Having a degree will no longer be a requirement for those wanting to work at Kellogg in the UK.
The move is part of the business’ drive to become a more inclusive employer. Reducing barriers to entry and recognising that obtaining a degree doesn’t always have a correlation to the contribution someone can make within a role.
The change was trialled with Kellogg’s Field Sales team last autumn, with it now being rolled out to the wider business. By removing the requirement, the cereal and snacks giant hopes to access a much broader and more diverse group of potential employees.
Research from the Office for Students found people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds are less likely to progress to higher education¹. This means that companies with a degree requirement for entry-level roles miss talent based on the belief that being degree-educated predicts in-role success.
Rosalind Goates, Head of Advocacy and Campaigns at the Social Mobility Foundation said: “Talent is everywhere but opportunity is not. It is encouraging to see top employers such as Kellogg recognise this and remove degree requirements for roles where they are not needed. Doing so allows organisations to assess candidates based on their potential and skills and ensures employers attract from the widest talent pool.
‘’We welcome Kellogg’s decision and hope more employers will follow suit to create a society where talent from all backgrounds is nurtured, harnessed, and rewarded.”
When Sam Thornton, Kellogg’s sales director, decided not to go to university people were surprised: ‘’I spent a while deliberating on whether university was right for me. When you’re surrounded by friends who are accepting places it can be tough not to follow suit, but I knew it wasn’t the path I wanted to go down.
‘’I chose to pursue a career in FMCG and started out by working in my local supermarket on the shop floor, I was then fortunate enough to take part in a management training program. Knowing I was interested in commercial roles, I began to look for opportunities in head office. This took a while as there wasn’t a formal pathway without a degree, however, I eventually secured an entry level role in buying and my career has gone from there.
‘’I was once approached directly for a role at a retailer where I had all the right experience but was unfortunately turned down due to not having a degree. On the whole though, I like to think deciding not to go to university gave me a head start and I have been very lucky that all of my previous employers have recognised it as such. Still now people are surprised to hear I haven’t got a degree and assume I must have gone to university.
‘’It’s always stood out to me how many companies still ask for a degree as part of job requirements, so it’s amazing to see Kellogg remove that barrier.’’
Chris Silcock, Kellogg’s UK managing director, said: “At Kellogg we believe everyone should have a place at the table. And, by ditching the need to have a degree we hope more people from different backgrounds will consider Kellogg as somewhere for their career, not just those who went to university.”
A degree tied to a specific, regulated profession, such as legal counsel or engineers, is still required.
Earlier this year, Kellogg announced it had reached its goal of having 50% male and female representation at manager level and above in the UK. The achievement came three years ahead of schedule.
The business also offers industry leading employee policies, including those focusing on the menopause, pregnancy loss and fertility treatment that the business introduced in 2021.
Kellogg currently has 20 vacancies² at its Manchester based head office, they can be applied for here.
¹OfS Insight 13 Schools, attainment and the role of higher education
²Accurate at time of issue