pie chartAccording to a new survey by Glassdoor, 82 percent of U.S. college grads believe their level of education has helped their careers. The Glassdoor U.S. Q2 2014 Employment Confidence Survey found that even though earning a college degree has value, 72 percent of employees still believe specialized training to acquire specific skills is more valuable than a degree in the workplace.

The survey of more than 2,000 adults analyzed how employees perceive the value of their own education and higher education overall as both relate to securing a job and advancing their career.

Survey highlights include:

  • When asked what is most important for advancing their career and earning a bigger paycheck, 63 percent of employees reported learning new skills or receiving special training; 38 percent said transitioning careers or looking for a new job or company; and 34 percent said networking with professionals.
  • Nearly three-quarters (74%) of employees believe employers value work experience and related skills more than education when evaluating job candidates.
  • Almost half (48 percent) of employees with a college degree believe their specific degree is not very relevant to their current job, while four in five (80 %) admit they’ve never been asked about their college GPA during a job interview.
  • Although more than half (53%) of employees believe a graduate degree is no longer necessary to be offered a high-paying job, 56 percent still reported that they would be “more successful in their career” if they had a higher level of education.

“The national conversation about the value of higher education and gainful employment is a topic alive within companies. While education is still valued as one piece of the puzzle for a successful career, we’re seeing a shift in the workplace in which most employees feel gaining the latest skills relevant to their job and industry is more valuable to help advance their careers, and they’re feeling it’s what employers are truly seeking to really help move business forward,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert. “For any employee looking to earn a bigger salary or move up the corporate ladder, they should do their research on how their industry is evolving, including identifying specific skill sets that are in demand. Going back to school may be one way to learn and improve, but there are also non-traditional ways, such as certificate programs, bootcamps, webinars, online non-degreed courses, conferences and more.”

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