Education Attainment Impacts Employability | Edcor

Education Attainment Impacts Employability

By Adrienne Way, Edcor Owner and CEO

People who are considering whether or not they want to further their education need to consider this: Education attainment affects employability. Today’s jobs require high-level sophisticated skills. Without the education that develops those skills, workers will be left behind.

Workers who have post-secondary education are those who have training and education that positively impacts their employability. Fast-changing technology has created a labor market where advanced training is required. Since 2012 workers with some college or higher education have made up the largest share of the labor force.  Since 2015, 83 million people have worked in jobs that require an average or above-average level of preparation that includes education, experience and job training, compared to only 49 million people in jobs with this education requirement in 1980. This is a 68 percent increase in worker demand. Compare this demand for workers to the increase in jobs that require a low level of preparation. Since 2015 the number of people employed in jobs requiring low level preparation only increased by only  31 percent, from 50 to 65 million.

Increased levels of education attainment are key to increasing an individual’s employability in today’s labor market. The labor market is continuing to grow in occupations that require higher social and analytical skills.

From 1980 to 2015:

  • Overall employment grew by 50 percent
  • Employment grew by 83 percent in jobs that required interpersonal, management and communication skills
  • Employment grew by 77 percent in jobs that required analytical skills such as critical thinking and computer skills
  • Employment grew by only 18 percent in occupations demanding manual labor or machinery operation

Workers who want to ensure their continued employability need to consider continuing education. Robert Ubell, vice dean emeritus of NYU’s School of Engineering states, “The clear message for employees who stay in the workforce without a college degree is that their future options are limited. Eventually, they may find themselves out of work altogether. Today, about nine million Americans are unemployed, most of them unskilled… Today’s vastly transformed economy requires workers with post-industrial skills.”

Most American workers acknowledge they will need to further their education to maintain their employability. Fifty-four percent of adult workers say it is essential that they get training and develop new skills throughout their work life. And many of these are workers who already have a degree: “Some 63 percent of adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education say they will need to keep advancing their skills throughout their career, states a Pew survey report The State of American Jobs.

Most Americans believe that attaining higher education to improve their employability is their own responsibility, but there are ways that employers can help. Education benefits will help workers at all levels improve their skills to be prepared for new technology and market demands. Tuition assistance helps workers complete their degrees, earn additional certifications or attain higher degrees. Tuition assistance makes it possible for workers to fill higher level positions that help a business grow and profit in competitive markets.

Education benefits that include student loan repayment assistance also make it possible for employees to take on the responsibility of furthering their education. Relief from student debt and help with repayment allows employees to move ahead and act on the need to advance their education. Offering debt relief will retain employees and make it possible for them to be an integral part of a strong, well-prepared workforce.

Promoting comprehensive education benefits to employees at every level is the best way for companies to see a strong return on the investment. Investing in employee education will create the expectation that employees improve their employability through education attainment, in order to build a strong growing business.