29SEP 2016

Shoulda College Degree be required to get a Job?

Arevealing research survey that was recently conducted by theChronicle of Higher Education to establish the requirements ofemployers for new graduates applying for jobs revealed some of themost intriguing results. This is because out of the five top mostrequirements listed, only two prioritized on having a degree. Inreality, employers seem to be interested in previous work experienceand candidates’ participation in extra-curricular programs.Internships are considered as integral parts of work experienceseemed to appeal to the employers more than grades.

Similarly,the value extracurricular programs that used to gauge individuals’social skills. In relation to academic skills necessary for goodperformance at work, successive survey reports have continually citedjudgment, problem-solving skills, and ability to write andcommunicate clearly and get along with others as the most basicrequirements. A college degree should be required to get a highpaying job because it is more competitive and improves the quality ofthose employed.


Mostemployers believe that a person with a degree is better equipped foremployment than one without one. Indeed, there is a new trend byorganizations where they hire people with college degrees for jobsthat historically did not require such qualifications (Bennett andWilezol 26). The rationale behind the tendency could be based onperceptions and beliefs that degree holders are more competitive andare likely produce desirable outcomes.

Inthe 1970s, only a mere 25% of middle-class job holders had some kindof training beyond high school level. However, things are nowdifferent with close to 60 percent of jobs in the United Statesrequiring some form of higher education qualification (Carnevale,Smith and Strohl 11). There has also been a notable increment in thewage gap between the people with college degrees and those without,which has nearly doubled since the early 1980s (Lucas). The scramblefor higher pay is one of the major reasons why the value of educationhas continued to rise over the years, with employers seeking forcollege degrees for jobs that previously did not require suchqualifications.

Educatedemployees are increasingly becoming more valuable in relation totheir less educated counterparts. For example, some multinationalorganizations have shipped their lower-skilled workers overseas wherethey benefit from cheaper labor. The increased use of computers inorganizations has also replaced the less skilled and repetitive jobsin the offices, thereby significantly reducing the need for the lessskilled manual workforce.

Thesituation has left only the most intricate tasks in the organizationsthat involve major policy and decision-making tasks for occupation byjob seekers (Farkas and England 212). Being well paying, thesituation has led to increased competition among the job seekers. Inorder to get competitive enough, an individual must be in possessionof a college degree. Skills that were previously reserved for seniormanagement are gradually becoming obsolete as attention shifts fromperforming repetitive functions to interacting with customers andco-workers. As a result, workers across the board are required topossess better communication, problem-solving and decision-makingskills, all which are believed to come with good education.

Anotherdimension in regards to competition is the facts that the bestacademically qualified people get the jobs. As much as many may be ofthe argument that grades are not a true reflection of performance,academic excellence is a key indication of dedication, intelligenceand development. An academically proficient individual will mostlikely lead an organization to greater heights, and thereforeemployers will be more biased towards picking an academicallyqualified person as opposed to those who overly rely on experience(Perna and Soares 9).

Ensuringthat high quality of the individuals doing the work is another reasonthat triggers employers to seek college graduates during recruitment.The rationale for this is that college educated individuals are morelikely to live a more dedicated and ambitious personal andprofessional lives (Carnevale,Smith and Strohl 16). In relation to health benefits, collegeeducated individuals will be more likely to take care of theirpersonal and family health issues because they are exposed to theavailable covers and payment options. This ensures that the qualityof life is higher and with this, they are more likely to performbetter at work. In addition to this, research has shown thatattending college changes people in the way that they behave andchoices they make. As a result, they produce a more quality,productive and better paid labor force. Attending college in itselfpolishes an individual in a particular way, while at the same timepresenting them with a certain perspective of understanding how theuniverse works (Farkas and England 142).


Acollege degree is necessary in a high paying job because it is morecompetitive and improves the quality of the workers. Many people areof the opinion that numerous prominent and successful people, forinstance, Oprah Winfrey, did not attain a college degree in order tomake it in life. However, it is important to note that despite allodds, college education prepares a person to learn, adds theenthusiasm to learn more, manage time, and work independently and atthe same time team with others in solving problems. With this inmind, it is important to make an informed decision before letting goof the opportunity to have an education.


Thefuture of U.S Workforce: Middle Skills jobs and the GrowingImportance of Post-secondary Education. New York: Achieve, 2012.

Farkas,George, and Paula England, eds. Industries,firms, and jobs: Sociological and economic approaches.New York: Springer Science &amp Business Media, 2013.

Lucas,Suzzane. CollegeDegree Required. But Why? A Bachelor’s Degree is now Required forJobs that used to be Held by High School Grads. Could this actuallyHurt your Business?Feb 22, 2013. Web. Retrieved on Oct. 3, 2016.

Perna,Laura and Soares, Louis. Readiness for the Learning Economy. Centerfor Policy Research and Strategy(2014).

Carnevale,Anthony P., Nicole Smith, and Jeff Strohl. Recovery:Job Growth and Education Requirements Through 2020.Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press (2013).