Fewer job posts contain educational requirements so far in 2024, Indeed says

While fewer job posts include degree requirements, these changes don’t necessarily reflect a shift in actual hires, other studies have shown.

Published Feb. 29, 2024

By Carolyn Crist

A row of data center servers, featuring the silhouette of a single worker standing in the background.

Formal education requirements are gradually disappearing from job postings, according to a Feb. 27 report from Indeed’s Hiring Lab.

As of January 2024, 52% of U.S. job postings on Indeed didn’t include any educational requirements, up from 48% in 2019. In addition, only 17.8% required a four-year degree or higher, dropping from 20.4% in recent years.

“While educational requirements are unlikely to vanish from job postings, growing support of skills-first hiring approaches is a clear sign for workers to invest in skills now, regardless of their education level. In other words, even college-educated workers may have to think about reskilling more going forward,” Cory Stahle, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, wrote in the report.

Employers may have to reflect on their current hiring requirements, he continued. Skills-first hiring may make sense for a number of roles, thus opening up opportunities for high-quality candidates.

Gain skills you need to add value to your organization with an online Master’s in Human Resources Management from Georgetown University.Read more

During the past five years, educational requirements have loosened in 41 of the 47 (87%) occupational sectors analyzed by Indeed. In some sectors, the shift is even more noticeable, particularly in software development, project management and tech-adjacent information design and documentation.

On the other hand, educational requirements rose in 19 occupational categories, especially knowledge-work fields such as architecture, accounting and physicians and surgeons. Formal educational requirements are unlikely to disappear from areas related to healthcare or engineering, according to the report.

Although skills-based hiring is gaining traction and fewer job posts contain degree requirements, these changes don’t necessarily reflect a shift in actual hires, according to a report from The Burning Glass Institute and Harvard Business School. Nearly half of companies who made skills-based hiring announcements haven’t made real changes to their hiring practices or increased their share of workers without degrees.

Similarly, skills-based job posts have gained traction on LinkedIn, with 29% of paid posts omitting professional degree requirements, yet employers are still struggling to translate the shift into actual hires. Degreeless hiring is growing, but the percentage of hires made often falls short of the job post rate, LinkedIn noted.

More than half of jobs don’t need formal four-year degree requirements, according to a report by Bain & Co., OneTen and Grads of Life. To embrace a skills-first approach to hiring, companies need to make changes across the full talent acquisition process, including updates to job posts, increased diversity on hiring panels and a skills-based focus during onboarding.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *