The New Labor Tax! AKA…Degree Required

There is a trend sweeping the nation right now that says only people with degrees are worth hiring. It’s as if college courses could make someone better at Sales, Customer Service, Middle management, Construction, Trade skills, or a number of various career positions.

This absent minded ideology began with companies like Enterprise rent a car, which requires everyone working for them to have a degree. Renting cars to people is a $10 an hour job; but apparently, to do that job at Enterprise, you need to drop 100k on a college degree.

I have been in sales and management and even ownership for most of my life. I am extremely experienced when it comes to every aspect of running a business, and making sales at any level. However, with all of my glorious experience, if I didn’t have a degree I wouldn’t even get called for an interview.

To prove this I created two types of resume; one with my degrees, and 3 years of experience, and one with no degree and 15+ years of experience. I tailored the experience resume to match the jobs for which I was submitting and I sent a canned resume for the degree resume. I only submitted the resumes to positions equivalent to my current career level, and obviously I changed the names, addresses and phone numbers, but that’s it. Do you want to guess the results?

100 positions applied for in 10 states.

Experience resume = 0 calls, 0 e-mails, 25 unsolicited college spam ads to my listed e-mail account.

Degree resume = 10 interested calls, 38 interested e-mails, numerous recruiter calls, 32 interviews scheduled

Keep in mind, the degree resume was not only canned, it was NOT qualified for the VP and C-level positions. The experience resume was expertly qualified for the VP and C-level positions, and it was specifically written to showcase my talents and accomplishments as pertaining to their needs.

How could this happen? There are numerous excuses.

  • The HR department is too lazy to do their job.

  • The hiring manager uses a scrubber program to whittle down the vast amount of applications and Degree is one of the key words.

  • Someone is under the impression that a person 3 years out of college would be better at leading a company or a division of a company than a person with 15+ years of progressive success in business.

  • Whoever created the position thinks college degree programs are magic and the people who have them are special.

  • (Fill in however many excuses you need to justify this broken process)

I am not anti-college. I am anti-stupid! There are many professional fields for which I personally would never do business with someone who didn’t have a degree. For example: Any doctor (MD or PhD), Any Lawyer, All engineers, some higher learning educators, Architects, and CPAs are a few. These professions go to school to learn how to do their job. That’s the distinction! There are no college courses for sales. NONE!

There is no college course for Retail managers, or Sales managers, or Customer Service managers, or any Customer Service position. There is no Finance class to teach sales numbers and how to structure a deal. There is no math class that teaches specialized sales math. There is no college course to teach you how to be successful, or how to run a business, or even how to start a business.

If you are thinking, “I remember taking Applied Economics and Business 101”. I will concede that those theoretical courses do exist, and with the right teacher they might even be valuable. But the structure for the American college system is memorization and brain dump.

How many of you remember not just that you took business 101, but what you may have learned? The number is remarkably low and it is reserved for savants, and super geniuses. The reason for this is Physiological. The Human brain learns by association. If you can’t associate new information to previously gained knowledge and experience, you will not remember the new information long-term. Hence the memorization and brain dump method.

College degrees are pay to play. You buy the degree. The only exceptions are the professional degrees that require a comprehensive knowledge test to be accepted into the post graduate degree program. (LSAT, MCAT) It is so important for these professionals to remember their coursework that they have to pass excruciatingly difficult tests to be accepted into their chosen field. (The difference between having a JD and legally practicing law is the Bar Exam)

All degreed professionals must pass a mandated certification to gain license. If there is not a mandated certification program at the end of your educational path, you are buying your degree for political reasons, not professional ones.

The National average cost for a Bachelor’s Degree is $25,588.00 per year. If you could graduate in four years, the cost would be over $100,000.00 to attain the degree. The job at Enterprise will pay between $10-$15 DPH and you will make between $1600.00-$1800.00 per month at full time. Let’s say, with the cost of living being affordable, you can pay $200.00 DPM toward your college loans. Without interest it will take you 500 payments to pay off that loan. Just so you know; 500 months is equivalent to 41.6 years. If you graduated in your mid twenties, you will finally pay off your student loans in time for your grand children to start paying for theirs.

Based on this simple math, if I am looking for someone to help my company with anything financial, I am more inclined to hire the person who understood the concept of useless debt, and bad investing. That’s the person that went straight to work and gained the knowledge to run my business with the wisdom granted through experience.

You can keep the ones that spent $100,000.00 on a Liberal Arts Degree. I don’t think they understand how money works!