RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Virginia won’t require applicants for nearly 90% of the state’s classified jobs to have college degrees or meet other preferences starting in July.

With the move, Virginia joins states like Maryland and North Carolina that have cut degree and preference requirements for state positions.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) announced the move Tuesday, calling it a “landmark change” in how Virginia hires and recruits people to join the state’s workforce. State-classified positions are salaried jobs covered by the Virginia Personnel Act.

“This landmark change in hiring practices for our state workforce will improve hiring processes, expand possibilities and career paths for job seekers and enhance our ability to deliver quality services,” Youngkin said in a statement.

According to the governor’s office, Virginia state agencies advertise, on average, over 20,000 jobs each year. Virginia’s Secretary of Administration Margaret “Lyn” McDermid said the change would give all applicants “equal consideration.”  

Virginia Secretary of Labor Bryan Slater applauded the impending change, saying the Youngkin administration is working to simplify and speed up universal licensing recognition and the credentialing processes for people looking to live and work in the commonwealth.

“By giving equal consideration to applicants with an equivalent combination and level of training, knowledge, skills, certifications, and experience we have opened a sea of opportunity at all levels of employment for industrious individuals who have the experience, training, knowledge, skills, abilities, and most importantly, the desire to serve the people of Virginia,” Slater said in a statement.