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Employers seek college graduates for lower skill positions


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

In an increasingly competitive job market, individuals lacking a college degree are at a considerable disadvantage when it comes to finding work. However, while many earn a college degree in hopes of securing a well-paying and fulfilling job, recent hiring trends show that many companies are seeking degree holders to fill jobs traditionally held by workers having only a high school diploma, according to a recent survey.

Data released by employment Web site CareerBuilder.com suggests many firms are choosing to employ college graduates in lower skill positions, as well as in roles that demand more specialized skills. Approximately 32 percent of hiring managers surveyed said they are hiring increasing numbers of college graduates for vacancies traditionally held by individuals with less education. Although this practice is most prevalent in the financial services sector, other fields are following suit, including health care, manufacturing and information technology.

There are many reasons why companies are choosing to employ college graduates for lower skill positions. A generally higher quality of work was listed as a primary factor, with 64 percent of hiring managers polled indicating this was their major motivation for doing so. Other reasons for the trend include increasing productivity, generating higher revenues and improving customer loyalty.

With the large pool of college graduates available to take lower skilled positions, it has become increasingly more difficult for those without a college degree to compete for jobs that were once theirs for the taking. According to Labor Department data, the unemployment rate for Americans with at least a bachelor's degree was 3.8 percent in February, compared with 7.9 percent for those with just a high school diploma.

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