It's still very much a job seeker's market. That has some companies making changes when it comes to education requirements to get a position.
“Many employers are struggling to find talent, people who have the skills, knowledge, and experience to work in their positions. So, I do believe that it's possible that some employers might be lifting or excluding these requirements from their roles and looking more to the work experience versus the education,” said Amber Clayton, Director of the SHRM HR Knowledge Center.
CVS is among those companies. It says it recently dropped the requirement for a high school diploma or GED for most of its entry-level jobs.
The company also plans this year to end its GPA requirement when recruiting at universities.
Monster's recent annual Future of Work Survey looked at the top factors that help first-time job seekers to stand out. College degrees were not in the top three and they dropped further down the list compared to the prior year.
“We're discovering that forward-thinking executives are looking towards a new hiring trend in terms of instead of thinking about, ‘Who can we find to fill this role?’ They're thinking about, ‘What skills do we need to find the right fit within this role.’ So, that could be, you know, a variety of ways to get those skills that don't necessarily mean you need a traditional college or university degree,” said Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster.
The top factors in the survey were interview presence, work and internship experience, and culture fit. Certificates or online courses may also help you get in the door.
“Once you're in the door, there's no replacement for a hard work ethic, showing your hunger to learn and your drive and your ambition, whether or not you have a degree. But I think it's always important to think of yourself as a lifelong learner in terms of what resources can I tap into? How can I get to the next level of my career?” said Salemi.
“I’ve heard of employers who have promoted employees with the expectation that they earn a certificate, or they earn a degree or diploma within a certain period of time after being promoted, so that's something that I have heard of as well, and some of those employers even pay for the courses,” said Clayton.
For new graduates without their GPA listed on a resume, human resource experts recommend showing courses you've taken.