Companies seek IT employees from a talent pool that is growing shallow. The high college costs have many passionate individuals shying from entering the field.
Times are changing and the hiring practices have made a shift. It’s now quite common to see companies taking on talent without degrees.
IT Employees and the Shift to Non-Degrees
It’s hard to understand why a company would hire non-degree individuals for a tech position. Until you realize these three points…
1. They’re Self Starters
Those willing to spend thousands of hours to master IT in their free time exhume incredible qualities of a self-starter. The requirements (and pressure) these individuals have eclipse most other roles. They must learn hundreds of systems and programs to find entry-level positions.
Education doesn’t stop at the core level, either.
These self-starters must know dozens of extra skills to land their dream job in IT — including:
- Web development — For creating portfolios
- Social media — To network with professionals
- Team management — To gain team experience
The self-starter amateurs will likely take on non-profit positions to show their value. They’ll hold these positions for some time before gaining basic, entry-level positions.
In the meantime, they continue to develop personal projects. Projects that challenge all levels of skills and knowledge. They are a unique type of individual companies desire.
The tech industry has a bad reputation for being inclusive and lacking diversity.
Tech giants have a strong inclination of hiring white, male IT employees. Though, these companies have taken proactive measures to diversify their workforce. One way is by reducing the barriers to entry.
The barriers being degrees in:
- Computer science
- Information technology
The challenge begins with the lack of representation in the tech areas. Companies are having trouble meeting diversity demands due to low PoC populations. Recent incentives include thousands of scholarships through Udacity and Google in hopes of expanding the talent pool.
In all, the hope to improve representation in the tech sector has created an incentive for companies to reduce college requirements for entry-level positions.
There were more than 3 million STEM jobs available in 2016. These positions go unfilled due to stringent requirements. Another factor includes a waning interest in the tech field.
The lack of IT employees creates a strain and chokepoint for the tech industry. It’s one of the main reasons why many companies have lowered the barrier by outsourcing. Or, taking on non-degree seeking individuals.
The stigma of STEM remains.
Children (and adults) see the tech industry dominated by “geek culture”. It’s a turn-off from the get-go. The toxic environment is a detriment, too. Yet, schools are implementing STEM-like programs to encourage placement in the field.
Early adoption of tech will decrease the shortage over the next decade. But, companies need skilled IT employees — now — which have them seeking passionate, non-degree holders.
Expand Your Workforce with Merit
A lot of great talent goes to waste because of college education costs. It’s a shame a company does not broaden their search by eliminating this outdated idea of holding a degree. Especially when individuals already show incredible promise.