Op-Ed by Carol D’Amico, Strada Education Network EVP, and Bridget Burns, University Innovation Alliance Executive Director
JPMorgan Chase’s decision to end on-campus recruiting has sounded alarm bells in higher education. But not for the reasons you may think. The bank joins a slate of employers — from IBM to Apple — that are loosening degree requirements for certain jobs. A growing number of UK firms have eliminated degree requirements altogether.
But while the headlines tend to place blame for employers’ flagging degree enthusiasm on the delta between the skills higher education teaches and the demands of the modern labor market, the culprit may be a gap in communications more so than credentials.
In fact, a growing body of research suggests that some of the most in-demand skills are, in fact, tightly coupled with the competencies that undergird the degree. A recent Emsi analysis suggests that the “human skills” honed through liberal arts coursework are among the most valued by employers.
Skills like critical thinking and problem-solving are, after all, virtually immune to automation. And the college degree remains among our most powerful levers for social and economic mobility.