The state of Minnesota on Monday said it would eliminate degree requirements for most of its jobs, joining a growing list of states taking that step.
An executive order signed by Governor Tim Walz, a Democrat, noted that Minnesota’s government would have trouble hiring and retaining employees, given the tight job market, and cited barriers including that “some job postings state that a degree is required, even if a degree is not necessarily needed to succeed in the job.”
He ordered the state’s employment agency to revise its guidance by January to develop a hiring process that “emphasizes skills and work experience, utilizing degree requirements as a minimum qualification only as necessary” based on state or federal licensure or certification requirements, law or “in rare circumstances where required skills or knowledge can only be obtained through degree programs.”
Walz said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) that the new rules would affect about 75 percent of state jobs. “In Minnesota, if you’re qualified for a state job, then you have a fair chance at competing for it—with or without a 4-year degree,” he said.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 16 states have, either through legislative changes or governors’ orders, stopped requiring a four-year degree for many or most jobs.