Thirty-two percent of hiring managers and human resource professionals say they are hiring more employees with college degrees for positions that were historically held by high school graduates, according to a survey by CareerBuilder. While this trend is most prevalent among financial services organizations, it spans across various industries:

  • Financial Service: 53%
  • Healthcare40%
  • Manufacturing38%
  • Transportation and Utilitie: 37%
  • Information Technology33%
  • Professional and Business Service: 31%
  • Retail28%
  • Hospitality20%

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 work64%
  • Productivity45%
  • Revenue22%
  • Customer loyalty - 18%

Specific qualifications for jobs are becoming more demanding. Nearly one-in-five employers (18%) 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% and 27% respectively.

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

The lack of a college education may also limit upward mobility. Thirty-seven percent of employers said they are unlikely to promote someone who doesn't have a four-year degree or higher.

The online survey was based on responses from 2,600 employers nationwide.