 2016 and hired 1,200 people since, CNBC reported. About 80% of those hired joined the company without a college degree. Earlier this year, Accenture expanded its apprenticeship program with the goal of occupying 20% of its US entry-level roles.

“A person’s educational credentials are not the only indicators of success, so we advanced our approach to hiring to focus on skills, experiences and potential,” CEO of Accenture North America, Jimmy Etheredge, told the outlet.

Accenture- a global professional services company pictured in Sydney, Australia. Credit: Shutterstock/Jejim

Last October, Walmart eliminated college degree requirements for hundreds of its corporate positions. They claimed that it would remove “unnecessary barriers” that would prevent career advancement.

Walmart said that job applicants would start seeing updated job descriptions next year, in 2025. Particularly, it said it will waive the requirement for a university degree if candidates can show they have gained the necessary skills through alternative prior experience.

“While degrees should be a part of the equation and in some cases even required, there are many roles where a degree is simply unnecessary, including at corporate headquarters,” a blog post from the retailer stated.

While some companies are moving forward with this new procedure, those that have not made the changes thus far appear less likely to do so in the near future. Among the companies that have not eliminated bachelor’s degree requirements in 2023, only 9 percent said they anticipate doing so next year.

In October 2023, Walmart eliminated college degree requirements for hundreds of its corporate roles which has encouraged career advancement. Credit: Shutterstock/Jonathan Weiss

What job positions are employers eliminating degree requirements for?

As part of the survey, many employers were asked the same question- what types of positions were they most likely to eliminate degree requirements for? Among the 55% who removed bachelor’s degree requirements, 70% did so for entry-level roles, 61% for mid-level roles and 45% for senior roles.

Among the 95% of employers who have bachelor’s degree requirements, 24% require these degrees for three-quarters of their jobs. 27% say they require a degree for a good half of their job positions.

Last year, a report by the Burning Glass Institute described the growing trend of eliminating degrees as a requirement in “an essential step in reducing inequity in the American labor market.”

Changes in job requirements might benefit Gen-Z

The cost of living crisis continues to hit millions of Americans daily, as many factors impact the US economy. Many Gen-Z students are considering whether a higher education is worth their time and more importantly, their money.

Like the majority of other countries, the cost of a college education is increasing across the US, making it unaffordable for many families. When the purpose of a college education is to improve job prospects, this poses a big issue for unemployed youth.

Undoubtedly, having a bachelor’s degree improves your chances of going into a certain role in your career. However, times are changing.

Many young people take a bachelor’s degree for improved job prospects. Credit: Shutterstock/fongbeerredhot

Now, nearly half of US companies state that they are planning to remove a bachelor’s degree for some job requirements in 2024 and 2025. This may be highly benefitting to young folk who find college education intangible due to financial reasons.

Despite these surveys and trends that point to not needing a bachelor’s degree to succeed in the job market, professor and higher education advisor Diane Gayeski, Ph.D. says there are still benefits to entering higher education.

Written By

Student at the University of La Verne majoring in print journalism.

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