Nearly One-Third of Employers Now Hiring College Graduates for Jobs that Were Primarily Held by High School Graduates
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, 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-two percent 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. While this trend is most prevalent among Financial Services organizations, it spans across various industries:

  • Financial Services – 53 percent
  • Healthcare – 40 percent
  • Manufacturing – 38 percent
  • Transportation & Utilities – 37 percent
  • Information Technology – 33 percent
  • Professional & Business Services – 31 percent
  • Retail – 28 percent
  • Hospitality – 20 percent

The CareerBuilder study of more than 2,600 employers nationwide 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 – 64 percent
  • Productivity – 45 percent
  • Revenue – 22 percent
  • Customer Loyalty – 18 percent

Employers Implementing Stricter Requirements
Specific qualifications for jobs are becoming more demanding.  Nearly one-in-five employers (18 percent) said they have increased their educational requirements for jobs over the last five years.  Manufacturing and Information Technology firms were the most likely to report this, at 30 percent and 27 percent respectively. 

More than half of employers (54 percent) reported that they require an associate's degree or higher for their positions; 44 percent require a four-year degree or higher.

Education and Promotions
The lack of a college education may limit upward mobility. Thirty-seven percent of employers said they are unlikely to promote someone who doesn't have a college degree.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,611 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) 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 2,611, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.92 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 50 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from talent and compensation intelligence to employment branding and recruitment support. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Michael Erwin

SOURCE CareerBuilder