The new labor market: No bachelor’s required?

Jeanne A. Curley

Troy Groom, of Hyattsville, Maryland, was browsing social media this spring when he read something that made him perk up: Gov. Larry Hogan announced in March that the state government would strip bachelor’s degree requirements from thousands of job listings.

Groom, who was once enrolled at Bowie State University, left college when his first daughter was born. That daughter now has a college diploma. Groom still does not. But he had gained experience and credentials: a two-decade rise in retail from Giant cashier to CVS store manager, and a suite of computer networking certificates that led him to three years of information technology contracting gigs.

When Groom interviewed for his first IT job, he heard the dispiriting sentence that trips up so many careers: “I’m looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree.” But the hiring manager at that job looked past the unchecked box, and took Groom on as a configuration management analyst.

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