Trends & Predictions

The Degree Continues to Be an Important Factor in College Recruiting

May 17, 2024 | By Kevin Gray

Job Market
A group of college graduates.

TAGS: nace insights, surveys, trends and predictions,

Almost 20% of employers that responded to NACE’s Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update survey have had discussions within the last six months about removing the college degree as a key requirement for entry-level positions.

Still, nearly 80% of respondents expect that there will be no change in the bachelor’s degree requirement for entry-level positions in the next two years. The respondents that expect the bachelor’s degree requirement to increase mainly cite an increase in skill requirements of entry-level jobs and their partnerships with colleges and universities.

Meanwhile, nearly all of the respondents expecting the bachelor’s degree requirement to decrease expect a shift in focus to skills instead of the degree. They also believe this decrease will occur due to boosting equity in recruiting, removing barriers, and meeting diversity goals; and addressing a talent shortage.

The Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update survey was conducted from February 6 – March 15, 2024. Of the 226 total respondents, 185 were NACE employer members, representing 21.0% of eligible member respondents. The Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update survey was also distributed to nonmember companies; this group provided an additional 41 responses. The survey updates hiring projections for the Class of 2024; those projections were collected from NACE employer members from August 2 – September 18, 2023, and were reported in Job Outlook 2024, which was published in November 2023. NACE members can access the Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update survey dashboard on NACEWeb.

Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update

NACE Dashboard: Access And Analyze the Job Outlook 2024 Spring Update Survey Data

NACE members have access to the full set of data from the survey through its dashboard in MyNACE. This is an invaluable way for your team to gain insight into trends and issues, and enhance your ability to develop solutions and advocate for and market your department. For directions and tips on how to use a NACE research report dashboard, please see this YouTube video.


blank default headshot of a user Kevin Gray is an associate editor at NACE. He can be reached at