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Employers expect more education in challenging job market


Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Since 2007, when the current economic crisis began, the expectations of many employers have risen and are now much higher than they were in previous years. Earning a bachelor's degree is now a prerequisite for many career paths, making a college education even more valuable to young job seekers.

Changing expectations
The New York Times recently reported on a phenomenon some education experts are calling "degree inflation." This refers to the heightened expectations that today's employers have of potential candidates. Companies advertising jobs that required an associate's degree in the past now expect applicants to possess a bachelor's degree. While this does not necessarily mean that the job requirements have changed, it does imply that employers are assessing potential candidates more closely.

The news source reports that according to a list compiled by Burning Glass, a company that analyzes job ads from over 20,000 online sources,  jobs such as dental laboratory assistant, chemical equipment operator and medical equipment preparer have seen substantial increases in the number of vacancies advertising a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite. While the responsibilities involved in some of these positions have changed over time, many employers now consider individuals without a college degree inferior candidates and have raised their expectations accordingly.

Looking to the future
This phenomenon has been observed across many employment sectors. A recent study published by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce suggests that individuals who choose not to earn a postsecondary degree will almost inevitably be left behind their more highly educated counterparts when the economy stabilizes.

"The economy that emerges from the recession will be different than the economy that preceded it," reads the study. "The industrial economy of the 20th century has slowly transformed itself into a new services economy that demands more education and different skills of its workers."

As a soon-to-be high school graduate in a changing economy, you will need to optimize the characteristics and skills that set you apart from the competition. By successfully completing a bachelor’s degree program, you can not only demonstrate to potential employers that you have the skills necessary to succeed in today's competitive employment market, but that you also take your professional development seriously and have what it takes to get the job done.ADNFCR-16000756-ID-800923991-ADNFCR

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