Opinion | See workers as workers, not a college credential (2023)


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Opinion | See workers as workers, not a college credential (1)
(Video) The Most Successful People Explain Why a College Degree is USELESS
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The path to prosperity in one of the richest nations in the worldconstrictedevident in recent decades - especially for those without a college education.More than 62 percentof Americans age 25 and older don't have a bachelor's degree, and theincome gapbetween those with a university education and those without has never been greater. 2021,the differencebetween the average earnings of younger workers with a bachelor's degree and their peers with a high school diploma just $22,000 -the biggestsince the Federal Reserve Bank of New York began tracking revenue in 1990. This is happening even as the cost of college is skyrocketing and unaffordable for many. This has fueled fear, bitterness and a sense of alienation among millions who feel left out of an economy that does not value them.

Making college more accessible is important, but there are other keys to the doors of opportunity as well. With an executive order issued on Jan. 18, his first full day as governor, Pennsylvania's Josh Shapiro used one of them: heeliminatedrequiring a four-year college degree for the vast majority of jobs in state government, a similar shift made by Maryland and Utah last year. This demonstrates good policy and leadership, and represents a concrete shift in hiring philosophy that stops reducing people to one qualification and conveys that everyone – graduate or otherwise – has experience and values ​​that employers should consider. It's a move — and a mindset — that other leaders should consider.

The decision was motivated in part by the realities of a tight job market. Unemployment in Pennsylvania is 3.9% -- close to the national average of 3.5% -- and lower than before the pandemic. Public and private employers are struggling to find qualified candidates, which has prompted a reassessment of hiring criteria. as Mr. Shapiroorder notes, "In the modern job market, candidates acquire knowledge, skills, and abilities through a variety of means, including apprenticeships, on-the-job training, military training, and technical schools."

His move opens up 92% of state government jobs - roughly 65,000 jobs - to anyone with "relevant work experience and skills-based training, regardless of education". Job postings will emphasize experience over education.

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The non-profit organization Opportunity@Work has been promoting the idea of ​​skills and experience-based hiring since 2015. She estimates that 50% of the US workforce is made up of workers who acquired their skills through alternative routes, such as apprenticeships, military service, trade schools, certificate programs and on-the-job training, rather than earning bachelor's degrees - a large reservoir of untapped and underpaid talents. If employers don't have a strategy to leverage that pool, said Byron Auguste, CEO and co-founder of the group, "they don't have a talent strategy — they only have half of a talent strategy."

If the United States doesn't find ways to harness all of this talent, we won't be able to solve our most pressing problems, like climate change and pandemic preparedness, or any stronger and fairer country. Many Americans view our society and economy, which is designed to serve the needs of well-connected elites and provide more benefits to people who have been through college or know how to operate the system, as deeply unfair. And many feel that political leaders do not care about them and that governments and institutions do not work for them. The vacancies may seem insignificant, but they show the government is listening and helping to build trust with those who may feel invisible or undervalued by parts of the labor market.

The private sector wasstep by step in this directionalready. Key players adopting skills-based hiring include General Motors, Bank of America, Google, Apple and Accenture. IBM isacceptedas a special leader; about half of job openings in the US no longer require a four-year degree.

This trend is centered on so-called "middle-skill jobs," which require education or training beyond high school, according to a survey.Post 2022by researchers at Harvard Business School and Emsi Burning Glass, a labor market data company. These middle-skilled jobs, the report says, "have long served as an important stepping stone into the middle class."

During the Great Recession many of these stepping stones were removed. Unemployment was high, and many employers responded with "degree inflation"—putting college education requirements on jobs that didn't previously require them—although the work involved remained the same. As a result, according to the report, "an estimated 80 million working-age Americans have been barred from important avenues of advancement at a time when income inequality was already widening."

In recent years, inflation of this magnitude has begun to recede. If this "degree reset" continues, another 1.4 million jobs will become available for workers without a college degree over the next five years.

It can also help make the American workforce more diverse and inclusive in many ways. Black and Hispanic job seekers areless possiblehave a bachelor's degree than non-Hispanic Whites and Asian Americans.rural Americanswould also benefit; only 25 percent of them have a bachelor's degree or higher. "No part of the country is more disadvantaged by diploma verification than rural America," Auguste said.

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The public sector must embrace this redefinition more aggressively. In June 2020, President Donald Trump released asupreme commandMaking skills more important than degrees in federal recruitment. The Biden administration tooout of stocksomestepsin this direction.

The accession of further states could provide a valuable boost;State governments are among the largest employersIn many federal states, their recruitment criteria therefore play a special role in the validation of employees without a university degree. Last March, Maryland's Larry Hogan became the first governor to announce that his state was eliminating college degree requirements for many jobs. In December, fellow Republican Spencer Cox of Utahfollowed. "Degrees have become a barrier to accessing many jobs," Cox said. “Instead of focusing on proven competency, too often the focus has been on a piece of paper.”

The movement's bipartisan credentials were polished with Shapiro, a Democrat campaigning for Pennsylvania, the nation's fifth-most populous state. It's a movement that Americans should be actively promoting in every state.

Expanding the terms of who can be hired is a change that would resonate well beyond individual jobs and job seekers. This would bring a greater degree of openness and fairness to the labor market and send a signal that the government is able to adapt and respond to the concerns of its citizens. In a country where most people don't have a bachelor's degree, policies that automatically shut down jobs for so many people add to the perception that the system is rigged against them.

A healthy democracy recognizes and promotes opportunities for all. Americans need to hear this message.

The Times is committed to publicationa variety of lettersTo the editor. We'd love to know what you think of this or any of our items. Here are sometips. And here is our email:letter@nytimes.com.

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Do workers with college degrees earn more on average than workers with only high school diplomas How much more? ›

Typical earnings for bachelor's degree holders are $36,000 or 84 percent higher than those whose highest degree is a high school diploma. College graduates on average make $1.2 million more over their lifetime.

What is one benefit for us worker who have a college degree rather than a high school diploma? ›

Earn More on Average

That's an increase of $154 per week or over $8,000 more per year than those with only a high school diploma. Workers with a bachelor's degree earned a median of $1,334 weekly—$525 more per week than workers without a postsecondary education and an increase of more than $27,000 per year.

What is more important work experience or education? ›

When a job is hard to fill, employers are more likely to overlook the lack of a degree when candidates have sufficient experience in place of the “right” education. And in large organizations (those with more than 10,000 employees), experience is more important than a degree 44% of the time.

Why college graduates have more and better employment opportunities? ›

By being exposed to various university-level content, college graduates earn a degree in not only their major field but also gain important insight into how other related fields could work. This increases job opportunities for a degree earner since they are in a better position to fill up various roles.

Do college graduates make more money than those that don t? ›

Men with bachelor's degrees earn approximately $900,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates. Women with bachelor's degrees earn $630,000 more.

Is college a lot more work than high school? ›

Less Structured Time. Many students are in class or on campus for eight to ten hours a day during high school. In college, full-time students will spend anywhere from twelve to twenty hours a week in class, only taking five to six courses at a time. Much of the work in college is done independently outside of class.

How important is a degree for employment? ›

Although work experience is incredibly important, having a degree will sometimes give your application an edge over other candidates. It can often be the tiebreaker between two equally impressive candidates.

What are 5 benefits of a college degree? ›

You can expect your life to change in the best ways when you get a degree—you'll likely see more job opportunities, be a better job candidate, have higher earning potential, and enjoy greater economic and job stability if you are college-educated.

Why do you not need a college degree to be successful? ›

In the real world, having a college degree doesn't guarantee a job. You need to bring marketable skills to the table, as well as the ability to continue learning, growing, and providing value for their employer", shared Gyanendra Singh, Co-Founder at Cognic Systems.

Why is work experience so important for students? ›

Work experience is important for getting into any career. Having some can make you stand out from the crowd on applications for courses, training and jobs. Work experience can be useful for anyone of any age and at any stage of your career.

Why is work experience good for students? ›

Reasons for doing work experience include: developing transferable skills, such as communication and teamworking. understanding how organisations work or bringing a job they have read about to life. building confidence in interacting with adults.

Do you think experience on the job is more important than qualification? ›

While experience and qualifications are different, both are important for your job search. A candidate with years of experience can benefit from updated training in their field. Someone with years of education can apply their knowledge through projects or internships and gain real-world experience.

Is a college degree important in today's workplace? ›

As noted above, the credential itself is an important factor when it comes to improved career prospects, but it's not just about the piece of paper: the skills you'll learn throughout your degree program will set you apart as a highly qualified candidate and valuable employee.

Are college graduates happier with their jobs? ›

College graduates – regardless of their major – earn considerably more than those without college degrees, and they are highly likely to be satisfied with their jobs and their lives.

Does college degree matter for jobs? ›

degree still matters. “A degree won't automatically make you an expert in your field or put you in a top position, but for sure it will get you noticed when you start and open doors that [wouldn't be open] if you didn't have a degree.

Can you be more successful without college? ›

That being said, you can certainly be successful without a college degree — your skills and talents can get you hired. Find out exactly what skills are needed for your career path and work hard to excel in them. You will have to be determined, self-disciplined, and goal-oriented.

Do the richest people go to college? ›

Most U.S. billionaires have a college degree, but these self-made superstars built their fortunes with just a high school diploma, if even that. J immy John Liautaud opened the first Jimmy John's sandwich shop in January 1983, just a few months after he graduated from high school.

Do most people work through college? ›

Read: How to Pay for College Using These Overlooked Strategies. ] Close to 70% of all college students work while enrolled, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Some colleges, such as Williams College in Massachusetts, even expect that students will work while in school.

Is college work harder than high school? ›

Yes, college classes are typically harder than high school classes because the course work, topics, and depth of materials are more complex, set at a faster pace, and require more studying.

How much work is too much work in college? ›

The more work hours a student takes on beyond 12 or 15 a week, “the more risk you take on in jeopardizing academic achievement or time to degree,” Larimore said.

Is it better to go to college or work? ›

Neither option is better or worse. It depends on what best suits the individual. Studies show that people that go to college earn more and are less likely to experience unemployment. That being said, college is not for everyone, the time investment may not be worth it for some, and the cost is extremely high.

Does college education prepare you for job? ›

It not only helps in achieving better grades but makes them aware of the process of writing – drafting, editing, rewriting and proofreading. Hence if students work upon their writing skills in college they are actually preparing them for better job opportunities.

What are the pros and cons of college? ›

Is College Right for You?
Pros of Attending CollegeCons of Attending College
Higher earning potentialHigh cost
Access to more jobsOpportunity cost of time spent not working
More learning opportunitiesThe availability of high-paying, no-degree jobs
Networking opportunitiesUnderemployed college graduates
6 more rows
Jan 23, 2023

How important is college education? ›

College Education and Wages

Bachelor's degree recipients can expect to earn about $1 million more over a lifetime than a person who doesn't go to college. A postsecondary education is expected to be required for about two-thirds of available jobs by 2020.

What are the 3 main benefits of a college education? ›

10 Benefits of a College Degree
  • Earn more money, experience less unemployment. ...
  • Raise your voice! ...
  • Call the shots—be your own boss. ...
  • Transform your family tree. ...
  • Invest in and shape our democracy. ...
  • Never stop evolving. ...
  • Pay it forward. ...
  • Bring your ideas to fruition.
Feb 28, 2022

Is education important for success in life? ›

Education provides stability in life, and it's something that no one can ever take away from you. By being well-educated and holding a college degree, you increase your chances for better career opportunities and open up new doors for yourself.

Why is employee experience so important? ›

A positive employee experience can foster strong company culture and drive business objectives. According to a 2021 Willis Towers Watson global survey, 92% of employers said enhancing employee experience is an important priority for their organizations for the next three years.

What skills do you gain from work experience? ›

It Teaches You Core Skills

There are some skills that are universal to any job role. Communication, problem-solving, timekeeping, confidence, and teamwork all apply across the board, no matter the industry or type of role you're looking for.

What were the main benefits of your work experience? ›

One of the key benefits of work experience is that it allows you to apply your skills and aptitudes in a professional environment and your skills can become developed in a way more suited to the world of work. Another key benefit of Work Experience is gaining new skills.

What are two benefits of work experience? ›

Employability skills. Insight into the work place. Increases your knowledge of your chosen industry.

Why experience matters more than education? ›

Experience helps you learn about the everyday realities of working life and most importantly equips you with the soft skills needed to succeed at any organization. While a college degree might increase your peer base, experience gives you access to a huge network of people who have been there and done that.

Is work experience more important than grades? ›

Experience is more valuable to the majority of employers, who are looking to stay within budget and optimise productivity. Hence why work experience is so important. A solid balance of both a decent GPA and suitable professional experience will get you through the front door better than either factor on its own.

How does your working experience relate to your qualification? ›

With an accurate idea of your previous experiences, including how you've developed professionally and how you've succeeded, employers can assess whether your current qualifications have prepared you to meet expectations and match the requirements of the job they're looking to fill.

Do colleges like people with jobs? ›

Yes! Having a job in high school can definitely look good on your college application. As long as it doesn't end up negatively impacting other key areas such as academic performance and extracurricular participation, working in high school is an excellent way to increase the strength of your application.

Do jobs care about college? ›

The June survey from Intelligent.com – an online magazine centered around helping students make informed choices about their college education – found that 84% of hiring managers say a candidate's higher education institution is a “very important” or “important” factor in their decisions.

Do Colleges like students who have jobs? ›

Each student should do something extracurricular they genuinely enjoy. They need to be invested, curious and contributing. However, there is one thing all colleges like to see applicants doing, and that is working.

How does a college degree affect employment? ›

The evidence that a college degree significantly improves one's employment prospects and earnings potential is overwhelming. Bachelor's degree holders are half as likely to be unemployed as their peers who only have a high school degree and they make $1.2 million in additional earnings on average over their lifetime.

How much more does someone with a professional degree make than a high school diploma? ›

College graduates earn more than double the salary of those without a degree and those with professional degrees earn almost four times as much as a high school graduate. Staying in school pays off.

Why do college graduates earn more in wages than workers with only a high school diploma quizlet? ›

While luck, risk-taking, and networking contribute to income inequality, most economists believe that the main reason college graduates earn more than high school graduates is that they gain skills and knowledge in college that increase their productivity. can also explain why wages differ among individuals.

How much more likely are you to get a job with a college degree? ›

A person who holds a bachelor's degree: Is twice as likely to be employed as a peer with only a high school diploma. On average, will make $1 million in additional earnings over their lifetime. Earns about $32,000 more each year than someone with a high school diploma.

What degree has the highest employment rate? ›

Degrees With Most Job Opportunities
  • Computing Science. It is not a surprise that computer science is one of the most employable degrees. ...
  • Medicine. ...
  • Finance. ...
  • Engineering. ...
  • Architecture. ...
  • Psychology.

What are the benefits of a college education? ›

10 Benefits of a College Degree
  • Earn more money, experience less unemployment. ...
  • Raise your voice! ...
  • Call the shots—be your own boss. ...
  • Transform your family tree. ...
  • Invest in and shape our democracy. ...
  • Never stop evolving. ...
  • Pay it forward. ...
  • Bring your ideas to fruition.
Feb 28, 2022

Is having a college education required to have a good career? ›

Almost certainly, yes. This is only going to become more true over time, as the job market becomes even more competitive. To put the trend in perspective, consider that nine out of ten new jobs created in the last year have gone to those with a college degree.

What college diplomas make the most money? ›

  • Petroleum Engineering. Average Salary: $102,300 to $176,300. ...
  • Actuarial Mathematics. Average Salary: $60,800 to $119,600. ...
  • Nuclear Engineering. Average Salary: $67,000 to $118,000. ...
  • Chemical Engineering. ...
  • Electronics and Communications Engineering. ...
  • Computer Science Engineer. ...
  • Aerospace Engineer. ...
  • Electrical Engineer.

Why do workers with more education and training get paid higher wages? ›

The increased pay is due to a smaller labor supply capable of operating in those industries, and the required education and training carrying significant costs.

Why do you get paid more if you have a degree? ›

People who earn bachelor's degrees, and find work in the same area in which they earned their degree, have specialized knowledge that someone who didn't study in that field lacks. Employers don't have to do as much training when they hire employees with knowledge and experience that relates to their job.

Why do graduates earn more than non graduates? ›

Graduates are more likely to work in high-skilled posts than non-graduates. Therefore, allowing them to earn more as soon as they finish their degree.

Do jobs care about college degrees? ›

The June survey from Intelligent.com – an online magazine centered around helping students make informed choices about their college education – found that 84% of hiring managers say a candidate's higher education institution is a “very important” or “important” factor in their decisions.

Do most successful people have college degrees? ›

Few college dropouts hold leadership positions.

A Taylor & Francis Online study of 11,745 individuals in the U.S.shows found that 94 percent of CEOs, judges, politicians, millionaires, billionaires and business leaders attended college, with 50 percent graduating from elite school.

Do employers prefer college graduates? ›

The Importance of a College Degree

No matter what school you graduated from, a college degree remains to be a primary preference for most employers.

What is the best degree in the world? ›

RankDegree subjectAverage early career pay
1Petroleum Engineering$94,500
2Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)$88,000
3Applied Economics and Management$58,900
4Operations Research$77,900
6 more rows

What's the hardest degree? ›

What are the hardest degree subjects? The hardest degree subjects are Aerospace Engineering, Law, Chartered Accountancy, Architecture, Chemistry, Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology, Statistics, Nursing, Physics, Astrophysics, Biomedical Engineering, Astronomy, and Dentistry.

Which degrees have the most millionaires? ›


While it's possibly not one of the most predictable entry placements on our list, engineering takes the top spot, yielding a greater number of millionaires than any other degree subject, according to Spear's and WealthInsight.


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