Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Skills May Be More Valued Than Degrees

Most college grads and employers agree a degree helps employees advance in their jobs, but a recent Harris poll found that learning a specific skill may be worth even more, with 72% of the respondents reporting that specialized training is more valuable than a degree.

The survey, conducted in June, showed that 63% of the respondents with jobs said learning a new skill or receiving specialized training helped them advance or earn a bigger paycheck. Just 45% said having a college or graduate degree was a factor, followed by moving to a new company (38%) and networking with professionals (34%).

The report also found that 74% of employees believe their bosses value work experience and related skills more than an education when comparing job candidates. In addition, 48% of employed college graduates think their degree is not very relevant to their job and 80% report that they have never been asked about their grade-point average in an interview.

“While education is still valued as one piece of the puzzle for a successful career, we’re seeing a shift in the workplace in which most employees feel gaining the latest skills relevant to their job and industry is more valuable to help advance their careers, and they’re feeling it’s what employers are truly seeking to really help move business forward,” Rusty Rueff of Glassdoor said in an article for eCampus News.

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