December 29, 2016
If you are considering getting a bachelor's degree or adding a master's to your educational profile, you'll be in good company on the work front. In fact, for the first time, according to U.S. News and World Report, college-educated workers outpace those without a college degree. If you're wondering, "Should I go to college?" you'll want to consider that employees are now hiring more college grads than ever. Let's see why this is so - and how we all benefit.
How do higher education programs make the economy more productive? A recent Wall Street Journal blog shows that those who have a college degree make up 36 percent of the workforce, compared with just 34 percent with only a high school diploma or less. For years, those with a four-year degree have earned more than individuals with a high school education, according to the blog. Now, employees with degrees make up the largest share of the workforce. The blog goes on to say that "the share of the workforce with a high school diploma or less dropped to 34 percent down five percentage points from 2007." A large share of the 11.6 million jobs gained in the recovery of the economy after the 2008 recession, 73 percent, went to those with bachelor's degrees or higher.
The economic downturn left lots of vacancies for employers to fill once things began to turn around - and lots of people looking for jobs. Employers were able to choose from a vast pool of candidate and given a chance, were able to hire college-educated employees over those without a degree.
This employment trend, looking for a college degree as one of the qualifications for a job applicant, continues to strengthen, as employers of all sizes and industries need additional employees with skills and education in technology, management, information technology and more. As organizations improve the way they do business in a technological and fast-paced world, they look for degreed employees to help them meet the challenges of an ever-changing market.
The percentage of the U.S. population with a college degree is almost half, at 40 percent. In fall 2016, some 20.5 million students were expected to attend universities, evidence of an increase of 5.2 million since 2000, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
By the year 2018, American Public Radio notes the U.S. economy will have 46.8 million job openings, and employers will require college degrees or other postsecondary preparation of 63 percent of their new hires. With a bachelor's or master's degree, you'll be positioned to take advantage of more opportunities in the years ahead.
According to a recent Career Builder survey, one-third of employers say they have increased their educational requirements over the past five years.
Thirty-seven percent of companies say they hire college graduates for positions that in the past were primarily held by people with only high school degrees, and 26 percent say they hire people with master's degrees for jobs that used to go to candidates with bachelor's degrees.
When asked why, 60 percent of the employers hiring college graduates over high school grads said skills for positions have increased, requiring more highly educated employees. More than half said that the competitive job market has allowed them to attract college grads to jobs that historically haven't required higher education.
A degree can potentially improve your chances with hiring managers throughout the country. For many employers, they see many positive outcomes to choosing a college grad. The Chicago Tribune recently reported that more than half of employers who raised education standards as part of their hiring criteria, say they have seen higher quality work as a result. Forty-three percent reported improved productivity and 38 percent reported better communication. When it concerns the bottom line, employers also think a college grad makes sense - one fifth of employers reported a positive impact on their revenue.
Imagine the positive impact your bachelor's or master's degree can have for you.
Finding the right answer to if - or when - it's time to return to school is a personal decision with many facets, including your financial situation, career prospects and your network of support.
SNHU LEADS was first held four years ago to give online students another option to connect with one another on the Southern New Hampshire University Campus in Manchester, N.H.
Mihir Pandya knew he wanted to work in communications in the sports industry. With a bachelor's in journalism, Pandya decided a master's in communication would bring him one step closer to his goals.