Call me jaded, but the Govenor’s annoucemnt removing four-year degree requirements for most state jobs strikes me as another political move, at a time we are debating education funding, to undermine support for education at all levels.
Sure, there are cases where a person has some outstanding training and experience that would be a substitute for degrees. And yes, a degree by itself rarely is sufficient to do a job with the skill and productivity of an educated, trained, and experienced person. But really, show me specifically what jobs still require a four-year degree that we will turn over to folks without the educational background that the positions need. This administrative removal of four-year degree requirements isn’t the first time education requirements have been reviewed and adjusted!
But let me help you out by finding some examples because there are cases where education credentials get in the way. I agree there are cases the folks on professional licensing boards are blocking skilled people from doing the jobs they want to protect.
First, we need a path for paraprofessional teacher aids to get their teaching certificate. I’ll bet this does not apply to teachers, but it’s the #1 place it should be. (The new apprenticeship program is promising.)
Second are healthcare providers, such as dental aids, who have had to work around a medical system that blocks aids from doing the work of doctors, particularly in rural communities. I’ll bet this does not apply here, either.
Most other jobs still requiring a four-year degree probably have a reasonable need for that education. Turning over running our state and critical public systems to experienced but applicants lacking an education foundation seems like a recipe for filling our jobs short term but moving our state backward in the long term.
Let’s work on making this a state that values education and post-secondary degrees and is an attractive place for educated people to live and STAY! This administrative action is timely for politicians who want to avoid increasing education funding but is unlikely to fill empty positions.