One of the trends in the cannabis sector is the growing number of higher education institutions offering cannabis courses at all levels, including degree programs. This trend comes at a time when another trend — doing away with college degree qualifications — is sweeping through the human resources field. So should or shouldn’t marijuana companies hire people with college degrees?
For starters, those arguing against college degrees in the cannabis industry or anywhere else say that those degrees create a widening divide that locks out a huge majority of people from the lucrative job opportunities available. Statistics show that a little more than one-half of all Americans don’t have college degrees, so demanding a college degree as a job requirement worsens the inequalities in the society. Additionally, marijuana industry veterans assert that the industry was built by innovative, risk-taking people who didn’t have any college degrees, so they see no reason why the college degrees are making their appearance now that the industry is firmly on a trajectory of growth.
Removing or not considering college degrees when hiring also widens the options since more people will express interest in an available position. This is particularly necessary at this time when there is a general labor shortage in most industries.
However, the side in support of college degrees has its own strong arguments. For example, they say that there are specific roles within the industry that require personnel with college degrees. For example, the industry needs attorneys who have specialized in cannabis law Additionally, many in the industry see college degrees and other such qualifications as a way to increase access to jobs in this growing sector. This is because the degree provides the credentials that one needs to get a job on merit rather than relying on the “old-boy” network and other such relationships while looking for a job.
Esai Miera, founder of Colorado Cannabis Education, belongs to this school of thought that sees marijuana education as a ticket to a job even if you don’t personally have a connection to someone within the industry. He adds that cannabis education is needed to move the industry forward since it has reached a point where specialized skills are now needed if any company is to stand out and beat the stiff competition.
As things stand, it isn’t easy to tip the degree-or-no-degree debate in one direction or other. There are so many nuances to this that each company, such as American Cannabis Partners, may have to handle this matter on a case-by-case basis.
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