CNBC reports about how Walmart "is rewriting job descriptions for potentially hundreds of positions at its headquarters to stress that a college degree is not necessarily a requirement. According to the story, it is "working to identify in-demand corporate jobs where skills can be acquired by other means."
CNBC offers some context: "The timing of Walmart’s announcement coincides with a trend among many large employers in sectors from tech to autos and consulting, including Google, IBM, Tesla, GM and Accenture, toward skills-based hiring to fill what are sometimes called 'new-collar' jobs. It also arrives amid greater debate over the value of a college education, long regarded as a prerequisite for landing a corporate job and building a career, and concerns about the debt loads being carried by students. A tight labor market, with more emphasis on efforts to diversify workforces and the introduction of generative artificial intelligence into employees’ lives, are changing approaches to recruiting and retention as well."
“We truly believe that all learning counts,” Lorraine Stomski, Walmart's senior vice president, associate learning and leadership, tells CNBC. “We want to look at these jobs and say, What do they really require? Yes, many of them may require a college degree, but a lot of them may not. We’re not saying college degrees don’t count. We’re saying it’s an either/or scenario for many of our campus jobs.”
"The starting point for developing Walmart’s new hiring process, Stomski said, will be to identify the in-demand corporate jobs emerging across its business and the specific skills required for them, then determine whether a college degree is necessary. Either way, employees can utilize the company’s upskilling and reskilling platform, Live Better U, with free college tuition at partner institutions including Southern New Hampshire University, the University of Arizona and the University of Denver. 'If you need a college degree, you can get it debt-free,' Stomski said."
- KC's View:
I totally agree with the notion that not every executive job requires a college degree, and that there are a lot of different ways to be educated.
Whether it is degree-focused or not, a continuing education is critical in any career. (Or life, for that matter.) It is in learning new things, in having one's preconceptions challenged, in being prompted to move beyond epistemic closure, that people are able to be more valuable in their careers. (And in their lives, for that matter.)