Coverage: CEOs say they’re hiring more workers without degrees
Chief executives of major companies said at a White House forum on Wednesday that they are hiring more Americans without college degrees as they search to find increasingly scarce applicants for open jobs.
David Shepardson of Reuters had the news:
“We have a chance to employ so many more people – and not always with a college degree, a less than a four-year degree will get a very good paying job in the new economy,” said IBM Chief Executive Ginni Rometty.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said nearly 50 percent of the people the company hired in the United States last year did not have a four-year degree.
“We never thought that the college degree was the thing that you had to have to do well,” Cook said, adding that “our founder was a college dropout,” an apparent reference to Steve Jobs.
Cook said he believed “strongly” that computer coding proficiency should be a requirement before U.S. students graduate from high school.
Chance Miller of 9to5Mac noted Cook emphasized Apple’s education efforts:
Cook then went on to tout Apple’s focus on education. The Apple CEO explained that the company was founded by a college dropout, and that half of Apple’s U.S. employment last year were people without a traditional four-year degree. This, Cook said, is something Apple is “very proud of.”
“It’s an honor to serve on this council. I’ve always thought that America is so special in many ways, but at the heart of all of it is people. And that to me is what this group is about. Our company, as you know, was founded by a college dropout, so we never really thought that college degree was a thing that you had to have to do well,” Cook said.
“We’ve always tried to expand our horizons. To that degree, about half of our U.S. employment last year were people who did not have a four-year degree. And we’re very proud of that.”
On the other hand, however, Cook said that Apple wants to go further in its education initiatives. He explained that the company is focused on expanding the availability of skills like coding through its “Everyone Can Code” initiative. According to Cook, the Everyone Can Code curriculum has been adopted by 4,000 schools so far:
Eric Morath and Rebecca Ballhaus of The Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump pushed companies to prepare better workers:
“We need workers. We have to have workers,” President Trump said at Wednesday’s event. “Without the great people, it doesn’t work.”
Mr. Trump visited the first meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, a group that includes Apple Inc. Chief Executive Tim Cook, Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton and Lockheed Martin Corp. CEO Marillyn Hewson. He praised his administration’s efforts to improve worker skills before moving into a lengthy discussion of illegal immigration, reiterating his call for a wall along the southern U.S. border. But, he said, “We’re not shutting down. We want people to come in, but we have to have a process.”
Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, is co-chair of the board, which aims to develop plans for how U.S. employers and the government can better train workers—and pull in those still on the sidelines—to match them with 7.3 million unfilled jobs in the country.