Is Having a University Degree a Deal Breaker These Days?

April 13th, 2018

By Mary MacArthur, Toronto IT Recruiter

Almost every job post you see today requires candidates to have a university degree or college diploma. Many positions require even more than a bachelor’s degree. Advanced post-graduate degrees are sometimes preferred.

Sure, there is some specialized knowledge and training required, but do degrees offer everything a candidate needs? What about experience? What about a candidate with potential and a willingness to learn and become your ideal candidate?

For many companies, it seems to be a deal breaker; and it’s common for hiring companies to disqualify candidates from contention if they do not have a degree listed on their resume. But are you limiting your recruiting efforts and making an oversight?

Here are some key considerations when assessing candidate qualification for jobs at your organization:

Strict Education Requirements Could Be Limiting Your Recruiting Reach

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Immediately taking a candidate out of consideration because they don’t meet strict education requirements can be short-sighted. Yes, there are many careers that require specific foundational skills that are taught in school, such as accounting, but most jobs can be taught. The right person with a good cultural fit can learn on the job.

Even though a candidate lacks academic requirements, if they have a good experience, a track record of success, and good references, they are worth considering. Failure to have flexibility could cause you to lose a great candidate over a technicality.

On the Job Training and Onboarding Can Fill Learning Gaps

It can be argued a strong onboarding program and on the job training and coaching are the keys to helping candidates learn their new job. There will be a transition phase for any new hire, regardless of their degree. Much of a candidate’s learning happens on the job. Therefore, companies that recognize potential and help candidates grow and evolve their skills can have an advantage over other organizations.

There Is No Perfect Path

Few candidates will have all the education, experience, and skill requirements you post in your job ad. This is okay. Top candidates come in many shapes and sizes. Many have a college education; some may not.

The technology industry is the perfect example of this. Many tech experts and professionals didn’t finish college. There is no shortage of candidates who are self-taught. Therefore, it’s important to focus on the big picture and not a sole qualification.

More Hiring Tips and Trends

Check out these insightful blog posts by our recruiters about a variety of hiring and recruiting tips:

Should You Hire an Overqualified Candidate?

3 Important Non-Monetary Costs of Bad Hires

Recruiting Quality Candidates Is a Key Challenge for Hiring Companies

 

IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Technology (IT), Accounting and Finance, Consumer Goods, eCommerce and Retail, Financial Services and Insurance, Startup, B2B and Industrial, Operations and HR, Professional Services and Legal, Media, Digital and Marketing, Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences, Emerging Technology and Telecom, and  Sales. IQ PARTNERS has its head office in Toronto and operates internationally via Aravati Global Search Network. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Mary MacArthur

Mary is responsible for recruitment activities within the IT space, where she works as part of a larger team to ensure that all clients are fully serviced with high quality candidates. A native Montrealer with a background in Communications from McGill University, she began her career in newspaper ad sales. She has now found her home in executive search and recruitment, where she’s able to leverage her bilingual and international experience to help her find the best candidates for her clients.