By Austin Browne of Campus Reform
Massachusetts will no longer require a college degree for a large majority of government jobs due to a new state executive order intended to make the commonwealth more “inclusive.”
Governor Maura Healey signed the order, titled “Instituting Skill-Based Hiring Practices,” on Jan 25. The document asserts that “skills-based hiring practices will strengthen the Commonwealth’s workforce, increase access to quality jobs for nontraditional candidates with varied backgrounds and work experiences, and reduce structural barriers that result in inequities in pay and access to employment.”
It also contends that such practices will build a “workforce that is representative of the diversity of the state.”
The guideline directs hiring managers to “consider the full set of competencies that candidates bring to the job beyond traditional education.”
It prohibits a minimum level of education from being included in job listings “unless the Human Resources Division determines that a particular level of education is necessary to perform the job after completing a job analysis.”
Candidates will now be assessed based on “their skills from real-world experience, military service, apprenticeship and certificate programs, internships, and other on-the-job programs.”
“This Executive Order directs our administration to focus on applicants’ skills and experiences, rather than college credentials,” Healey said in an address announcing the new guidelines. “It will expand our applicant pool and help us build a more inclusive and skilled workforce than ever before.”
Several state labor and education leaders issued statements in support of the order.
Massachusetts AFL-CIO President and CEO Chrissy Lynch applauded the governor for what she called an “inclusive workforce strategy.”
Western New England University President Robert Johnson stated that the order will help in “breaking down unnecessary barriers and creating equal opportunities” and will build “a more inclusive workforce.”
Campus Reform contacted Governor Healey for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.