Does the federal government no longer respect college degrees?

President Trump and his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump. Photo courtesy Mandel NGAN, AFP via Getty images

Issued less than two weeks ago, on June 26, the Trump administration’s executive order states that federal government positions should be filled based on merit. This could mean that those interested in federal jobs will no longer need a degree to be hired.

“My administration is committed to modernizing and reforming civil service hiring through improved identification of skills, requirements and effective assessments of the skills job seekers possess.  We encourage these same practices in the private sector.  Modernizing our country’s processes for identifying and hiring talent will provide America a more inclusive and demand-driven labor force,” Trump said in the executive order.

As the economy evolves, private businesses are encouraged to look at hiring more than just degree-based skills to advance the workforce. This could affect today’s generation of college students.

“I feel like it could be seemingly nice to give everybody a ‘fair’ chance of getting hired, but most of the time you get the skill from college so how else would you gain further knowledge and skill on a subject you’re going into a career for?” Tiara Carter, a student at Florida A&M, said.

Stanley Wall Jr., an alum of FAMU, believes the executive order doesn’t take into account what students learn in school.

“As a recent graduate of Florida A&M University, I believe that President Trump’s new executive order for skills over degrees in federal jobs will not benefit America in the manner that he predicts. Having a college degree not only presents the skills the employee has, but it also represents the determination, resilience, the grit of that employee. Simply judging someone off of their skills alone doesn’t represent that to its fullest extent,” he said.

Andrew Altizer,an FSU student, sees it differently.

“I think that, symbolically, this is a good thing. The idea that more people should be given the opportunity to apply for jobs that previously were reserved for those with college degrees is something that everyone can get behind. When an applicant has a college degree, I don’t think that it’s saying that they have the proper skills to do things such as run a business, but it’s more of a representation of the fact that this person who is applying for this job has the forethought and determination to finish what they have started which is valuable in a business environment,” he said.

This executive order could be something to look forward to for people who want to work in the federal government.