New government’s hiring practices, applicant’s skills will be given priority.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Lerner, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday that will overhaul the government’s hiring practices so that a job applicant’s skills will be given priority over a college degree.

    Administration officials say the shift will allow the government to hire a more inclusive workforce based on skill instead of a person’s education level.
  2. AlK11

    AlK11 Active Member

    Not bad, but how do you prove one person has more skill than another? I'm just guessing here but there is probably a correlation between how much education someone has and how much skill they have. Not sure how much of a difference this will make.
  3. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    So, now we're going to downplay the importance of earning a higher education. I'm not surprised - coming from someone who did not EARN a college degree.
  4. not4profit

    not4profit Active Member

    Very little emphasis on higher ed in the federal government workforce anyway. It is usually not even a qualifying factor. However, to sift through sometimes 1000 applicants, HR and selecting officials have to find some sort of cutoff or way of prioritizing applicants to interview. 50 people out of 500 applicants make a cert list but you can only interview 9. How do you do that without picking the obvious criteria of education? So education was already only being applied informally anyway, except in the case of lawyers, engineers, etc. I don't think this will amount to any real change.

    Is it considered irony when a guy who owned a failed university says education is not important? Or is that a different word?
  5. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    The figureheads who run this country (into the ground) are imbeciles.
  6. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    That's not how I read it.
    Education is still important but the skill set will be valued even more.

    How one obtains and proves skills?
    By Education, Training, Experience, Apprentice, and Internship.
    Maybe there will be a Qualifications Skills framework?

    The British model of registering Engineers puts a high priority on what is UK SPEC.
    The applicant needs to match all the sections in the UK SPEC.

    Interesting to see how this will evolve.

    Maybe nano, Micro degrees and experience will be sufficient to get some government jobs?
  7. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    I don't know the details, but I like the concept.

    Elon Musk has said very similar things. See this earlier thread --

    "There's no need to even have a college degree. At all."

    Of course it's easier for a (relatively) small company like SpaceX than for a huge bureaucratic monster like the federal government with its armies of HR goons. Elon knows what he wants to see in a new hire and he and his people know how to spot it. (And he knows that it doesn't necessarily correlate all that well with the individual's degree level.)

    This naturally raises lots of interesting issues.

    What is the function of a college degree? Everyone assumes that a college degree is a good thing (I'm less sure), something that employers should want, but why?

    Which delivers us to the meaning, purpose and value of education, to say nothing of how education is conveyed.

    Are degrees about job skills, or do degrees impart something far more intangible, teaching individuals the social graces, imparting elite tastes in literature and art, and making them into "educated persons" and somehow elevating them from the common herd into the aristocracy?

    Is the old "finishing school" model even viable, the model in which adolescents progress from high-school direct onto some beautiful leafy campus modeled on Oxford, only to graduate a few years later as "educated men and women" with all the education that they will need for the rest of their lives? Was it ever viable?

    Are degrees about conveying skills and information to students, or are they about certifying that the information and skills have been conveyed? The prior learning assessment model and its European relatives like "VAE" are recognition of that distinction, as are the many skills certifications people can earn in computer software or whatnot.

    How does lifelong learning factor into this, the need for workers to be constantly retrained so as to remain current on changing technology? Where is this lifelong learning conveyed? In on-the-job training, in various skills oriented short courses, in independent study, or where? If it really necessary or even possible for universities to serve as gate keepers for all this?

    And finally, returning to Elon's opinions, when we are talking about adults, isn't a record of past accomplishment a better indicator of future accomplishment than possession of a college degree, paid for by the parents (or student loans) while an adolescent lives away from home with no supervision for the first time, spending all his time getting drunk and trying to get laid, with the minimum studying necessary to stay in school?

    Bottom line, I have serious doubts about how much effect President Trump's order will have on the massive and deeply entrenched civil service bureaucracy, to say nothing of the higher education establishment, which will probably continue doing whatever they want to do (and screaming their foolish heads off if anyone tries to force change on them). But it does raise deep and interesting issues touching on the value and efficacy of post-secondary education.

    Light really needs to shine on what I'll call the Educational-Bureaucratic Complex that seems to be hugely resistant to change and hugely defensive of its own cushy elite prerogatives.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  8. Xspect

    Xspect New Member

    Could it be a way for nepotism to flourish and not have discrimination lawsuits?
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Very, very few civil service positions have defined educational requirements. Professional positions, sure, but very little else. Some "ladder" positions that can be entered at multiple grades will allow you to enter at a GS-7 or -9 because of your degree. But that's about it. Everything else is already based on qualifications.

    When I entered Civil Service, it was as a GS-15. I qualified for consideration for the position based on the stated requirements, which did NOT include a particular degree level. When I asked for an SQF (special qualification factor) of Step 10, that was based on my private sector pay, not my education.

    Some of my peers do not even have college degrees; they built their careers from within on performance. There remains in the civil service an under-appreciation for college degrees. Yes, the federal workforce is, on average, more educated than the private sector, but there is almost no quid pro quo regarding degrees and career progress.

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