The Future of Hiring: Why Modern Tech Companies are Seeking Skills Over Degrees

The modern job search market can be an overwhelming place, with high expectations and even higher demands placed on an applicant’s shoulders. Whether you’re just beginning your job search after college or have been perusing job listings on the commute home from your current job, finding your ideal position can be a frustrating process at the best of times.

In a recent article from The Atlantic, writer Amanda Mull highlights how the modern job search has changed, resulting in what she describes as, “the obnoxious state of the modern job listing, which is often short on details and long on silly demands.”

However, there has been a significant shift in the tech industry that might be of interest to the modern job seeker: some companies are seeking skills over degrees on an increasingly common basis.

What Does ‘Skills Over Degrees’ Mean?

Simply put, a reference to skills over degrees means that large-scale tech companies are giving preference to applicants who can demonstrate their practical skills relevant to a position, rather than looking at degrees as the sole measure of competency.

For those with degrees, fret not: this shift in hiring is not the end of your success, but rather, an opportunity to showcase your skills and demonstrate how your degree experience makes you uniquely qualified for a position.

Companies such as IBM, Apple, and LinkedIn are sharing their thoughts on the qualities they seek in potential hires, with a recent article from Inc. quoting LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner as saying, “Increasingly I hear this mantra: Skills, not degrees. It's not skills at the exclusion of degrees. It's just expanding our perspective to go beyond degrees.”

Why Tech Companies are Hiring Based On Skills

With almost three quarters of employers having difficulties hiring skilled candidates and CEOs like Apple’s Tim Cook openly sharing that about half of their employees don’t have a degree, there’s no better time for skilled candidates and career seekers to demonstrate their value and showcase their skills when applying for their dream job.

Traditionally, degrees have been a marker of a qualified employee, and it’s still very common for job descriptions to require some type of relevant degree for even entry-level positions. Although it’s important to note that this shift is slow moving in other industries, tech’s biggest movers and shakers are realizing the value of skilled employees and their unique ways of approaching—and overcoming—challenges.

What Skills are Tech Companies Looking For?

Based on Tech Republic’s recent roundup of LinkedIn’s annual Top Companies list, some of the top skills companies like Alphabet, Salesforce, and Apple are looking for include:

Data analysis: The process of analyzing, sorting, and organizing data to support decision-making.

Data structure: The ability to obtain data and organize it to ensure it can be used most effectively.

UX design: The process and ability to create services and products that create a functional and fulfilling experience for users.

Machine learning: A type of data analysis skill set that allows for the automation of building analytical models and data sets.

Cloud computing: A deep knowledge of creating and delivering specific hosted services on the internet, such as Software as a Service (SaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Social media marketing: A type of digital marketing—or internet marketing—to reach target audiences and potential customers on various social media platforms.

R: A programming language graphics and statistics-based computing.

If you’re ready to discover the skills needed for your dream position at a major tech company, our team at nexplay is here to help you get your foot in the door. Our community of industry insiders are ready to discuss how your unique skills and qualifications can be of benefit to their company. To learn more, get in touch with us today.

  • Twitter - White Circle
  • Instagram - White Circle
  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle