Over one-third of American companies have eliminated college degree requirements and the reason they did is simple, to increase the number of applicants.
Here’s the reality, there are 1.9 jobs available for every unemployed worker.
Last year I wrote about how the radio industry needs to remove the college degree requirement from their Help Wanted Ads, and since that time, the ability to attract the best talent has become even more challenging.
The Latest Survey of Hiring Mangers
The website, Intelligent.com surveyed 1,000 hiring managers at the beginning of 2023 and released these key findings:
- 53% of hiring managers say their companies eliminated the requirement for a bachelor’s degree for roles where a bachelor’s degree in not essential
- 60% eliminated the college degree requirement for entry-level roles
- 57% eliminated the requirement for mid-level positions
- 33% eliminated it for senior level jobs
- 64% say the reason for removing the requirement was to increase the number of applicants
- 76% say they are likely to favor experience over education
- The majority of hiring managers say their company doesn’t see value in certificate programs, associate degrees, online degrees, or boot camps
- 77% of companies are currently offering apprenticeships, or plan to, by the end of the year
- 46% say attrition is a problem
Famous Radio Broadcasters Without A College Degree
Oprah Winfrey didn’t need to have a college degree to become one of the most successful women in broadcasting. She dropped out of college after only one semester to pursue a career in broadcasting.
In 2015, Forbes published the salaries of the top five radio broadcasters in America.
- Glenn Beck earned $16.5 Million in 2015. Not bad for a Sehome High School graduate with no college experience.
- Sean Hannity earned $29 Million, and never obtained a college degree, even though he attended four different colleges.
- Ryan Seacrest earned $65 Million. He started his radio career at 16 while still in high school and would drop out of college to devote all of his energies to broadcasting.
- Rush Limbaugh earned $77 Million and dropped out of college after only two semesters. His mother said at the time that Rush “flunked everything…he just didn’t seem interested in anything except radio.”
The BIG Exception
The top earning radio personality is Howard Stern. Howard graduated with a 3.8 Grade Point Average (GPA) from Boston University. In fact, Stern was named by Forbes as the world’s highest-paid media personality and the fifth highest-earning worldwide. As of February 2023, Howard Stern’s net worth is $650 Million.
I Love College
Please don’t think I’m dissing the college experience, I’m not. What I am taking issue with is the hiring practices of the radio industry that make having a college degree preferred. Radio is better positioned as a trade, one best learned by doing.
The radio industry should be presenting a broadcast career as an opportunity for students graduating from high school.
I treasure my five decade radio broadcasting career, but having my Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science college degrees never played a role.
It wasn’t until I pursued my second career in life, that of a college broadcast professor, that I would need those two pieces of paper to be hired at The School of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Kentucky University.
Colleges sell pieces of paper representing knowledge learned. You can’t be part of the faculty unless you have also earned these benchmarks in higher education.
Finally, I am adamant about the radio industry starting its outreach at the high school level.
Radio Talent Institute
When I was at Western Kentucky University, I worked with Dan Vallie and his Radio Talent Institute. It’s an excellent program, now owned and operated by the Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB). Sadly, it’s offered as a summer program to students in a handful of colleges across America. I contend that the RAB should be offering this program in the high schools, especially those schools that have vibrant student run radio stations.
The Radio Talent Institute puts professional broadcasters into a mentorship role with the radio’s industry’s future leaders and we can’t start the recruitment effort early enough.
“A mentor is someone who
allows you to see the hope inside yourself.”
— Oprah Winfrey