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Federal Hiring Shifts to Focus on Skills, Not Degrees

Today, President Trump issued an executive order directing the federal government to begin prioritizing a worker’s job skills over a college degree. Signed during a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, the order signals a shift in policy that the administration hopes will help meet the changing needs of employers.

 

This announcement comes only days after the US hit a record number of daily Covid-19 cases, while many businesses are still working fully or mostly remote. With the massive change in business operations brought on by the pandemic, employers need skilled workers more than ever to help them adapt to the new normal of remote offices and working in the cloud. According to ISSA, 82% of employers say they need workers with cybersecurity skills, and in just the past month there have been over 80,000 jobs posted for Azure developers.

 

Both government and private organizations are demanding workers with technical skills, and as a leader for nearly 40 years in the IT education space, New Horizons is in a unique position to help meet this demand. The pandemic has made it apparent that traditional universities are struggling to adapt and plan for short and long-term scenarios. In the past several months, there has been a dramatic shift towards online learning. It is important to both understand these changes to the EdTech industry and how both the industry and employers are evolving when it comes to hiring and reskilling the workforce.

 

Gone are the days of needing a college degree to land a job at a well-known tech firm. Apple, Google, IBM and other top companies no longer require job candidates to have a degree. Instead, qualifications and previous experience are taken into consideration when assessing the fit for a position. Today, 66% of organizations accept skills and experience in lieu of a bachelor’s degree and adults with a certificate or industry-based certification were more likely to be employed than adults without such credentials. These technically skilled workers are referred to as New Collar Workers, a term first coined by IBM that has been adopted by the industry.

 

With the abundance of different training options available, it is important to understand which courses provide the most value. The New York Times found that 90 percent of students who enroll in a free course don’t complete it, while the completion rates for paid courses that grant certificates or degrees range from 40 to 90 percent. What’s the difference? Research says that students feel less engaged in asynchronous learning environments—they crave interaction with teachers and other students that is impossible in most online learning platforms. This is why platforms like our Online LIVEâ are seeing such growth right now. We’re able to give students a full classroom experience from wherever they happen to be. Learners can speak with their teachers and classmates, learn practical applications in online labs, and do their exam prep, all from their couch if they choose. On the employer side, we’re seeing companies use Covid as an opportunity to upskill and train workers into new roles to help fill gaps in their workforce and promote from within.

This announcement from the White House comes at a critical time for businesses. With the pandemic disruption continuing for the foreseeable future, employers will need to change their hiring practices to meet the new demands of their organization. With over 30 million students taught; New Horizons has the experience and expertise to upskill your workforce. Learn more

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Author: Jamie Jones
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