Nearly Four in Ten Employers Now Hiring College Graduates for Jobs that Were Primarily Held by High School Graduates
PR Newswire

TORONTO, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Employers are not only looking for educated labor to fill high skill positions, but to fill traditionally lower skill jobs as well.  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. 

The CareerBuilder study of more than 400 employers across Canada was conducted online by Harris Interactive© from November 1 to November 30, 2012.

"Employers are filling more entry level functions with educated labor," 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."     

Positive Effects of College-Educated Labor

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

Employers Implementing Stricter Requirements

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

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

Education and Promotions

The 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.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within Canada by Harris Interactive© on behalf of among 415 Canadian hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 1 and November 30, 2012 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 415 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 4.81 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

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