How necessary is college for getting a job? Very!

Posted July 19

Only about 1 percent of jobs created after the recession went to those without any level of college education. (Deseret Photo)

It’s no secret how college-driven the job economy has become, but just how much may surprise you.

A new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce shows more than 99 percent of job growth in the post-recession economy since 2010 went to those who had some level of college education, with workers that only had a high school diploma or less seeing practically no job recovery.

Out of the 11.6 million jobs that were created after the recession, 11.5 million went to those who had some college education, with graduate degree holders getting 3.8 million jobs, bachelor’s degree holders getting 4.6 million and associate’s degree holders getting 3.1 million, according to the report. Meanwhile, only 80,000 jobs, less than 1 percent, were added for workers with a high school diploma or less.

One of the report’s co-authors, Tamara Jayasundera, told Bloomberg that it’s a sign of how the labor market is changing and demanding a more skilled workforce.

Clerical and low-skill jobs were lost during the recession, and most of the growth since has gone to managerial, high-skill jobs. Consulting and business services were the ones to add the largest number of jobs at 2.5 million since the recession, while manufacturing added the second highest at 1.7 million, the report found.

Workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher are the ones getting almost all the high- and mid-skill jobs, according to the report.

And 2016 marks the first time that people in the workforce with a bachelor’s degree or higher comprise a larger share than those with only a high school diploma or less, at 36 percent to 34 percent, the report noted.

The report concluded that the U.S. is actually going through two different job recoveries, with 65 percent of those workers employed having at least some postsecondary education and bachelor’s degree holders earning 57 percent of all wages. So those who don’t have a postsecondary education will have to work on getting one to truly compete in high-skill fields, it added.

Quartz noted that the frustration of all those who did not go to college may be responsible for Donald Trump’s popularity. It added that many of his supporters qualify as such, and he is quoted in a YouTube video at as saying, “I love the poorly educated!”

Anthony Carnevale, the center’s director and the lead author of the report said the report’s findings weren’t a surprise, as low-education, high-wage manufacturing jobs have been disappearing since the 1981 recession, with jobs that need more education taking their place, according to TakePart.

“We ended up with a college economy,” Carnevale told TakePart.

Carnevale also told TakePart that his concern was that Americans who had money would “get solid, specific education,” while those who were working class and a minority would just get “job training.”

Carnevale’s proposed solution was that colleges become “a lot more efficient,” giving students more information on finding a job after college and keeping them from spending time and money on courses that aren’t needed for a job, according to TakePart. Colleges also have to show more consideration for their poor and minority students, which won’t happen until they’re efficient “because efficiency frees up the money to be equitable,” he added.

Contact the reporter at; or follow her on Twitter at @Sarahsonofander.


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all