As baby boomers retire, job market will become more competitive than ever

o-experience vs degree
Creative Commons | The Daily Wildcat Today, degrees are necessary to get a good job. Tomorrow, it may be connection to a business, or self-taught skills.

In the 1980s it was easy as walking up to the manager to get a job in the field you wanted. However, now students must juggle work experience and a balanced education to even be thought of for a job. Companies have entry-level positions that don’t require a degree, according to sites like career.com or indeed.com, but hearing that can cause some confusion. Although the entry level position might not require the degree, moving up in that certain company will.

“I think there are a lot of advantages to getting a degree that a student who comes to the U of A or another big school like this can take advantage of to make themselves even more competitive in the workplace,” said Susan Kaleita, the senior director of Student Engagement and Career Development.

While the degree may be helpful to get the job, experience and marketing yourself alone would be just as good for certain companies.

Mark Omo, an electrical engineer for Marcus Engineering, LLC, was at the Career Day UA hosted last week.

The company he works for hosted two tests that if passed by students, they would be guaranteed an interview with the company.

Instances like Marcus Engineering, LLC are few and far in between, however. The company is seven years old, and it takes candidates that are gifted or show that they have a passion for this work.

“We're looking for people who are really passionate about it,” Omo said. “They do projects by themselves or they do electrical engineering because it’s fun.”

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But at Career Day, this was one of the only companies that had this outlook on hiring students. Other names like American Express, Deloitte, General Motors, Garmin Ltd. and many others all required at least a bachelor's degree.

The time of hard work and experience determining who gets the better position is getting too old for the dynamic market.

“It’s very rare to see someone who’s just a skilled tradesman and who has all the subject matter expertise from experience,” said Dan Deschamps, senior manager of information technology at GM. “I think those days slowly phased out as the next generation comes in.”

Deschamps adds that once the generation Z kids make it to the job market, a degree will be required in any trade.

According to Deschamps, GM also requires a degree in any management position. Many of the managers in said positions have at least a masters' degree or higher.

However, there are companies that require a degree not specific toward any sort of major.

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Gina Somsen, a recruiter for Fast Enterprises, said that although they typically hire candidates with management information systems, computer science, math and engineering degrees, they are open to hiring all majors as long as the candidate shows that they have the technical aptitude to do the job.

Fast Enterprises provides software solutions for its clients.

“If someone received a degree in English, and then they taught themselves how to code” Somsen said. “That would be a candidate we would still consider for FAST."

While it might be a headache and a blow to your wallet to get that degree, it will help in the long run. The UA Employer Satisfaction Survey said that 92 percent of employers like their UA graduate hires and even 89 percent say they exceed their peers in the same field.

But according to a column at TechCrunch, big brands could be paving the way for future job attainment. Google or IBM may be able to make their brand name outshine a degree in the near future.


Nick Trujillo loves shaking Millennials' and Generation Z's hopes in the job market. Follow Nick on Twitter 




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