Are Employers Still Looking For A Degree On Your CV?

06 June, 2024

Are Employers Still Looking For A Degree On Your CV?

Have we moved on from the time when going to University and gaining a degree qualification was a requirement to get into a professional career? Are employers now looking for other qualities?

Yes, there are many professions that require a specific university degree – medicine for example. However, employers are now experiencing high levels of competition for talent and the once non-negotiable degree criteria is now seen as desirable and not essential.

A recent survey of 15,000 people throughout the UK showed that 73% of employers said a willingness to learn is now more important that existing qualifications. This shows employers are now prepared to hire candidates for their potential. 80% of employers say they are prepared to hire someone who doesn’t have all the required skills for the job, with the intention of upskilling them.


The Change for Employers

This shift makes sense for employers. By considering candidates without a degree, it widens the talent pool and allows for different skill sets and attributes to be considered – and we all know how diversity can help shape a company for success.

Are the ‘soft skills’ taking over? Even when a candidate does not have the exact experience for a role, the skills ‘learnt outside of the classroom’ are still in high demand.


The Change for Employees/Candidates

With the need for a degree no longer at the forefront of employer’s minds, it opens up opportunities for people who have faced barriers to higher education.

Over recent years, the popularity of ‘earn as you learn’ schemes have risen considerably, as firms have realised the benefits of training their own talent.

One interesting outcome to end on, was that only 12% of employers in the private sector said it was essential for a candidate to have a degree, whilst 22% of public sector employees stated a degree was essential. This suggests attitudes are changing a little slower in the public sector.

Altogether, this research does show that employers are becoming more open minded about hiring people from a more diverse range of backgrounds and education/experience.


Ulster Business, (January 2024).

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