Why a College Diploma Is the New High School Diploma

The job market has changed drastically in the past several years. Less openings has placed junior positions in high demand forcing those holding a high school diploma to compete with college graduates. This is great for employers, but has led to an under-employed rate of 9 percent in Canada and this number is rising.

This challenge raises the bar for the minimum requirement for most entry level positions from high school diploma to college diploma. Here are the other major factors forcing more workers to return to school, and high school students to pursue a college diploma:

  • In the U.S. the belief that a college diploma was necessary for success rose from 31 percent to 55 percent in just ten years.
  • Although there are technically many positions out there that do not require a college diploma, the fact that there are more people on the job market applying for these jobs with college diplomas makes the competition that much more aggressive.
  • With unemployment rates at about 10 percent, the feelings of the recession are still being felt by many families. This is adding to the belief that a college diploma is a must to acquire a job.
  • Unemployment rates for college graduates are about 8 percent compared to high school graduates at 24 percent.
  • 33 percent of the new jobs created by 2018 will require a college diploma.
  • Technology is taking the place of many manual labour jobs. This means those who may have looked forward to making a living with a high school diploma in jobs such as material handlers or assembly line workers will be replaced by those working on interface positions for network control systems, a job for a college graduate.
  • In the 1970’s a high school graduate was able to make a good living and accounted for 60 percent of the middle class. That number dropped to 45 percent indicating 15 percent of these workers are either unemployed or have joined the ranks of the lower classes.

It is more important than ever for high school students to have a plan to further their education. Some areas students can explore to pursue their college diplomas include healthcare, business, technology and design. High school students should speak to their guidance counselor to find out what options offer the best opportunities for them. Their counselor can set them on the right path for a successful career.