On Monday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an order that makes skills and work experience more important than a college degree for some state jobs. New Jersey is the seventh U.S. state to make this change.
Murphy made the news at a press conference with Allison Chris Myers, who is the acting chair of the Civil Services Commission.
“Skills and experience gained through previous work are just as important, if not more important, than having a certain degree,” said Murphy.
The order tells the commission to make a list of all the jobs that need college degrees and figure out which ones can be changed. Officials said that the new policy could help families all over the state move up in life and that some jobs could pay up to $120,000.
It comes at a time when state and local governments across the country are struggling with a lack of workers.
Phil Murphy said, “We are taking down the so-called paper ceiling.” “Arbitrary degree requirements have put a lot of smart and talented New Jerseyans at a big disadvantage on the job market and in the workplace.”
Murphy told private businesses that they should think about making the same changes.
A Statistica study from 2022 says that a quarter of the people who live in New Jersey only have a Bachelor’s degree. The study found that about 17% have a graduate or professional degree.