Fewer Americans See College as Critical to Landing a Good Job


There was a time when most Americans viewed college as an essential step toward a fruitful career. Previous studies have suggested that adults who obtain degrees will, on average, have higher lifetime earnings than their non-college-educated counterparts. Of course, there are always exceptions and standout cases.

While higher education remains vital for certain occupations – doctors, lawyers, etc., – it’s not for everyone. Some people feel their learning styles are more aligned with alternative measures that don’t involve sitting in classrooms and listening to professors’ lectures.

With the rise of the gig economy and independent contract work, more people are seeking nontraditional pathways to successful careers. According to a new poll, the amount of Americans who see college degrees as critical components to landing high-paying jobs has dwindled.

Understanding the general consensus on higher education

According to the Pew Research Center, just 25% of Americans believe receiving a four-year degree is very necessary to compete for high-end employment opportunities. Meanwhile, 40% of the country disagrees and believes good-paying jobs are available to people without traditional degree(s).