Opening Up Jobs for Those Without a College Degree

To the Editor:

I may be an “old school” H.R. professional, but I worry about my colleagues’ mad rush to so-called skill-based hiring. To be sure, many (perhaps most) jobs do not necessarily require a college degree per se, but they do require individuals who can think analytically and critically, comprehend and synthesize concepts and ideas, and above all, communicate all those things to others in a way that’s understandable.

It used to be that one acquired these competencies in college (any college!!), and while they can surely be acquired elsewhere, they are no less needed today than they were in the past. I fear that in our rush to embrace a seemingly more egalitarian approach to hiring, we may be “dumbing down” what we demand of new employees. But that’s just me, and as I said, I’m naïvely old school.

Ron Sanders
Sarasota, Fla.
The writer is a former H.R. director for several federal agencies.