Massachusetts will no longer require a college degree for state jobs except for “when absolutely necessary” due to a new state executive order intended to make the commonwealth more “inclusive.”

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Governor Healey signed the measure, entitled “Instituting Skill-Based Hiring Practices,” on January 25th. This document asserts that “skills-based hiring practices will strengthen the Commonwealth’s workforce, increase access to quality jobs for non-traditional candidates with varied backgrounds and work experiences. The measure will also reduce structural barriers that results in inequities towards pay and has further access to employment  which translates that such practices will build a “workforce that is representative of the diversity of the state.”

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The guideline directs hiring managers to consider a full set of competencies that candidates will bring to the prospective position beyond traditional education and will also prohibit a minimum level of education from being included in job listings unless the Human Resources Division determines that a particular level of education is necessary to perform the task at hand after completing a job analysis.

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Effective immediately, ALL prospective candidates will now be assessed based on their skills from real-world experience, military service, apprenticeships, certificate programs, internships, and other on-the-job programs.

Healey reiterated it's NOT all about obtaining a college diploma:

“This Executive Order directs our administration to focus on applicants’ skills and experiences, rather than college credentials. It will expand our applicant pool and help us build a more inclusive and skilled workforce than ever before.”

Jacob Ammentorp Lund
Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Several state labor and education leaders issued statements in support of the order that was passed in Boston which also offers an “inclusive workforce strategy.” as stated by The Bay State's AFL-CIO President Chrissy Lynch.

Western New England University President Robert Johnson also gave his stamp of approval stating this order will help in “breaking down unnecessary barriers and creating equal opportunities” and will benchmark a more inclusive workforce.”

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BOTTOM LINE: It's a work in progress, but this step is moving us in the right direction as more economic opportunities will enter the futuristic picture.

(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of

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