By Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed -
The broad public policy push for more Americans to get a higher education leans heavily on the idea that those without a college degree are up a creek, because so many jobs in today’s technology and information economy (and more in tomorrow’s) will require a credential. Many critics of higher education, in turn, complain that the "college completion" movement has been fed by (and feeds) credential inflation, with employers imposing a degree requirement for many jobs that never required one (and still don’t) simply because they can.
A new report offers evidence to support both arguments -- and reasons both for college officials to be optimistic about continuing demand for their degrees and to see danger signs on the horizon.
The report, "Moving the Goalposts: How Demand for a Bachelor's Degree Is Reshaping the Workforce," is from Burning Glass Technologies, a Boston-based firm that studies employment markets by analyzing job advertisements.
By comparing the educational attainment that employers are seeking in new workers (as evidenced in their job advertisements) with the current profile of the workforces in various fields, the study aims to quantify the extent of "upcredentialing" -- the phenomenon in which employers are seeking workers with degrees or credentials for jobs that have not historically required them. The focus is on "middle skills" jobs -- the many categories in the middle between entry level positions and high-skilled and upper-level managerial positions.
"Looking down the road, there has to be some way to address the employers who don't necessarily think the college degree is really valuable, but just have no alternative for validating that people are work-ready," said Matt Sigelman, chief executive officer of Burning Glass. "Four-year schools need to be really careful that they are providing some job market preparedness, beyond just the credential."
Read the full article here >>https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/09/09/demand-degrees-grows-many-fields-havent-required-them
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