Untapped Potential: HBCUs

by Dee Phelps
February 14, 2020
Untapped Potential: HBCUs

Did you know there is a whole population that remains untapped amongst many work industries? Be it Silicon Valley or Wall Street, a lack of a certain alma mater seems to be consistent, and what is that, you ask? Well, that would be talent from HBCUs. Otherwise known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Schools like Howard University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, South Carolina State University, and Grambling State University have laid the tracks and the foundational education blocks for African American students over the last 183 years. They have also produced an array of quality candidates that are often overlooked.

HBCU’s, no matter where they are or when they were founded, have the same pillars that surround them (Listed Below). This is what makes a candidate from an HBCU stand out above many others you may come across. Let’s look at why tapping into an HBCU Talent Pool would benefit you.

THE PILLARS

Scholarship

HBCUs were originally started to train teachers and tradesman, that expanded into vocational trades, medicines, the arts, and now they produce some of the top STEM professionals. Here are the facts on what HBCU’s produce:

  • HBCUs graduate 40% of STEM degrees
  • 60% of all engineering degrees are earned by African American students
  • 50% of Teachers and 40% of Healthcare professionals are educated at HBCU’s
  • 70% of African American Doctors and Dentist earn their degrees at an HBCU’s
  • 50% of Lawyers and 80% of Judges are graduates of HBCU’s
  • They produce significant science degree holders: agriculture (51.6 percent), biology (42.2 percent), computer science (35 percent), physical science (43 percent), and social science (23.2 percent)

Culture

When it comes to HBCU’s, they were started as institutions meant to provide African American students with a nurturing environment to explore their collective identities and cultures. These institutions still hold these principles today and thus have created environments vastly different than that of your normal college or university. You get areas of open creativity and growth whether it be in mathematics or music, engineering or marketing. Students at these schools have a more open college experience, tend to have more work experience prior to graduation (rather a part-time job or internship) and despite it being predominately African American diversity is not a misnomer. They can fit in various environments, especially those in which progression, creativity, and advancement are encouraged.

Tradition

Many HBCU courses are designed to teach pride, legacy, and tradition. Important core curriculum such as student success or humanities-based courses requires they learn the importance of time management, business skills, work ethics, and how to succeed in the first semesters. Most institutions have a large focus also on working with their local communities and taking on issues that impact those communities and cities they reside in. Graduates from these institutions of higher learning hold these traditions close to them, and they become engrained in them and become who they are both personally and professionally. Companies/clients want an employee who is going to be loyal and has pride for their brand, and if you hire an HBCU graduate, that’s exactly what you get. Recruiting talent with those key skills and standards is a no-brainer!

While many of these great schools have great STEAM programs, they also produce top leaders in communications, marketing, and health as well. You could cast a net for almost any job in America and find someone specialized in it, with a great work ethic and who is well rounded at an HBCU. Are you ready to recruit the best-untapped potential of HBCU talent?

Dee Phelps

Marketing Coordinator – Content Team at Kinetix
First things first, the important business: Grits with butter or with sugar?
Hi, I’m Dee I'm an experienced Creative Video Editor/Marketing Coordinator who gives that extra pizzazz to the content you see from our clients and internal brand. I've been drinking the Kinetix punch for a little over 6 months now and have completely fallen for our RPO model. I'm a proud puppy parent with a habit of using gifs and memes to express myself and communicate.
Dee Phelps

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