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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Degree inflation doesn’t pay

Now that unemployment is down, employers may think twice about degree inflation, writes Preston Cooper in Forbes. They can’t afford to be too picky.

“Employers are seeking a bachelor’s degree for jobs that formerly required less education, even when the actual skills required haven’t changed or when this makes the position harder to fill,” reported Burning Glass in 2014.

A Harvard Business School study 67 percent of job postings for supervisors of production workers require bachelor’s degrees, even though just 16 percent of current supervisors are college graduates, writes Cooper. There’s also a huge “degree gap” in new jobs for administrative assistants and secretaries.

“With college degrees growing more common,” college graduates may see their wage premiums decline, Cooper writes.

“Government programs should not favor bachelor’s degrees over other postsecondary credentials or alternative pathways such as apprenticeships,” he concludes.

Less than a third of working-age American adults hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to Lumina’s new Stronger Nation report. Some 9 percent hold an associate degree and 5 percent a vocational certificate.

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