Nearly Half of Companies Plan to Eliminate Bachelor’s Degree Requirements in 2024 | Trade and Industry Development

Nearly Half of Companies Plan to Eliminate Bachelor’s Degree Requirements in 2024

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Dec 04, 2023
With the rising cost of high education and cost of living many high school students are considering whether a four-year bachelor’s degree or other type of postsecondary education is right for them.

With the rising cost of high education and cost of living many high school students are considering whether a four-year bachelor’s degree or other type of postsecondary education is right for them.

A November 2023 survey of 800 U.S. employers conducted by Intelligent.com offers insight into how companies have and plan to handle college degree requirements in 2024 and what other tools they’re using to evaluate job candidates.

Key findings:

  • 45% of companies plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements for some positions in 2024
  • 55% of companies eliminated bachelor’s degree requirements in 2023
  • 70% say they eliminated bachelor’s degree requirements to create a more diverse workforce
  • 4 in 5 employers value experience over education when evaluating job candidates
  • Two-thirds of employers have candidates complete test assignments

Ninety-five percent of respondents say their companies currently require bachelor’s degrees for at least some roles. In 2024, 45% of these companies plan to eliminate the bachelor’s degree requirements for some positions.

This continues a trend from 2023, in which according to our survey, 55% of employers got rid of bachelor’s degree requirements.

Companies that eliminated some bachelor’s degree requirements in 2023 are far more likely to continue shedding these requirements than those who did not. Seventy-three percent of companies that eliminated degree requirements this year plan to do so for more roles in 2024.

Meanwhile, among companies who didn’t eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements in 2023, only 9% anticipate doing so next year.

Despite these trends, there are still benefits to earning a bachelor’s degree, according to Professor and Higher Education Advisor Diane Gayeski, PhD.

“A bachelor’s degree is much more than preparation for an entry-level job. It prepares people for a full life, including exploring what areas of employment might be a good fit for the immediate and long-term future,” Gayeski says.

“While a young person may be able to get an entry-level job without a bachelor’s degree, the lack of the degree along with the other ‘soft skills’ that one gains in college can make it difficult to climb the corporate ladder. Employers today are looking for people who are culturally fluent in diverse settings, can display and document their leadership skills, and can be flexible to take on new challenges.”

In 2023, 55% of companies, for at least some roles, got rid of bachelor’s degree requirements.

Among the 55% of employers who eliminated bachelor’s degree requirements, 70% did it for entry-level roles, 61% for mid-level roles, and 45% for senior-level roles.

The elimination of bachelor’s degree requirements varied across industries. Below is a look at the percentage of employers, in industries surveyed with at least 50 respondents, who say they eliminated a bachelor’s degree requirement for roles in the past year.

  • Information services: 72%
  • Software: 62%
  • Finance & insurance: 61%
  • Construction: 55%
  • Healthcare & social assistance: 42%
  • Education: 35%

Currently, of the 95% of employers who have bachelor’s degree requirements, 24% require these degrees for three-quarters of their jobs, while 27% say they require a bachelor’s degree for about half of the positions in their company. Nineteen percent say only about one-fourth of their jobs require a bachelor’s degree.

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