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December 3, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Vedder Explains ‘Upcredentialing’ Trend in GoodCall

GoodCall interviewed Dr. Richard Vedder, Distinguished Professor of Economics Emeritus at Ohio University and Director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, what’s fueling the nation’s “upcredentialing” trend.

Dr. Richard Vedder

Dr. Richard Vedder

“Employers are increasing the educational qualifications for jobs beyond traditional norms for a simple reason: They can,” says Vedder.  He explains that the number of recent college graduates far exceeds the number of job openings that college graduates have traditionally filled – jobs predominantly in the technical (e.g., STEM disciplines), managerial, or professional areas (designed for college grads with advanced degrees).

“Suppose a firm advertises for a position as a secretary to an executive, and gets 30 applicants, 12 with a college degree. It is costly and time-consuming to sift through 30 applications, so the firm narrows the search to the 12 degree-holders. On average, the college degree holders will be better academically trained, have more cognitive skills, and be more disciplined than the high school graduates, so as a screening device the employer declares a degree is required.” In fact, Vedder says he thinks upcredentialing even happens with jobs like bartending.

The credential inflation phenomenon will inevitably adversely impact those with less than a bachelor’s degree. Vedder concludes, “Unemployment rates are sharply higher for those with lesser education, in part because they are crowded out of some jobs by college grads.”

Read the rest of the story by Terri Williams on “Upcredentialing”: Jobs Report Shows Limited Career Options for Workers Without a Bachelor’s Degree.”

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