Most employers require at least a high school degree or an equivalency certificate for most jobs they fill. Some jobs require more advanced thought and responsibilities and, therefore, may require more advanced education. When you determine job qualifications, make sure that you focus on the applicant's ability, not just the degree. After all, there are plenty of people who have degrees but do not have the skills to do a specific job.

Education doesn't just mean school. It's important to remember that education doesn't necessarily come from a traditional academic setting. Training that a person may have received from a part-time job or an internship or previous employment may also be considered education. People sometimes have hobbies or other interests outside the scope of their employment that may cause them to take classes at a local junior college or at a community center. Be sure to keep these in mind as you write education requirements for your positions. Knowledge comes from many sources and you want to tap into as many of them as possible.

For employers of 15 or more. There are some lawyers and consultants in the field of employment discrimination who will advise you to drop all degree requirements, relevant or not, because they invite discrimination claims. However, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says only that employers can't set educational requirements so high that they tend to restrict certain protected groups of people from getting hired or promoted. Again, the safe road to take is to focus on skills, not on a piece of paper. If you do require a degree or level of educational attainment, be prepared to justify why the degree itself is a necessary requirement as opposed to an ability.


High school graduation requirements for applicants have been found discriminatory when applied to positions that do not require that level of knowledge. While it may be necessary to read in order to perform the duties of a certain job, it might not be necessary to have graduated from high school to have acquired the necessary reading skills.