Americans looking to land a first job or break into a dream career face their best odds of success in years.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, employers say they are abandoning preferences for college degrees and specific skill sets to speed up hiring and broaden the pool of job candidates.
Many companies added requirements to job postings after the recession, when millions were out of work and human-resources departments were stacked with résumés.
Across incomes and industries, the lower bar to getting hired is helping self-taught programmers attain software engineering roles at companies such as Intel and GitHub, and improving the odds for high-school graduates who aspire to be branch managers at Bank of America and Terminix pest control.
In the first half of 2018, the share of job postings requesting a college degree fell to 30% from 32% in 2017, according to an analysis by labor-market research firm Burning Glass Technologies of 15 million ads on websites such as Indeed and Craigslist. Minimum qualifications have been drifting lower since 2012, when companies sought college graduates for 34% of those positions.
Long work-history requirements have also relaxed: Only 23% of entry-level jobs now ask applicants for three or more years of experience, compared with 29% back in 2012, putting an additional 1.2 million jobs in closer reach of more applicants, Burning Glass data show.