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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Many Americans Say Their Jobs Don't Require a Four-year Degree

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September 16, 2013

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Many Americans Say Their Jobs Don't Require a Four-year Degree

Fifty-seven percent of Americans say their job typically does not require a bachelor's or more advanced degree, according to a recent Gallup poll, the same percentage as in 2005.

Of respondents with a bachelor's degree, 59 percent say that degree is needed for their job, while 41 percent report it's not required. Intriguingly, 37 percent of those with some college but less than a four-year degree report that a bachelor's degree is required for their work. Gallup notes that some of this discrepancy could be respondents' interpretation of what "require" means. Some respondents may be considering the level of credential their employer usually looks for when hiring, while others may be thinking about what level of education typically imparts the skills needed for the job.

Gallup researchers interpret this data as supporting alternative, affordable pathways to the "traditional college path," including "technical training, online education, self-directed learning and internships."

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