Is a college degree really required?

Is a college degree really required?

I saw a job listing last week for an entry-level position at an association, seeking a data manager. From the job description, the position was focused on managing member records and doing some light querying, reporting, and data analysis. The association was seeking someone with one to three years of experience.

What caught my attention is that the position also required a four year college degree. And my first question was: "Why?" Why would this position require a four year college degree? And why would the association immediately eliminate a large number of potentially qualified candidates (those without four year degrees), especially in the current hiring environment?

My suspicion is that "four year degree required" is a default. No one has stopped to ask "Is a four-year degree required for this job?"

Anecdotally, some of the best data managers I've encountered in my work were people without four year degrees. They had "grown up" in associations (or other business environments) and were self-taught. They were incredibly diligent workers and experts at their work.

So if you're hiring (and who isn't?), think about what your job descriptions say, and what they communicate to potential candidates. Don't unnecessarily exclude qualified candidates with prerequisites that are really not requirements for being successful at the job.

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