Employers Confirm Their Belief in Value of Higher Ed

October 20, 2023 | By Mimi Collins

Value of Higher Education
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TAGS: nace insights, surveys, trends and predictions,

Employers confirmed their belief in the value of higher education and higher education institutions in NACE’s latest benchmark survey.

Results detailed in NACE’s 2023 Recruiting Benchmarks Report show that employers are firm in their belief in the college degree, flying in the face of the national conversation questioning the value. On average, responding organizations said nearly 70% of their entry-level jobs require a bachelor’s degree.

In addition, although approximately one-quarter reported that their organization had discussions about not requiring a college degree for entry-level jobs, respondents indicated that those were largely driven by a focus on skills over degree and by equity concerns. In fact, no organization cited “lack of confidence in the college degree” as a driver.

Employers also made it clear that they value higher education institutions: When asked about certificates for new college graduates, three-quarters identified college/university-based certificates as having the highest quality over those offered by industry, company, and online providers, indicating that employers recognize that the value of certificates is tied to the curriculum and rigor of academia.

Interestingly, students’ attitudes toward higher education mirror those of employers: Results from NACE’s upcoming Class of 2023 Student Survey report show that more than 90% of graduating seniors said their degree was worth it—and that they would pursue a college degree again if they had the chance.

NACE’s 2023 Recruiting Benchmarks Survey was conducted April 12 through May 19, 2023. A total of 334 organizations took part, including 269 organizations that hold NACE membership (30% response rate) and 65 companies that do not hold NACE membership. The 2023 Recruiting Benchmarks Report, free to participating organizations, includes an interactive dashboard for filtering data by various parameters.