Does higher education still prepare people for jobs?

January 11, 2019

We often hear employers and business leaders lament the unfortunate gap between what students learn in college and what they are actually expected to know in order to be job-ready. This is particularly alarming in light of the large — and still growing — number of people graduating from university: above 40% in OECD countries, and nearly 50% in America.

Although there is a clear premium on education — recent reports from The Economist suggest that the ROI of a college degree has never been higher for young people — the value added from a college degree decreases as the number of graduates increases. This is why a college degree will boost earnings by over 20% in sub-saharan Africa (where degrees are relatively rare), but only 9% in Scandinavia (where 40% of adults have degrees).