How Much Education Should Recruits Have?

Higher education is increasingly important in today's job market, but just how important is it?

In the past, a bachelor's degree was considered to be more than sufficient to obtain a management position or higher, but today, this same degree level is often considered a requirement to merely obtain a position that pays more than minimum wage. This way of thinking, however, is leading some employers to pass up the best candidates.

If you're recruiting for a skilled worker based solely on official education level, you're missing the boat ... big time.

How the Internet Factors Into Hiring

One of the largest factors in hiring educated workers is the Internet.

In the past, educational information and learning was obtained mainly through schools or on-the-job training.

Today, the Internet offers plenty of free or low-cost education courses in a variety of subjects, including information technology, programming, and more.

Through these resources, people are able to learn to code, create websites, and learn plenty of other skills that are beneficial to employers without having to step foot in a physical classroom.

Formal Education is Still Important

Of course, on the other hand, a formal education is still important when recruiting candidates.

Attending a university takes dedication to a professional passion, and most students have to shell out quite a bit of money for this privilege. As such, candidates who have sought out a formal education should still be considered to be valuable assets.

In the article, "Thought Leader Series: Going Back to School to Enhance Your Career ...," the author discusses the importance of taking time out from your career aspirations to attend a formal college or university.

Bringing Self-Education and Formal Education Together

One of the keys to successful hiring is to recognize talented individuals for what they have to offer to your company.

Someone who is self-taught in Java may not only be a bigger asset due to education, but he or she might also offer more in terms of initiative because of self-directed education.

Then again, someone who has invested time and money into formal schooling to learn Java or other programming languages might be a better fit since this candidate has shown that he or she is willing to place real capital on the line in order to obtain a degree.

As a hiring manager, you need to be able to look at and balance both sides equally.

A formal degree is not a guarantee of success, and an informal education is not a guarantee of failure.

In the end, measure each candidate's strengths and weaknesses to see how they may perform if hired.

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About the Author: Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include higher education and recruiting strategies.

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