College grads increasingly hired for jobs previously held by high school grads: Survey

One-quarter of employers have boosted educational requirements

Employers are not only looking for educated labour to fill high-skill positions, but to fill traditionally lower-skill jobs as well, according to a survey by CareerBuilder.

Thirty-six per cent of hiring managers and human resource professionals said they are hiring more employees with college degrees for positions that were historically held by high school graduates, found the poll of 415 employers across Canada.

“Employers are filling more entry-level functions with educated labour,” said Brent Rasmussen, president of CareerBuilder North America. “While some of this may be attributed to a competitive job market that lends itself to college grads taking lower skill jobs, it also speaks to companies raising performance expectations for roles within their firms to enhance overall productivity, product quality and sales.”

Of employers who have hired more workers with college degrees for jobs that were historically held by high school graduates, most reported positive impacts on their business in the forms of:

• higher quality of work (76 per cent)

• productivity (45 per cent)

• revenue (23 per cent)

• customer loyalty (17 per cent).

Specific qualifications for jobs are becoming more demanding. One-quarter (25 per cent) of employers have increased their educational requirements for jobs over the last five years.

Fifty-nine per cent said that they require a two-year university degree or higher for their positions; 45 per cent require a four-year degree or higher.

A lack of a college education may limit upward mobility. Forty-one per cent of employers said they are unlikely to promote someone who doesn’t have a college degree, found the survey.

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