College for Americans is expected by most after graduation. It is ingrained into us – if we want to be successful, be financially comfortable, and do big things, we would have to go to college. Not only does it put millions of Americans in debt, but it is not the right path for everyone. It is crucial to continue to grow and learn, but a school setting is not the best place for everyone to flourish.
As student debt climbs higher and more Americans cannot afford a college degree, there is room for other alternatives instead of a degree. Companies are beginning to accept applicants to jobs that did not go to college, and it can be a valuable option for Gen Z and incoming generations.
Google Career Certificates
Last year Google launched Google Certificates, which is their alternative to a college degree. Google will accept applicants that have completed their certification of choice. Some of the certifications that Google is offering are:
- IT Support
- Data Analytics
- Project Management
- UX Design
- Android Development
Although Google started focusing on skills rather than a college degree, other companies are shortly following suit. Google has changed the way both students and companies treat education, and it will forever change the course of higher education.
A newer player in degree-free education is Year Up. Year Up has over 29 locations in the US and specializes in educating and training individuals for jobs that cannot afford a college degree or want an alternative path. The company partners with companies like Accenture to place skilled individuals in roles without needing a degree.
The driving force for initiating Year Up is inequality because “a four-year college degree excludes 70% of Black Americans and 80% of Latinos.” Education in the United States is not accessible to everyone, and the lack of access to higher education draws a line of inequality.
Apprenticeships and skill training are becoming a more popular alternative around the United States, including companies like IBM and Bank of America.
Overall, the future of higher education is changing drastically, and both students and companies are hopping on the wave. It is necessary to make sure all individuals have an equal opportunity to retain knowledge and gain skills in a field. We hope that you consider other alternatives to a college degree when you are hiring candidates!