Turns out, a College Degree Might Not Be the Greatest Requirement for Employment

For years, the conventional wisdom has been, get a college degree because it will lead to a Good Job. But it might be time to rethink that wisdom.

According to Market Watch, new research from the Rockefeller Foundation and research firm Edelman Intelligence found that 43% of employers reported difficulty finding entry-level candidates. That's a staggering statistic for people looking, often desperately, for entry-level positions.

For many employers, the issue is prompting them rethink how they go about searching for candidates, specifically the weight placed on a college degree.

"For a long time, a college degree has been a proxy for skills and capabilities," Abigail Carlton, managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation, told Market Watch. "In reality, it is a pretty blunt proxy."

This is good news for a significant portion of the population who are smart, capable workers, but who don't or can't attend college for various reasons (the most prominent of which being economic constraints, of course).

The Rockefeller Foundation report supports the hypothesis that a college degree might not be a good metric for evaluating entry-level candidates. According to the report, 90% of the recent college grads surveyed said they were learning skills on the job and 49% actually said they weren't using skills they learned in college at all at work.

"More employers are starting to think about how to experiment with assessment practices and hiring practices to make sure they get workers who would be a good fit for the job and would stay at the job," Carlton explained.

This is great news for the 1 in 6 young adults a White House study found are cut off from education and employment opportunities at least in part because of poverty. It's also great news for employers, who are missing out on a huge pool of potential all-star employees just because those people didn't graduate from college, whatever the reason may be.