US: 74% of employees believe work experience more valuable than degrees
WORLD /California, U.S. – Glassdoor U.S. Q2 2014 Employment Confidence Survey has reported three in four (74 percent) employees believe their employers value work experience and related skills more than education when evaluating job candidates.
The survey results also indicate half (48 percent) of employees with a college degree believe their specific degree is not very relevant to the job they do today, and four in five (80 percent) admit they’ve never been asked about their college GPA (grade point average) during a job interview. Fifty-three percent of employees also believe a graduate degree is no longer necessary to be offered a high-paying job.
The table from the survey that summarizes the findings is below:
The Q2 2014 survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor from June 9-11, 2014 among 2,059 adults ages 18 and older of whom 996 are currently employed full/part time.
Are degrees useful?
While degrees have always had their internal discrimination (some say anthropology and archaeology degrees are the least valuable), a degree is useful in helping you get that interview for the job you want. In the Glassdoor survey, most employees still consider higher education valuable, but report it is not the most important factor to advance their career. In other words, it will get you a foot in the door – it’s then up to you to prove your worth to the interviewer.
To advance their own career and earn a bigger paycheck, nearly two in three employees (63%) say learning new skills or receiving special training is most important to advance their career, compared to those who say:
- Receive a college or graduate degree (45%)
- Transition careers or look for a new job or company (38%)
- Network with other professionals (34%)
- Ask the boss for a raise or promotion (28%)
- Become an entrepreneur (18%)
So what do employers want?
According to a 2013 employer survey commissioned by The Association Of American Colleges And Universities, 95% of the employers surveyed say they give hiring preference to college graduates with skills that will enable them to contribute to innovation in the workplace. Almost all employers regard innovation as key to their company’s continued success.
Two in three employers believe most college graduates have the skills/knowledge to succeed in entry-level position but fewer graduates have what it takes to advance. This is where more training, self-improvement and professional development will supplement on-the-job experience to increase the potential of a graduate’s career advancement.
Employers are interested in the bottomline, and a skill that will directly improve company performance is worth more to both the worker and the boss than a degree, which is a several-year investment that may not result in a direct revenue increase or operational savings – the two figures that impact companies most.