Higher education in America was once heralded as a necessity in the path toward establishing a rewarding career.
Many firms that offer high-paying jobs with decent benefits require applicants to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in order to qualify for an entry-level position. However, the number of underemployed or unemployed undergraduate and graduate students with substantial student loan debt is rising.
The cost of higher education is rising too. However, is the quality of academic training at America’s colleges and universities actually improving as the price tag continues to grow? A U.K.-based accountancy firm called Ernst & Young would probably have one of its representatives answer no to the previous question.
This is so much the case that Ernst & Young has eliminated degree qualifications for its entry-level positions in order to grant opportunities to eager employee prospects “regardless of their background.” Maggie Stilwell, Ernst & Young’s managing partner and director of recruiting gave her company’s rationale for this new policy in an interview with the Huffington Post.
“Academic qualifications will still be taken into account and indeed remain an important consideration when assessing candidates as a whole, but will no longer act as a barrier to getting a foot in the door,” Stilwell said.
Stilwell also told The Post that her firm found there is no proof whatsoever that a college education leads to career success.
“Our own internal research of over 400 graduates found that screening students based on academic performance alone was too blunt an approach to recruitment,” Stilwell also said.
“[Our research] found no evidence to conclude that previous success in higher education correlated with future success in subsequent professional qualifications undertaken,” she continued.
These changes in recruitment policy for Ernst & Young went into effect last year. In America, degree requirements for public school teachers in some districts are also being relaxed due to the fact that a decreasing amount of undergraduates are coming out of college with degrees in education.
Many college prospects shy away from going into teaching nowadays because of the low pay that teachers receive, as well as the higher amount of pressure that is placed on teachers to influence the test scores of students. Many teacher advocates claim there is no proof that teacher performance has a direct affect on student score on standardized tests.