Reducing Education Requirements for State Jobs is a Polical Move

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.



One response to “Reducing Education Requirements for State Jobs is a Polical Move”

  1. Dixie Banner Avatar
    Dixie Banner

    This is not a smart move and demonstrates a lack integrity especially by a leader who is an educator by trade/profession! Also demonstrates that we no longer need to fund the University System as if it was a dependent entity!

    The education system here in AK is totally broken. The University- needs to be self reliant as other Universities in the Lower 48! The Land Grant Program is not employed like it was meant to be!

    The real kicker is the fact state employees make more money than you or I would make in the private sector. We must have a degree as well experience in order to be hired – we will make 1/2 whereas, a state employee (they are protected by the union and only work 37.5 hrs/week and access to an excellent benefit plan).

    I know personally certifications in AK are often worthless! I have earned a number of them in PM and insurance over the years, while looking for work I have had to explain to the hiring manager and the worse part of is they have no value in AK.

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