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Why Millennials’ Degrees are Undervalued

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In today’s world, having a college degree is a prerequisite for the majority of professional positions in a company. Millennials, defined in 2015 as those between the ages of 18 and 34, feel the pressure to earn a college degree; however, Millennials are discovering a college degree may not hold the same value as it used to.

If you compare median weekly earnings from Generation X (those born between the early 1960s and early 1980s) in the mid-1990s to earnings for the same age group today, you will notice Millennials come out a little farther ahead, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, it’s important to keep in mind how much time, effort and money Millennials are putting into their degree compared to Generation X.

The economy has increased the demand for skills in the workplace and businesses are continuously raising the skill standard and type of degree a candidate needs in order to qualify for a position. While education requirements for a position in a company continue to increase, so does college tuition. Millennials will graduate with more student debt than any other generation before them. According to Edvisors.com, student borrowers who graduate this year will owe $35,051 in student loans, which is a record high. The work and effort this age group is putting into getting their degree comes at a higher price than in the past.

Many millennials also graduated into or after the Great Recession, which lasted from late 2008 to mid-2009, and are still feeling the repercussions today.

Businesses are constantly demanding more and more from candidates, which leaves potential employees wondering if perhaps even more education is the answer. They may make more money by having a higher degree, but at what cost? Are the college degrees of Millennials being undervalued by companies and businesses today? It makes you wonder how many skills and degrees Millennials will have to collect before they can be as successful as Generation X.

Do you think a college degree is undervalued today? What gaps have you seen in the workplace between Millennials and Gen Xers? Follow WorkSmart on Twitter or Facebook and share your own experiences.

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