Let’s be clear: Google, Apple, IBM, EY and others are not saying your college degree isn’t valuable, but rather that it isn’t a de facto requirement for many jobs. Their rationale is complex. Default college degree requirements add barriers for otherwise-qualified (and often more diverse pool of) candidates. They also argue that they’re really after skills, not degrees, and that online coding courses (as an example) might be all that’s needed.
I would argue that the value of a college degree goes beyond a specific skill set, and that employers are misguided by prioritizing already-learned skills above the ability to learn new skills – the latter being more valuable in the long run. But employers increasingly are not looking for long-term investment in employees. They need a flexible, on-demand workforce that delivers value immediately.
As just one example of a dad driving his son to college this weekend, I wonder: Is the college value proposition falling apart? Should it be? Is it time to rethink the “everyone goes to college” mindset of many high schools? Google and Apple seem to think so.
If I were in a marketing department at a college right now, I would be terrified.