Virginia will join a rising number of states eliminating degree requirements for a vast majority of state jobs, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced May 30.
Almost 90% of state job listings will be affected by the change, according to the announcement.
“On day one we went to work reimagining workforce solutions in government and this key reform will expand opportunities for qualified applicants who are ready to serve Virginians,” Youngkin said in a statement. “Last month, Virginia achieved the highest labor force participation rate in nearly ten years demonstrating the Commonwealth’s sustained workforce developments.”
“We are also working hard to examine regulated occupations and professions to find ways to simplify and speed up credentialing processes and universal licensing recognition for individuals who want to live and work in Virginia,” Virginia Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater said in a statement.
State movement on the issue reflects ongoing interest in the private sector in reducing reliance on four-year degrees for hiring purposes. Middle-skill jobs, especially, have been a keen target for alternative credential proponents. More than 60% of such jobs are listed as requiring a bachelor’s degree despite a degree not being a good evaluation for the skills required by the job, according to a Bain & Co., OneTen and Grads of Life report released in February.
Hiring platforms still struggle to showcase and verify alternative credentials, however, a March report from Northeastern University showed, which may slow adoption.