Survey: 42% of Small Businesses Say College Degree Has No Value in Hiring

A recent ADP survey found 42% of small businesses believe a college degree has zero value in hiring decisions, citing Generation Z's lack of preparation. Employers instead prioritize soft skills, work ethic, and continuous upskilling, with 85% of adults worldwide believing upskilling and reskilling will become the new standard.

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Mazhar Abbas
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Survey: 42% of Small Businesses Say College Degree Has No Value in Hiring

Survey: 42% of Small Businesses Say College Degree Has No Value in Hiring

A recent survey by ADP found that 42% of small businesses believe a college degree has zero value in hiring decisions, citing Generation Z's lack of preparation for the workforce and negative cultural impact. The research, which surveyed 1,500 business owners, senior leaders, and hiring managers, revealed that the top skill, need, get, hired, right, according, new, re is a strong work ethic, which is also one of the hardest to find.

Why this matters: This shift in hiring priorities has significant implications for the future of education and workforce development, as it suggests that traditional credentials may no longer be the primary factor in securing employment. As the job market continues to evolve, it may lead to a reevaluation of the role of higher education in preparing students for the workforce.

Soft skills, including problem-solving, time management, and communication, are in high demand among employers. Tina Wang, division vice president of HR at ADP, emphasized the importance of these behavioral skills, stating, "You can teach specific technical skills needed for a job, but if a new hire comes in on day one with some of these behavioral skills, teaching those technical skills becomes much easier, effective and more fruitful."

The survey findings come at a time when upskilling, reskilling, huge, priorities have become huge priorities for businesses. According to a separate survey by The Harris Poll on behalf of Educational Testing Service (ETS), which polled 17,000 respondents across 17 countries, 85% of adults worldwide believe upskilling and reskilling will become the new standard for people throughout their careers.

Bert Bean, CEO of Insight Global, noted that hiring mistakes were made in the aftermath of the hiring surge companies experienced after 2020 and the fear of losing workers in the "great resignation" of 2021. He suggested that "focusing on good old-fashioned hard work as a starting point is the best place to start resetting an employee base."

For job seekers looking to stand out in interviews,highlighting, soft, skills, providecan provide a competitive edge. Tina Wang advised that communication and interpersonal skills can become readily apparent in the first 5-10 minutes of an interview. Bert Bean recommended that candidates be prepared to talk about their contributions in their last role and how they helped advance the company's top or bottom line, stating,"Paint the picture of what you had to do every day, and describe how after [the situation or job] was over, you knew you had a strong ethic."

As businesses navigate the evolvingworkforce, landscape, evolving, navigate, the value placed on college degrees in hiring decisions appears to be shifting. With a growing emphasis on soft skills, work ethic, and continuous upskilling, employers and job seekers alike may need to adapt their strategies to succeed in the current job market.

Key Takeaways

  • 42% of small businesses believe a college degree has zero value in hiring decisions.
  • Strong work ethic is the top skill needed to get hired, but also one of the hardest to find.
  • Soft skills like problem-solving, time management, and communication are in high demand.
  • Upskilling and reskilling are becoming huge priorities for businesses, with 85% of adults worldwide agreeing.
  • Highlighting soft skills and work ethic can provide a competitive edge for job seekers in interviews.