Cutting Out College: When Employers Measure Career Readiness Themselves

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 (University Leicester/Flickr)

Employers have been vocal that many recent college graduates don't have the skills needed to succeed in the workplace. While graduating college is still highly correlated with professional job placement, that path may become just one of many.

The U.K. branch of the accounting firm Ernst & Young recently announced that they will no longer require a college degree from applicants. Instead, they will rely more heavily on a pre-employment test, designed to more accurately measure if a person has the qualities necessary for the job. The announcement comes after the firm did an internal study and found little to suggest that academic success was correlated with how well a new hire performed on the job.

In The Atlantic, Bourree Lam writes that a move away from credentialism would broaden companies' applicant pools and might bring more equity to hiring practices:

Degrees and good grades have long been proxies for the kind of cognitive skills required for jobs in knowledge industries. But many say that these credentials don’t meaningfully predict job performance, and companies are starting to catch onto that. 'There is a long literature in psychology showing that job performance and college grades are poorly related,' says Peter Cappelli, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania who studies hiring and the American workplace. 'It is remarkable how frequently companies rely on hiring criteria for which there is no evidence of it working.'