Huge Corporations Are Doing Away With College Degree Requirements for New Hires

woman and man sitting in front of a monitor
Alyssa Guzik
December 13, 2023

Black people comprise only seven percent of available leadership roles in corporate America, even with active diversity, equity, and inclusion programs. A contributing factor to this is access to higher education. However, some major corporations are changing their hiring processes.

Recent studies have found that some larger companies seek out skill over education. Bank of America Global Talent Acquisition executive Christie Gragnani-Woods notes that needing a degree for positions with the company isn’t always necessary. “We are dedicated to recruiting from a diverse talent pool to provide an equal opportunity for all to find careers in financial services, including those that don’t require a degree."

Other major corporations like Google, IBM, Dell, and Delta Airlines have positions available in technology and other areas that don’t require a four-year degree. Accenture, an IBM competitor, only required a degree for twenty-six percent of its software engineer roles in 2021.

With 22 percent of Black Americans ages 25 and older holding a college degree, companies offering well-paying jobs could help increase Black employment. Though some of these positions require additional education, certificate programs are often cheaper than college and will frequently be paid for or reimbursed by employers.

The growing trend of offering well-paid careers without needing higher education is a boon for the Black community. While there has been a steady increase in Black Americans obtaining college degrees, those without the document but with knowledge and experience can land jobs they would have been restricted from before.