Bachelor's Degree Now a Baseline Job Requirement
The bachelor’s degree is increasingly a requirement for even the lowest-skill jobs, according to an article in the New York Times. Many jobs may not actually require skills beyond those developed in high school, but with a surplus of college graduates to choose from, employers often perceive a job applicant without a degree to be unmotivated and perhaps less likely to fit in with company culture. This probably accounts for the 8.1% unemployment rate for those with a high school diploma only, compared with a rate of 3.7% for college graduates.
Advise your students of this degree inflation trend as they work to develop their 10-year plan; even if a job is currently reported to require only a high school diploma or associate degree, applicants will likely be competing for that job against bachelor’s degree holders. Likewise, though a four-year degree may not be guaranteed to lead to a professional job, degree holders’ prospects are typically a lot better than those with less education.