From what seems like the beginning of time, parents have pushed the importance of a college education. In doing so, though, their kids have accumulated massive amounts of student loan debt.
While a four-year college degree has become a common requirement for many jobs, it’s not the only way to make an honest living and also reap a potentially high income.
As it turns out, attending college is not the only way to get your foot in the door at some of the top businesses in the US. Companies such as Netflix, Apple, and Google are saying that experience trumps college in many instances.
Take Tim Cook, a college drop-out himself and Apple’s CEO, who mentions that college doesn’t always teach certain in-demand skills that are necessary for the workplace.
"And so to that end, as we've looked at the — sort of, the mismatch between the skills that are coming out of colleges and what the skills are that we believe we need in the future, and many other businesses do, we've identified coding as a very key one," Cook states during the American Workforce Police Advisory Board meeting.
Cook mentions that about half of Apple’s US employment as of last year was comprised of people who didn’t have four-year college degrees.
In fact, Cook believes that every student should have some form of coding education as a requirement for high school graduation.
"So we've never really thought that a college degree was the thing that you had to do well," said Cook. "We've always tried to expand our horizons."
Barbara Humpton, Siemens USA CEO echos Cook’s thoughts that a four-year degree may not guarantee the type of career-readiness needed in today’s workforce, as she related to Business Insider.
"All too often, job requisitions will say they require a four-year degree, when in fact there's nothing about the job that truly requires a four-year degree — it merely helped our hiring managers sort of weed through the crowd and get a smaller qualified candidate group," Humpton recently said at the White House during the first American Workforce Policy Advisory Board meeting.
Instead of a four-year college degree as a prerequisite, companies such as Google and Apple are opting for hiring employees who have the skill sets needed to get the job done.
With that being said, college degrees are not dead, as there are still many benefits to obtaining one. “Workers that hold at least a bachelor's degree earned more than the $932 median weekly earnings for all workers in 2018, according to a recent report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.”