In light of the high cost of earning a bachelor's degree, the value of higher education is never far from the headlines. However, the return on investment of a college education has once again been highlighted, as recent data indicates that college graduates are faring significantly better in the job market that those with a high school diploma, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Employment data reveals that, despite modest signs of wider economic recovery, the current employment market remains a jungle for many people. However, if the latest figures are any indication, college graduates could be at a distinct advantage over those who lack a college education.
In November, the number of jobs filled by individuals over the age of 25 who possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree rose by a seasonally adjusted figure of 754,000. Positions occupied by people with some college, such as an associate degree, also increased, with 113,000 jobs added during November. However, in stark contrast, the availability of jobs requiring only a high school diploma fell by 284,000, revealing that for those without any college experience, the job market remains very difficult.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the gap in employment opportunities between college graduates and individuals with a high school diploma can be considered one of the many bellwethers of economic recovery. Although some of the job growth among graduates could have been due to the return of furloughed workers returning to their positions after the government shutdown, the gap between college graduates and the rest of the workforce likely widened during November.
Although these figures paint a positive picture for college graduates, merely earning a bachelor's degree is far from the only thing students will have to worry about upon completing their studies. A recent survey by Accenture revealed that 41% of graduates who finished school in the past two years are working in jobs that either do not relate to their field of study, or do not require a college degree at all. In addition, 63% of graduates surveyed said that despite earning a college degree, they would need additional training to secure the jobs they really want.
As employers' expectations become more demanding and college graduates leave the confines of school and prepare to enter the real world, the disparities highlighted in these reports could soon become all too real to students with dreams of landing their dream job right out of college.