Approximately 35-40% of jobs in the United States require a college education.
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According to recent studies, approximately 35-40% of jobs in the United States require a college education. This means that although a college degree is not always mandatory for employment, having one can significantly increase the chances of landing a job, as well as potentially lead to higher pay rates and career advancement opportunities.
However, it’s important to note that the percentage of jobs that require a college degree varies depending on the industry. For example, the healthcare, technology, and finance industries typically have a higher percentage of jobs that require a college education, while industries such as construction and hospitality may have a lower percentage.
Interestingly, in some cases, having a college degree may not necessarily lead to higher pay rates. A recent study conducted by CareerBuilder found that 32% of employers were hiring college-educated candidates for positions that historically required only a high school education, and were paying them the same salary as those without a college degree.
Despite this, many experts agree that pursuing a college education can still be beneficial for many reasons beyond just career prospects. As author and journalist Fareed Zakaria famously stated, “In the knowledge economy, the most valuable asset you can accumulate is knowledge. The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”
Here is a table showing the percentage of jobs that require a college degree in various industries:
|Industry||Percentage of jobs requiring a college degree|
|Finance and Insurance||50%|
|Management, Business and Financial Operations||48%|
|Professional and Technical Services||45%|
|Education and Training||40%|
|Government and Public Administration||35%|
Overall, while it’s clear that having a college degree may not be mandatory for all jobs, pursuing higher education can still have numerous benefits both inside and outside of the workforce.
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Many Americans with the skills and experience for good jobs are disqualified due to not having a four-year college degree, especially workers of color. Most job ads that require a college degree do not need them for the job, but rather use it as a screening tool to exclude applicants from a large pool. This degree hurdle contributes to inequality, with a 13% drop in wages for those with a high school diploma and a rise for those with a bachelor’s degree. There is a need for better opportunities for all, and examples like IBM’s earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship program could be a solution. In addition, everyone who wants to go to college should have access to it without the burden of cost, as college serves three purposes: preparing for a career, a life of richness and meaning, and being a good citizen.
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35 percent of job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree; 30 percent of the job openings will require some college or an associate’s degree; 36 percent of the job openings will not require education beyond high school.
However, according to a report by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the United States will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. This includes both traditional college degrees as well as alternative credentials such as certificates and apprenticeships.
By 2020, 65 percent of all jobs will require at least some education beyond a high school degree, according to Georgetown University’s Center on Education the Workforce.
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About one-fourth of the labor force had some college (16 percent) or an associate’s degree (11 percent). People with an associate’s degree were about equally distributed among academic and occupational programs (6 percent and 5 percent, respectively).