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What Do Four-Year Degrees Actually Tell Potential Employers?

USC Village classroom many jobs require a four-year degree

The focus on having a bachelor’s degree or, even better, a master’s degree is holding steady. The vast majority of corporate jobs require a four-year degree before an application is even considered, especially because many job search sites and individualized HR portals automatically sort applications according to established criteria. Most prospective employees know this, but the gap between bachelor’s and master’s degrees can be a bit fuzzier, and the nature of anyone’s four-year degree also isn’t specific: many times, a concentration in business analytics is just as good as a degree in information technology. Making your education policies clear, especially for internal employees, can help everyone find the position they’re best at. Here’s how to do it:

Lay out why your company cares about a four-year degree. 

Whether your company requires it because your parent company mandated it, because you use a complete degree as a weighing mechanism for a potential employee’s consistency and ability to stick to the same goal long-term, or you really do want specialized degrees for certain positions, make sure your employees have the information. Not only does that help them figure out where to go next with their continuing education (which helps you retain them as an employee), it means internal employees are more comfortable applying for new positions which reduces turnover costs and the loss of information long-term employees have.

Weigh educational requirements more holistically with internal employees. 

College degrees make a good weighing mechanism when you don’t know anything about an applicant. But if a long-term employee with an associate’s degree and a good history is applying, it’s less important. Evaluating potential transfers based on a more holistic glance not only means you can start off with an employee that already knows your company’s software and culture, but they’re more likely to stay on the team for longer.

Clarifying your educational requirements is good for business: the transparency makes employees feel more empowered, and the honest evaluation of why you look at four-year degrees gives your HR department more versatility and better employee retention. Go to Tangram for more office trends and information.

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