Virginia will no longer require college degrees for most state government jobs, Governor Glenn Youngkin (R.) announced Tuesday.
State agencies will not require degrees or favor job candidates that have them for 90 percent of state jobs, Youngkin said. "This landmark change in hiring practices for our state workforce will improve hiring processes, expand possibilities and career paths for job seekers, and enhance our ability to deliver quality services," Youngkin said in a statement announcing the change, which will take effect on July 1.
Youngkin's decision follows similar moves in states including Maryland, Utah, Pennsylvania, Alaska, Colorado, North Carolina, and New Jersey. Supporters of the policy say it will expand opportunities for job-seekers, while critics have expressed concern about lowering standards for state jobs and devaluing higher education.
The reaction to Youngkin's decision in Virginia has been generally positive, with some Democrats praising the move. Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg and Virginia secretary of labor Bryan Slater celebrated the policy, with the latter saying it "opened a sea of opportunity at all levels of employment."