Pennsylvania Drops Degree Requirements for State Jobs

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer January 26, 2023

​Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has signed an executive order abolishing a college degree requirement for most state government positions.

We've rounded up articles from SHRM Online and other outlets to provide more context on the news.

Expanding Opportunity

The order requires that state agencies' job postings focus on prior work experiences and qualifications, instead of educational attainment.

The administration will also review all jobs that, by law, require four-year degrees, to see whether it's practical to relax some of those entry thresholds. At present, about 70 percent of Pennsylvania's adult population does not have a bachelor's degree.

(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Maryland Leads the Way

Maryland was the first state to eliminate bachelor's degree requirements for most government jobs in March 2022. Utah followed in December. The trend is shining a spotlight on the value of alternative credentials and experience.

(SHRM Online)

Using Skills Assessments Instead

A significant portion of HR professionals value skills-based hiring assessments, and some would weight them strongly as alternatives to traditional education and experience qualifications, according to research from the Society for Human Resource Management.  

(SHRM Online)

House Approves Skills-Based Hiring Bill

The Chance to Compete Act—legislation that prioritizes candidate evaluations based on knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies while limiting the use of education when determining if someone is qualified for a role—passed the U.S. House of Representatives Jan. 24. The bill also facilitates the use of more robust assessments over the self-assessment questionnaires currently used for nearly all federal jobs.

(SHRM Online)



Hire the best HR talent or advance your own career.

Member Benefit: Ask-An-Advisor Service

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.

SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance and resources to assist members with their HR inquiries.



HR Daily Newsletter

News, trends and analysis, as well as breaking news alerts, to help HR professionals do their jobs better each business day.