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people and community no degree? no problem. here’s how we’re fueling a stronger talent pipeline

2 min read | june 16, 2023

Colin Galloway earned decent grades in high school, but he wasn’t interested in going to university. The world was out there, waiting to be discovered, and he wanted to begin pursuing his own path as soon as possible.

Today, with consistent, upward job mobility and a wealth of experience during his 22-year career at Chevron, Galloway—from a small village near St. Andrews, Scotland—has done exactly that. Working offshore, onshore and everything in between, he’s explored, traveled and adventured across the globe—all without a college degree.

image of a person climbing a ladder

the paper ceiling

Galloway’s success is just one example of why Chevron, recently named one of the top 50 best companies for people without a degree, is committed to skills-based hiring and new ways of recruiting.

In the U.S., 75% of new jobs insist on a bachelor’s degree, while only 40% of potential applicants have one. This invisible barrier, called the paper ceiling, comes at every turn for workers from untraditional backgrounds, who didn’t go to college or didn’t finish.

“Degrees have their place, but we can stretch our imagination to get around that barrier,” said Galloway, who is now one of Chevron’s operations and maintenance competency management advisors. “There’s lots of talent out there, all over the place, with various backgrounds. Let’s open opportunities to train them within the company.”

moving on up

Galloway credits his ability to move around as one of the key facets of his success. He calls it “the snowball effect.” During his 10 years working offshore in the North Sea, for example, Galloway took on various roles, from instrument technician to major capital projects operations.

“Going to work offshore and then to let’s say, a refinery, requires different operations and maintenance training, but it’s doable,” he said. “In each of these job roles, we all gather a ton of transferable skills to make these moves possible.”

Early in his career, he mentored incoming apprentices to develop vocational-based skills in operations, mechanical, electrical or instrumentation. These multi-industry qualifications help Colin and Chevron recruit top talent and send them into the energy industry well prepared.

“The people I work with want me to be involved and find solutions, regardless of my background.”

colin galloway
operations and manufacturing competency management advisor

full circle

Today in his new role, Galloway is creating more opportunities for a broader spectrum of people and encouraging them to apply for jobs they once believed were unobtainable.

“We’re continuing to put the tools in place for people to rise up and succeed now more than ever,” he said.

what we’re doing

Recognizing that the energy industry is transitioning, we seek a diversity of talent to meet future global energy needs.

  • Our partnership with Opportunity@Work helps us find and source potential employees called STARS (Skilled Through Alternative Routes). These candidates are recruited through community colleges, workforce training programs, certifications, military training, on-the-job learning or other nontraditional paths.
  • Together with the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Greater Houston Partnership, we’ve helped launch a skills-based initiative that aims to attract new, diverse entry-level candidates.
  • Chevron takes part in the Business Roundtable Multiple Pathways Initiative to help to strengthen our hiring and talent management practices around the value of skills, rather than just degrees.

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