How Worthwhile Is Your College Degree?

June, 11, 2014: What do you need for a job? A degree, an adequate skills set or nothing at all?

Does a college degree matter when applying for a job? This is the burning question on every college graduate’s mind. After working hard and spending two or four precious years of your life on your education, does it really amount to much?

After a thorough analysis of their head-hunting data, one of the world’s biggest corporations, Google, found out that GPAs and test scores are almost worthless when it comes to hiring.

In an interview with New York Times, the senior vice president of people operations at Google, Laszlo Bock, said, “What’s interesting is the proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time as well. So we have teams where you have 14 percent of the team made up of people who’ve never gone to college.”

It turns out that college degrees, for some companies, serve no more a purpose than to filter out job applications. Need to cut down the applications from a 1,000 to 500? Put a two-year education requirement in place. Need to further chop it down to half? A four-year requirement does the trick.

Do not get the wrong idea. This does not, at all, suggest that those without a degree are reaping all the benefits while graduates slump in the corner without a job. For a reality check, this chart does a good job of illustrating how enormous the unemployment gap between the graduates and others really is. If you do not have a college degree, you are still more unlikely to land up with a job than a graduate.

So it brings us back to the question again. Do college degrees matter? Well, they may not matter as much, but your education certainly does.

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