Why Your Skills Matter as Much as Your Degree, and Why That's Good for You and Employers | Markle | Advancing America's Future

Why Your Skills Matter as Much as Your Degree, and Why That’s Good for You and Employers

Publication Date: May 24, 2018

Jacobo Hernandez has a dream: Build a company to solve a persistent problem in the music business — how to make sure you get credit for your work.

That probably will mean linking up virtually all the people who contribute to a piece of music. The self-taught guitarist (jazz, blues and flamenco) and mostly self-taught computer coder wants to be the person who figures out how to do it.

And now, Hernandez can see his dream a bit more clearly. He’s moving up the skills ladder by refining his coding skills through a program at UMOS, a south side community nonprofit.

TechHire is part of an emerging school of thought that places more emphasis on a person’s skills than on their degrees or other credentials. Among the biggest proponents is Skillful, which incubated the idea in Colorado over the past two years and is expanding to other states including Wisconsin. Degrees still matter — and should — but when they become virtually a generic requirement, it leaves some people on the sidelines who could have the skill set to be in the game.

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