The golden opportunity part 2

Today companies seeking talents are increasingly forgoing the application requirement of a four-year degree. Google, Ernst and Young, Apple, and IBM are among those that no longer require a traditional college education for their high paying jobs. Over the past two years, having a four-year degree has become lesser important for many companies. A few days ago, (Jan 20, 2019) IBM Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty declared at the World Economic Forum’s 2019 that the most important issue of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is the “skills crisis.” She said that most high-demand jobs will NO LONGER require a four-year degree but on the skills that applicants have. IBM has been successfully hiring many people who graduated from community college (2 years certificate), Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Vocational schools (Coding school etc.) and they all did well. For IBM and many companies, the most urgent issue is having enough skilled workers to do the work as they will hire whoever has the skills that they need.

This change is now common in the tech industry, where a shortage of skilled talent has led hiring managers to seek candidates who are self-taught, went through a coding school, MOOCs or other nontraditional educational option. Some 75% of tech leaders said they do NOT require a computer science degree for software developers as they have hired many good candidates from a non-traditional background. During the World Economic Forum at Davos this year, a senior manager told the audiences: “Focusing only on degreed workers means you are missing out on millions of skilled workers all over the world. The issue is many universities are too slow to change and their students are taught useless and obsolete materials that we have to provide additional training to them. Hiring students who are actively self-taught from MOOCs and Online tutorials who have the most current skills are better solutions for today’s problem. There is a large pool of people who could not afford to go to university due to the high cost so they go online to learn. They have the motivation, the determination, and the skills and these are the best workers that we want.”

This trend will likely continue in the future as more companies are changing their education requirements to access a much larger pool of candidates. Today the internet has become a necessary part in every aspect of the business as many works are conducted over the Internet. Remote workers are becoming a normal way of working in this technology-driven world. Many companies are now hiring skilled workers from all part of the world to meet their needs as they are not restricted to the immigration requirements. The new business rule is: “Innovate in the U.S., Develop in other countries, Manufacture in China or lower cost countries, then selling all over the world.” As more works are being “Distributed” all over the world where skilled workers live, the main issue for hiring companies is where to find these workers and determine whether they can have access to internet broadband connection to do the work. The other issue is whether people know about this and develop their skills to seize this golden opportunity or not.


  • Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University
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