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GOOD MOVE:  UTAH TAKES A CREATIVE STEP FORWARD.  WE HOPE OTHER STATES WILL DO THE SAME.  FROM COLLEGE FIX: 

"Instead of focusing on demonstrated competence, the focus too often has been on a piece of paper," Utah governor says.

Utah will no longer require a bachelor’s degree for about 98 percent of its civil servant jobs, according to a recent decision by the state’s Republican governor.

“The state executive branch has 1,080 different classified jobs. Of those, 98% – or 1,058 – do not require a degree,” according to a news release shared with The College Fix by Governor Spencer Cox ‘s media team. “Instead, the state’s hiring managers and hiring committees consider comparable experience as equal to educational qualifications at every step in the evaluation and recruiting process.”

The College Fix reached out on December 16 to Emma Williams, Cox’s public information officer, to ask whether the governor expects a reduction in degree-seeking high school students as a result of the policy and whether it expects other Utah government entities to advance similar initiatives. Williams responded by directing The Fix to the governor’s December 13 news release.

“Degrees have become a blanketed barrier-to-entry in too many jobs,” Cox (pictured) stated in the release. “Instead of focusing on demonstrated competence, the focus too often has been on a piece of paper. We are changing that.”

“The state executive branch has 1,080 different classified jobs. Of those, 98% – or 1,058 – do not require a degree,” according to the release.

Cox pointed to projected improvements in employee productivity, recruitment of talent and expanded opportunities “to attract diverse candidates, including underrepresented groups.”

The governor also highlighted the need for more state-sponsored apprenticeships and on-the-job training programs as alternatives to traditional four-year degrees during his press conference on December 13. His administration will support private sector efforts with taxpayer dollars.

State funds will be used to “reimburse employers who cover customized training” and to support “apprenticeship programs in functional areas such as IT, healthcare, electrical, and others,” Cox said.

COMMENT:  Utah follows other states, like Maryland, in this common-sense approach.  For too long we have worshipped the college degree.  If most American colleges gave true, disciplined, liberal educations, that would be one thing.  But many have become mediocre, over-politicized, glorified high schools.  Many employers caught on a long time ago, and realized those college degrees often represented less than the paper they were printed on.  The Utah move, joined by other states, sends a warning to colleges that their party days are over.  They may even have to prove their worth.

December 22, 2022