At least in the US, a college degree is no longer optional for employment in the professional realm. More Americans hold bachelor’s degrees than ever before (nearly a third of Americans over 25, according to the National Center for Education Statistics), and employers know it. A CareerBuilder survey conducted late last year found that employers were increasingly hiring college graduates for jobs that used to only require a high school diploma, and advanced degree holders for jobs primarily held by BAs. Now, CareerBuilder’s Pete Jansons presents more findings showing that small enterprises are also a part of this trend:
According to recent CareerBuilder research, more than 1 in 4 small business employers (26 percent) say they have increased their educational requirements for jobs over the last five years. One in five employers (20 percent) are hiring more employees with master’s degrees for positions that primarily had been held by those with college (4-year) degrees, and 3 in 10 (30 percent) are hiring more employees with college degrees for positions that primarily had been held by those with high school degrees.
Higher degrees are also influencing promotion decisions. Thirty-five percent of small business employers say they are unlikely or highly unlikely to promote someone who does not have a college degree.
Part of the reason for the increasing their educational requirements is that skills for many positions have evolved, requiring higher educated labor. Many employers also say they are able to get college-educated labor for positions once primarily held by those with high school degrees due to the tight job market. …
While some employers are seeking more educated workers externally, others are working internally. The majority of small business employers already offer training programs for employees (including in-house training, online programs and certifications outside the company), and 35 percent of small business employers are sending current employees back to school to get an advanced degree. (Twenty-five percent of employers are even partially or fully funding the degree.)