More top South African compani


More top South African companies removing degrees from list of requirements

Top SA companies are casting their net wider when recruiting by adopting an employment policy not as strict about academic requirements.

More top South African compani


No degree? No problem! Well not exactly but more of South Africa’s top companies are removing degrees from their list of minimum requirements.

Ernst & Young in 2016 removed academic qualifications from their entry criteria for their graduate, undergraduate and school leaver programme. Instead they opted for a system of online assessments and numerical tests in order to pick suitable applicants.

This is seen as a way of leveling the playing field and though academic qualifications are still taken into consideration, they are no longer seen as a barrier to getting one’s foot at the door. That’s according to EY’s Maggie Sitwell ahead of their implementation of the new system.

She further explained:

“Our own internal research of over 400 graduates found that screening students based on academic performance alone was too blunt an approach to recruitment. It found no evidence to conclude that previous success in higher education correlated with future success in subsequent professional qualifications undertaken.

“Instead, the research shows that there are positive correlations between certain strengths and success in future professional qualifications.

“Transforming our recruitment policy is intended to create a more even and fair playing field for all candidates, giving every applicant the opportunity to prove their abilities.”

Also read: Eight South African universities ranked in world top 1000

This however does not mean that academic qualifications are now being rendered redundant and according to Seth Trudeau and Keno Omu of the African Leadership University, it’s about how students are being taught rather than what they are taught.


“Business leaders frequently say there are jobs, but a lack of skilled talent to do them, There are two commonly cited explanations. The first is that financial, human capital and infrastructure constraints have a negative impact on the range and quality of skills students graduate with. The second is the disconnect between what universities teach and the skills needed in the market,”they said

The pair further stated that most African universities reward ineffective ways of learning and this hinders them from efficiently producing leaders capable of making contributions towards the continent’s progress.

“Universities are the planning stage for a society’s aspirations. African universities must begin to produce employable leaders who will meet the challenges that are hindering the continent’s progress,” they added