Penguin scraps degree requirement

By Sean Coughlan
Education correspondent

  • Published
  • comments
PenguinImage source, PA
Image caption,
Penguin will no longer require job applicants to have a degree

Publisher Penguin Random House says job applicants will no longer be required to have a university degree.

The firm wants to have a more varied intake of staff and suggests there is no clear link between holding a degree and performance in a job.

This announcement follows a series of financial companies dropping academic requirements for applicants.

Neil Morrison, human resources director, says they want talented staff "regardless of background".

"This is the starting point for our concerted action to make publishing far, far more inclusive than it has been to date," says Mr Morrison.

"We believe this is critical to our future - to publish the best books that appeal to readers everywhere, we need to have people from different backgrounds with different perspectives and a workforce that truly reflects today's society."

It means that having a degree will no longer be a minimum threshold or "filter" for any job the firm offers.

"While graduates remain welcome to apply for jobs, not having been through higher education will no longer preclude anyone from joining," says a statement from the publisher.

Penguin is the latest company to change its recruitment strategy so that there is less emphasis on academic qualifications.

It follows concerns that requiring a degree and recruiting from particular universities was producing too narrow a range of staff.

Last autumn, professional services firm Deloitte changed its selection process so recruiters did not know where candidates went to school or university.

Ernst and Young has scrapped a requirement for school leavers to have the equivalent of three B grades at A-level or graduates to have an upper second class degree.

The accountancy firm is removing all academic and education details from its application process.

PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year also announced that it would stop using A-levels grades as a threshold for selecting graduate recruits.