Ep 38 – Upwork Scratches College Degree Requirements From Job Postings

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Here are today’s HR and workplace news headlines from Workology Go Podcast. I’m Jessica Miller-Merrell. The Workology Go Podcast is sponsored by HSA Bank.

Ep 38 – Upwork Scratches College Degree Requirements From Job Postings

I come from the school of thought where once you graduate from high school you go to college to get the training and skills you need for your new job and adult life. Except that so much of the things I do know I didn’t learn in college at all. I learned from taking an online class, reading an article or watching a YouTube video. In fact, I recently joined a CEO Mastermind group so I could learn from other CEOs and we could share best practices. And many of my fellow CEOs don’t have a college degree.

In fact, in the freelance workforce and as an entrepreneur, not attending college and learning those skills on the fly is the trend that many are seeing with some employers eliminating college degree requirements altogether. I learned Photoshop on my own as well as coding. I took risks and failure was my best teacher.

I have a very close friend of mine. She is a VP at a Fortune 50 company. She is amazing at her job and worked herself through the ranks. She manages a global team, and because of her lack of college degree she can’t get promoted even though she is killing it outperforming her peers. And because it’s a large organization, she will have to have someone rock the boat for her and try to make a major change to policy or a one time exception so that she can even apply for a new job and get a promotion without the required college degree.

Upwork recently announced they are removing degree requirements from all their job openings. Today’s featured article comes from Fortune and is titled, “Why Upwork Scratched College Degree Requirements From Our Job Descriptions.

Upwork removed degree requirements after 33 parents, many of them some of my favorite actors and business leaders were found to have paid for bribing college officials and coaches and falsifying college testing exams and their children’s college applications.

In the article Upwork said and I quote, “Increasingly, four-year universities produce too few graduating classes that are reflective of the country’s racial, social, and economic diversity. Because of their soaring fees, colleges are pricing themselves out of reach for many Americans. As a result, businesses are in danger of being walled off from huge sections of America’s talent pool.”

Is college for everyone? What about our Gen Z workforce? I talked to Connor Blakely, a generation zen expert on a past episode of the Workology Podcast:

I would suffocate under that infrastructure. I don’t even want to think about it.

You have a better chance thinking about shack running a marathon than me and me joining them will work for us. But but I can I can definitely test of the data on what my what my peers and people I’m surrounded myself with are saying. And the kinds of companies that data shows from like Poles and different studies as well as like just me knowing what my peers are thinking is they’re looking at the opportunity to be a part of something special, as was opportunities to advance. I do think that these are the parallels to the millennial generation on this side of things.

They’d rather take a cut in pay and join something truly meaningful to them and to have an opportunity to scale with the company A and B scale their their own position both position wise and monetary inside of the company in order to have a greater impact. I think for employers that the thing that it comes down to and all of this is impact and impact on their own life and impact on the company and impact on the relationships. I think that’s that’s the one word it comes down to with Gen Zi in the workforce as impact and how the company can give Gen Z the tools inside and outside of the company, because believe it or not, people are passionate about other things than what they do. So I think also a huge trend in the upcoming years is going to be what companies can do for their their workforce to not only succeed inside the company, but follow their passions outside of the company. So I think that’s going to be huge as well.

What about you? What are some ways that you are making your workplaces more inclusive and diverse? Does that mean eliminating these college degree requirements like Upwork? I’ll link to the article in this transcript of this Workology Go Podcast episode.

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And that’s this episode of the Workology Go Podcast sponsored by HSA Bank. We’re your go to for HR and workplace news. To learn more about the Workology Go Podcast, subscribe to us on Apple, Google, and Stitcher. Our podcast is also available on Alexa and Google Home. Learn more at workology.com/gopodcast and access these episode’s resources, links, and reports for more information.

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Why Upwork Scratched College Degree Requirements From Our Job Descriptions

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

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