In an astonishing move, one of the UK's biggest graduate recruiters has announced it will be removing the degree classification from its entry criteria.
The accountancy firm Ernst & Young says there is "no evidence" success at university correlates with achievement in later life. This means that whether you got a first class degree or a third, it will have no bearing on how they view your ability to add value.
What a curve ball. It completely disregards the value of the institution that we call university from an academic viewpoint.
Yet for all those people worrying about what companies really want from a skills point of view, don’t worry, they don’t really know either. Consider the following:
This month a survey by the Institute for Leadership Studies found that only 30% of all employees are satisfied with the future career opportunities within their organisation.
Anyone who does not enjoy their work is constantly asking themselves:
“How will what I am doing now lead to something better in the future?
Whether that is the promise of an easier work load, better status or more money in the bank, their engagement and commitment is based on future expectations.
These are being shattered with more frequency as companies fail to offer employees any certainty of where they will be career wise in the short term.
According to the same report 73% of 124 of the biggest companies in the world agree that upwardly linear careers are a thing of the past.
Yet at the same time most of the HR managers in these companies say they will experience a significant skills shortage in the next three to five years.
Something does not add up! They say that they worry that they won’t have enough talent yet they cannot offer employees with the skills they want any certainty of career succession.
Why? The reality is that we exist in the most unpredictable and competitive age we have ever seen. Companies cannot predict where their businesses are going and as a result what skills they will need.
In the 1930s an organisation could expect to spend 75 years in the Fortune 500, the ranking for the five hundred biggest companies in the world. Today that has dropped to just 15 years!
Take a moment to reflect on that.
What does this mean for you? The game is wide open and the conventional rules no longer apply. You are just as competent and able to lead your company in innovation as anyone.
If you cannot answer these three questions YES you need to find another career:
Am I consistently asking myself how I can innovate my role and in my company?
Do I feel my managers see me as a source of innovative ideas that are being implemented?
Do I find myself willingly putting in work after hours to develop innovations irrespective of whether I am getting paid overtime?