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Cox says lack of college degree won't bar access to state jobs

Gov. Cox
Posted at 1:22 PM, Dec 13, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Governor Spencer Cox announced today that the state will eliminate the requirement for bachelor’s degrees in its employee recruitment.

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

He said local governments and the private sector are also taking this approach to broaden access to qualified candidates.

Currently, Utah's executive branch has over 1,000 jobs that do not require a degree, comprising 98 percent of all classified jobs. Hiring managers instead look at experience that is comparable to educational qualifications in hiring.

Gov. Cox also emphasized that eliminating the requirement of a bachelor's degree will create greater opportunities for underrepresented groups and rural candidates, as well as those returning to work after a long absence.

Delta Airlines Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer Joanne Smith, Utah System of Higher Education Commissioner David Woolstenhulme ,and Utah Association of Counties CEO Brandy Grace joined Gov. Cox to show their support for the initiative.

Watch the complete news conference here.