College Student Dropouts and How Agencies Are Adapting

Currently, agencies and organizations, like the One Club, Wieden & Kennedy, TBWA\CHIAT\DAY, and many others, are creating apprenticeship programs that require no degrees. These opportunities have helped to support a new generation that’s giving the middle finger to higher education.

According to an article from LinkedIn, college enrollment is falling as Americans consider the true return on investment of a degree. But, if you look at applications today, many creative and marketing agencies are still enforcing the “four-year degree requirement,” whereas Recent LinkedIn data found 19% of job postings in the United States don’t require a college degree, up from 15% in 2021.

Companies are realizing the talent pool for prospects in the future won’t have a college degree and most young employees will venture into learning specific trades. But are companies adjusting to this new format?

According to the same LinkedIn article, employers are reconsidering hiring practices as younger Americans prioritize learning specific skills over a four-year degree. One of the major benefits of agency apprenticeship programs is they’re free and focused on preparing young talent and those wanting to explore a creative career path with real industry standards that schools are failing to teach.

What’s even more special about some of these programs is how they are marketing to people of color (POC). This is especially important because not only does the industry need a severe diversity makeover, but in most minority homes, the creative industry is also not presented as a real career path. It’s either you become a doctor, lawyer, engineer, or teacher. In fact, Samsung Newsroom reported ethnic minorities feel cultural pressure twice as much as their white peers (38% versus 14%) when choosing a career path — becoming a doctor, lawyer or accountant are among the most accepted career choices.

When it comes to this generation of future workers and college student loans, as the viral sensation Ms. Sweet Brown would say, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” There’s a new wave of workers who are more interested in building skills than debt, and companies need to find newer, more solid requirements when scoping their perfect employee.

Tell us how you feel about more students avoiding college and jumping into their careers.

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