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Jeffrey Neal, Author of, provides his take on the Office of Personnel Management’s new list of government jobs with education requirements

The Office of Personnel Management has released a new list, saying 27% of government jobs need education requirements. This comes as part of an executive order signed by President Trump in June to shift towards skills assessments rather than educational qualifications in hiring federal employees.

The list includes roles like attorneys and nurses, which generally require degrees outside of government. OPM also notes the professional associations which recommend these roles be filled by people with the proper education requirements.

“A lot of what [OPM] put in there … are things that people would want somebody to have a degree,” Jeffrey Neal, chairman of the National Academy of Public Administration and former chief human capital officer at the Department of Homeland Security, said. “For example, physicians. I really don’t want to go to a doctor who has no degree and no real medical education, but who wrote a good resume.”

Neal complimented OPM for putting together this new requirement in a little over three months, something he was skeptical of when the executive order was originally released. The next steps, he says, are now making sure federal agencies are hiring the right people with the right skills for the job.

“What OPM is mandating is much better, professionally done assessments,” Neal said. “You actually are able to identify the real skills that are required for the job, and then have some way other than these self-assessment questionnaires that people have been using for several years now.”

OPM is requesting federal agencies’ human capital offices provide feedback on the list later this month.

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