Soon, a High School Diploma Won't Get You a Job Anywhere

You may have heard one of many success stories of people who either did not attend college or dropped out of college becoming huge industry leaders and even billionaires – we see you Zucks and Gates. However, the cold, hard truth for the rest of us non-geniuses is, a college degree is now more important than ever.

High School Graduates

(Photo Credit: Chris Moncus/Wikimedia Commons)

We have bad news for you if your post high school plan was to skip college and through hard work and experience, climb your way into a cushy position that doesn’t require a college degree. According to a recent study, 27 percent of employers who once only required high school diplomas have increased their educational requirements within the past five years to include a college degree.

Unfortunately, many jobs once requiring only a general high school education are those that also typically pay desperate and unlivable minimum wages. Many of these employers surprisingly (but not really) reported “getting a better return on investment” and felt as though they saw higher quality work, better communication, and more revenue when hiring those with college degrees versus employees who only carried high school diplomas.

In fact, educational requirements have shifted upward in all areas. Employers who once required bachelor’s degrees, now look for master’s degrees. Because of this shift, it is more important than ever that, as prospective and current employees, we not only continuously and actively take part in educational programs, but that we are mindful of our own return on investment when seeking out these programs.

According to recent PayScale data, of the schools with the top 10 ROIs, the majority specialize in technology – which interestingly enough, is one of the fields remaining where experience and skills still trump educational level. Which means, if you happen to be an aspiring Zuckerberg or Gates, there is still hope without a college degree, but if you decide to further your education in technology, you will at least get your money's worth.

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