Having access to quality jobs is a critical component of upward economic mobility. Yet, in the United States, a large majority of well-paying jobs require a four-year degree just to apply. Currently, around 60% of US workers don’t have a four-year degree and are held back from realising their full potential. As 76% of Black adults do not have a four-year degree, this opportunity gap disproportionately impacts Black Americans. OneTen and Deloitte are working to change that.
As a coalition of more than 70 employers, over 100 talent developers and leading community-based organisations, OneTen is committed to helping hire, promote and advance one million Black individuals without a four-year college degree into well-paying jobs by 2030. Jasmine, a wife and mother of two young children, is one person whose economic opportunity has been transformed by skills-first hiring practices. Referred to a Deloitte job posting through OneTen, she now works within Deloitte’s Executive Service Center (ESC), an administrative team that offers virtual support for senior leaders across the U.S. With more opportunities in front of her, Jasmine is now balancing her full-time role with pursuing a four-year degree in business analytics. She sat down to share how her experiences have empowered her to succeed in her new role and given her the foundation for a meaningful, family-sustaining career.
“We all have skills that we've learnt from other jobs, which are valuable and needed. It's hard when you feel overlooked because you don't have a degree, but a skills-based approach can create more opportunities.”
- Jasmine, Executive Coordinator, Deloitte US.
Tell me about your role at Deloitte and what it involves day-to-day?
I'm an executive co-ordinator, so I work with senior leaders across Deloitte. I have the opportunity to take on diverse tasks that help support the team and help me get to know all the unique aspects of each area of the organisation. Every day is different, which is helping me discover my strengths and expand my experience.
How has OneTen set you up for success?
OneTen creates opportunities to get into an organisation by putting skills first instead of degrees. It has created such a strong community that helps people without four-year degrees find jobs and sustain healthy families. With them, I found so much valuable, ongoing support that’s really helped guide me through every step of this journey. Before this role, I was focused on my family, so initially, I was nervous about applying. But when OneTen worked with Deloitte hiring managers to explain the role, the day-to-day experience and the opportunity to move up in the organisation, it seemed like a dream job. OneTen also offers scholarships and certifications [in collaboration with their member organisations]. I’m taking one of their certifications, which they offered a scholarship for, while trying to gain as much knowledge as I can while in my current position.
Why is it so important for companies to consider hiring people who don't have four-year degrees?
We all have skills that we've learnt from other jobs, which are valuable and needed. It's hard when you feel overlooked because you don't have a degree, but a skills-based approach can create more opportunities. People have the real-world experience that companies need without a degree and we can teach tangible skills that people with degrees might not have. Sometimes people just need an extra push or a job to secure them while they're going to college.
What kind of impact has this job had on your life?
So much has changed. My husband is in the military, so we travelled a lot with his job while I cared for our family. But I knew I wanted something else: to start my own career. Now everything feels within reach because we can support our family and save up for a house. Everything is opening up for us. My six-year-old daughter always says, “Mum, I'm so proud of you,” and it’s nice to have those words of affirmation because it makes me feel like this is all worth it. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to build relationships with the different people I've met. One of the many things we have in common is that we always keep striving.
What are your future career ambitions?
Originally, I wanted to earn my four-year degree and get everything under my belt, then go somewhere where I could apply that knowledge. But, once I landed this role with Deloitte and saw all the different, fast-paced situations that came with it, I realised I loved all the challenges that come with consulting. I started the conversation with my manager and she's been able to align my role and tasks with those goals and what I want to do within the organisation.
Why is it important for companies to support systemic change, with respect to job opportunities?
To me, systemic change means more people can be hired based on skills and then feel empowered to get their degrees. I believe that we’d have fewer people without homes, struggling to make ends meet, or having to choose between going to college and feeding their families. So, I think my eyes are opening to know that not everything requires a degree and sometimes if you have the knowledge, the skills, or even the ability to retain the information and learn, then positive change is possible.
How would ‘past Jasmine,’ the five years ago version of you, feel about present-day Jasmine and everything you’ve been able to accomplish?
Jasmine from five years ago would never have imagined where I am now. I think she would be really proud of where I’ve come from, where I’ve gotten to, and where I’ll go next. I feel proud of what I’ve accomplished, and I know I’m a whole different person with a lifetime of new opportunities.
Since OneTen’s inception, more than 50,000 people have been hired through the coalition and countless more have increased their access to economic opportunity and mobility. Deloitte is a founding member of the OneTen coalition and, as part of that commitment, has launched a series of pilots to establish processes for attracting, selecting, developing and progressing professionals without four-year degrees.
Deloitte’s US Purpose Office recently announced a continuation of its commitment to OneTen as part of a wider $1.5B Social Impact Investment over the next 10 years to help increase social and economic mobility.