College degree discrimination—how to find the best candidates, regardless of background

Talent is grown and developed through deep practice; it’s not something we are born with. Having a degree isn’t the only proof point, and candidates shouldn’t be dinged if they don’t have one.

Here are skills to seek in candidates, regardless of background:


Be on the lookout for individuals who are passionate about their field. You may find them through a social account they’ve created specifically for their work. These are the people who create and share, who follow industry leaders they admire on social and who expand their skill sets with courses and tutorials at places such as School of Motion, Domestika, YouTube and TikTok. For them, it’s more than a career or a job. It’s a part of their identity.

Drive and know-how

Seeks those who find a way to exercise their craft even when it isn’t easy, who push past roadblocks that would make many others give up. The sort of people who take an in-house job at a nonprofit, for instance, and who make something worth seeing despite having little to no resources.

Integrity and grit

Someone who’s a standout when it comes to character and work ethics, radiating honesty and dependability. The kind of person who navigates tough situations and challenging tasks with grace and determination, always staying true to their word and following through no matter how challenging the situation or task at hand.

Curiosity and the willingness to change

Look for those who stay up to date with trends and seek continuous discussion about the changing landscape within their disciplines. These are the people who experiment with new tools on their own time while also staying organized with Notion or joining Slack groups and Discord servers in their personal or freelance life.