College Degree Not Needed to Work For This State

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin

( – In a long-called-for change, GOP-led Virginia has become the seventh state in the nation to abandon college degree requirements for almost all state jobs.

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Beginning last year, several states have shifted towards skill-based hiring, eliminating the four-year college degree requirement in moves enjoying bipartisan support, The College Fix writes in a report.

An announcement by Virginia’s Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin made it clear 90% of state jobs will no longer require a college degree to apply. The change will enter into force on July 1.

“Governor Glenn Youngkin announced today a landmark change in how state agencies will recruit and compete for talent by eliminating degree requirements, preferences or both for almost 90% of state classified positions,” says a press release issued by the governor’s office last week.

“[The new policy] will improve hiring processes, expand possibilities and career paths for job seekers and enhance our ability to deliver quality services,” Youngkin declared.

According to his office, Virginia’s government advertises more than 20,000 jobs annually.

“Yesterday’s announcement by @GovernorVA added Virginia to the growing number of states moving toward skills-based hiring,” the National Governors Association reacted in a tweet.

The first state to scrap the college degree requirement for most government jobs was Maryland in a policy shift announced in March 2022 by its GOP Governor, Larry Hogan.

“Critics warned that [Hogan] was lowering standards and devaluing higher education. But supporters — Democrats among them — applauded Hogan for lowering barriers for workers who lack four-year degrees but have other skills and training,” The Washington Post writes.

Also, last year, Utah’s GOP Governor Spencer Cox axed degree requirements for most civil service positions in the state.

“Degrees have become a blanketed barrier-to-entry in too many jobs. Instead of focusing on demonstrated competence, the focus too often has been on a piece of paper. We are changing that,” Cox declared.

The first Democrat governor to follow suit was Pennsylvania’s Josh Shapiro. In January, he ditched bachelor’s degree criteria for 92% of state jobs, or about 65,000 new positions yearly.

According to the Pew Research Center, about 60% of Americans don’t have a bachelor’s degree as of 2022. In Pennsylvania, the share is 66%.