Data-driven approach may help employers determine value of degrees

September 3, 2014

An article published in University World News says that the belief that an economic value of a degree is tied strictly to hard skills and job capabilities does not correspond with the approach that human resources experts take to evaluating the degrees of job candidates. Sean Gallagher, Chief Strategy Officer at Northwestern University, describes degrees as a “key currency powering the knowledge economy,” but argues that degrees are often used as indicators of soft attributes such as perseverance, acculturation, and leadership ability. Degrees do not simply indicate technical skill or general knowledge, but “signal” competencies to potential employers. However, Gallagher says, the value of a degree as a signal is at risk. Transnational education and a lack of standardized credentialing limit the use of degrees for this purpose. Global harmonization seems unlikely, Gallagher argues, and it may be incumbent upon private-sector recruiters to develop analytics-based solutions capable of correlating degrees, areas of study, and employee performance. University World News