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Dear Workforce How Can We Retain Our Best and Brightest

February 5, 2005
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Dear Looking:

I applaud your support of higher education. However, not every position justifiably requires a college degree. For various reasons, you’ve placed people without degrees in positions requiring a degree. How have they performed? Can you still justify the degree requirement? A realistic review of job specifications will help you open the field of candidates, justify positions that need a degreed incumbent, and help you avoid lawsuits for discrimination. You may also get a more diverse workforce.

You might consider a higher compensation level for people who have degrees. Or, hire people without degrees with the provision that they will actively pursue a degree, probably on the company’s dime. Supporting higher education is a sensible move, but sometimes training, experience and ability to do a job can be substantially more valuable than a piece of paper and a theoretical education.

An educational degree does not predict performance, nor does it validate competence. I’m reminded of the old question about what you call someone who graduates at the bottom of the medical-school class: doctor.

SOURCE: Roger Herman, CMC, The Herman Group, Greensboro, North Carolina, March 25, 2004.

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The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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