President Trump is set to sign an executive order on Friday to focus federal hiring on skills over a college degree. 

President Trump will be signing an executive order to focus federal hiring on a job applicant’s skills over a college degree. 

The federal government is the country’s largest employer, private or public sector, employing more than 2.1 million people.

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and advisor, said, “This will ensure that we’re able to hire based on talent and expand our universe to qualified candidates.”

What to expect

The executive order aims to create more pathways for the two-thirds of American adults without a bachelor’s degree. Ivanka Trump encourages the private sector to follow the administration’s lead. 

Brooke Rollins, director of Domestic Policy Council, called the executive order “A transformational effort to lift all Americans up and get all Americans a real shot and a pathway to the American dream.” 

Instead of relying on education credentials and rating questionnaires, the Office of Personnel Management, the Human Resources department for the federal government, will use assessment methods that more directly determine the capabilities of the job applicant. 

This does not mean that OPM is eliminating the college degree requirement, but it means that job applicants “cannot use that to force out someone else from a certification who has qualifications for the job,” said a senior administration official. 

The federal government will be working with agencies to implement the directives issued by the executive order over the next few months. 

Friday’s meeting

Ivanka Trump is co-chair of the American Workforce Advisory Board alongside Wilbur Ross, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The American Workforce Advisory Board was founded in 2018 to advise the administration on worker policy and its members include leaders from higher education, large corporations, industry associations and policy makers. 

President Trump is set to sign the executive order at a meeting with the board and the US Government Council. Together, the board and council promoted alternatives to traditional college degree programs, such as training and vocational education, and expanded apprenticeship opportunities. According to Ivanka Trump, there have been 750,000 new apprentices since the current administration took office.

At the meeting, the workforce advisory board is expected to announce details of a private-sector ad campaign led by IBM, Apple, and the nonprofit Ad Council to promote alternative pathways to education.

Ivanka Trump said, “The President built the most inclusive workforce in the history of this country prior to that pandemic, and will rebuild it once again.” 

Candy Chan

Candy Chan is studying History with a focus on War and Revolution at Barnard College. She is currently a staff writer at the Columbia Daily Spectator, covering issues pertaining to Columbia's...