Should You Hire Tech Workers who Don’t Have a Bachelor’s Degree?

May 1st, 2014 | Articles, Hiring Resources, Job Search | No Comments »

Should You Hire Tech Workers who Don’t Have a Bachelor’s Degree?

According to a study conducted by HR&A Advisors, 44% of jobs available in the New York City tech sector do not require a bachelor’s degree. Simultaneously, companies all across the country are starting to hire talented IT workers regardless of their level of education.

But is hiring a candidate who does not have a bachelor’s degree dangerous? The evidence doesn’t particularly support this claim. While pursuing higher education has become the norm over the past few decades, young adults are beginning to seek out other ways to learn the skills necessary to succeed IT jobs.

Fewer young adults are going to college

College enrollment has declined over the past two years, decreasing from 20.2 million students enrolling in 2012 to 19.9 million in 2013, according to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse.

With the rise of tuition costs causing student debt to pile up, fewer young adults view obtaining a bachelor’s degree as a solid investment. However, many prospective IT workers are looking to break into the field by teaching themselves to code. With this in mind, is it a good idea for a business to hire IT professional who don’t have a bachelor’s degree?

Degrees are not always relevant

According to a Wall Street Journal study conducted last year, not having a bachelor’s degree does not affect a worker’s performance in an IT job.

According to the study, 40% of computer support specialists surveyed had achieved an unrelated degree in business, while about 33% of computer systems administrators had no bachelor’s degree at all.

The industry titans are catching on

If a child expressed interest in working for Google, parents would likely direct him or her towards obtaining a bachelor’s in computer science. While there was a time when they would have been correct in doing so, Google is now seeking to hire tech workers who don’t have a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

In an interview with the New York Times, Google’s Senior Vice President of People Operations Laszlo Bock explained that, when hiring, Google doesn’t even ask for GPAs or test scores unless the candidate is straight out of college.

“Academic environments are artificial environments. People who succeed there are sort of finely trained, they’re conditioned to succeed in that environment,” Lazlo says.

In fact, it is now very common to find teams where up to 14% of workers possess no bachelor’s degree at all.

Don’t box out talent

As more up-and-coming tech professionals start to value experience over education, it has become valuable for a company to hire tech workers who don’t have a bachelor’s degree. Having a strict requirement that every hire possess some type of IT degree means closing out large portions of talented tech workers simply because they do not fit the mold.

If you are seeking to fill a position at your company, contact a recruiter today. They have a diverse range of talented IT professionals, both with and without degrees, who could be your next best hire.

By Kevin Withers

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