Education, Employment, Human Capital

Unemployed? No Degree Necessary!

Have you ever searched for a job and applied for positions in which you don’t quite meet the requirements but you apply anyway? Then you’re not surprised when you don’t receive a call back? Imagine if you did get the call back because nobody was worried about that Master’s degree that you didn’t complete or that you’ve never had an “adult” job before. That’s the type of thing that happens when unemployment is low and employers are looking to fill positions.

I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about a trend in employers seeking employees who don’t have the appropriate degree or skill set in order to fill certain positions. When the unemployment rate is high, there are more people looking for jobs so employers weed out applicants by raising the requirements. Unemployment is currently at a low which changes the way employers hire. If they have positions that need to be filled, they are more likely to reduce the requirements for the position. The article says they may lower or reduce the education requirement in exchange for experience or reduce both altogether.

Sometimes colleges don’t produce enough graduates to fulfill the ever-changing requirements of the work environment, depending on the industry. This can leave employers in a bind when filling positions and they begin to look at options such as hiring people who don’t have any experience. It’s more cost efficient to train people to do the job than to wait on someone to complete a degree.

I am not debating about the value of an education. Once again, I have to say that I am a firm believer in education. I am and will be a lifelong learner. I would just point out that mastering a skill set, even outside of your profession and being open to trying new things increases your chances of employment in today’s economy.

One thing people tend to forget is the the amount of human capital within our communities. When you take into consideration, the creativeness of a people, the amount of “hustlers” no matter what the hustle, it could be someone on the streets selling products acquired via alternative means, people with side hustles (MLM, Etsy shops, that baker who sells novelty cakes, cookies & pies, the lady with the gourmet candy apples, etc.) who uses social media as their store front. It is the natural product or homemade soap lady who started a small business and you can find her at the public market or festivals during the year, the handyman who can practically build a house who uses word of mouth to build clientele, the person you call for a custom outfit, the young adult who builds apps just to give to their friends, etc. It is not uncommon for people to have skills outside of their profession, our ability to learn is great. The problem is access to opportunity!

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