Looking beyond the college degree

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Here are three of the week’s top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:

Looking beyond the college degree The labor shortage is prompting more hiring managers to drop college degree requirements for certain jobs, said Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez at Fortune. The jobs site Glassdoor “found that companies such as Google, EY, and Penguin Random House” are no longer requiring degrees for roles such as “network specialists, financial services managers, and software engineers.” Other companies, like IBM, Microsoft, and Apple “have focused on measuring skills through projects or tests.” Policy experts say the tight labor market has forced companies to re-evaluate their hiring standards. “Degrees will continue to persist as a measure of skills and competency.” But especially in the tech fields, more applicants are coming through alternative routes, such as coding boot camps.

Rolling over your 401(k) There’s no simple way for former employees to move their retirement savings, said Alexis Leondis at Bloomberg. The process is still generally not electronic, and most workers simply “leave their 401(k) accounts where they are” when they switch employers. But no matter how organized you are, if you’ve had multiple jobs, it’s “usually prudent to roll over money from an old 401(k) into a new retirement account.” Choose a direct rollover, “which means the funds will be headed straight for a new account.” If the funds are sent to you instead of directly to a new account, you have only 60 days to put them in your new 401(k). If you have company stock in your account, you may be responsible for calculating the cost basis. “Also, remember, that if you’ve taken a loan from your 401(k), it’s usually due when you leave your employer.”

Bigger discounts on wireless service Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile are dangling free iPhones for a long-term commitment, said Drew FitzGerald at The Wall Street Journal. “AT&T kicked off the trend in October by offering high-end smartphones such as the iPhone 12 free with an eligible trade-in device.” Its discount has since dropped to $700, which is still enough to cover “the entire price of an iPhone 12 Mini and most of a standard iPhone 12.” Verizon matched the $700 offer (or $800 for an Android model), while T-Mobile is going even further, offering $1,000. The companies are willing to foot the bill for those purchases “in exchange for reliable revenue.” The deals require that you keep the wireless services for at least two years.

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.


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