Getting a job in the United States has never been easier. The U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 3.9 percent in July, the lowest point since 2000, and one new trend is helping: Employers are ditching requirements for college degrees and previous experience.
As of last year, there are more jobs available than people to fill them, so it’s time to throw age-old standards out the door.
In the first half of 2018, the share of job postings requesting a college degree fell from 32 percent to 30 percent, according to an analysis by labor-market research firm Burning Glass Technologies covering some 29 million job postings.
Share of posts requiring three or more years of job experience have dropped from 29 percent in 2012 to 23 percent in 2018, which translates to 1.2 million jobs that could be open to less-experienced candidates.
Even better... some one million job openings - for everything from preschool teachers and warehouse workers to e-commerce analysts - have opened up to candidates with “no experience necessary” in the last year.
Some companies no longer even insist on performing criminal background checks or drug testing on the candidates.
So, what started as a recent trend of relaxing job requirements is now becoming the new mantra for businesses trying to attract talent - and keep it at a time when Americans are increasingly job-hopping and shopping around for better deals.
Amy Glaser of staffing agency Adecco Group, told the Wall Street Journal that in a strong economy, job seekers are the ones who get to be choosy about their next job.
“If a company requires a degree, two rounds of interviews and a test for hard skills, candidates can go down the street to another employer who will make them an offer that day,” Glasser said.
Last year, a registered one-percent decline was due to undergraduate enrollments, which fell by nearly 224,000 students. In all, there are 2.4 million fewer college students in the United States than there were just six years ago, so institutions have to work much harder to fill seats.
In search of students, universities are adding thousands of new majors, including cybersecurity, casino management, hip-hop studies, competitive video gaming, peace education, political campaign management…you name it.
And America’s institutes of higher education are feeling the pain as the high cost of enrollment chips away at the number of students attending. According to the Washington-based National Center for Education Statistics, some 66 post-secondary schools were shuttered in 2015-2016.
Furthermore, dozens of for-profit colleges could be forced to close in the next several years. Since 2016, over 350 for-profit colleges stopped receiving federal aid, as they proved to be insufficient.
One new blow on the revenue side has been Trump Administration policies making it more difficult for foreign students to obtain visas to study in the U.S.
Due the administration sentiment, last year there was a 17-percent drop in international students in the U.S. mostly due to the 28-percent decline in Indian students and a 24-percent decline in Chinese students receiving visas. In the U.S., some 1,.1 million foreign students contributed $36.9 billion during 2016-2017 school year.
So, if you’re job-hunting, there couldn’t be a better time to ride the wave of this new trend. And in the meantime, employers may even find that experience and education aren’t everything: There might be plenty of ambitious hidden talent out there just waiting for opportunity in this evolving ‘Land of Dreams’.