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Executives more optimistic about graduates this year, survey finds

The vast majority of executives (82%) readily acknowledge that jobs are still harder to come by today than when they graduated.

Today’s College Degree – Not What It Used to Be?

When it comes to building their own careers, executives are in lockstep on the critical role that education played. Nearly nine in 10 (87%) say that their studies prepared them for the jobs they’re in now. More than six in 10 (62%) believe their college degree was “necessary” for their career success.

However, when looking at the class of 2014, surprisingly, most (54%) believe that a college degree today is “less valuable” than it was when they donned their caps and gowns years ago.

“An education determines a worker’s earnings for life. Increasingly the value of today’s graduate degree is the equivalent of yesterday’s undergraduate degree,” said Korn Ferry CEO Gary D. Burnison. “For the class of 2014 entering a workforce that is fast changing and complex, there is a strong premium placed on those who are learning agile – the college graduates who can adapt, grow and evolve in a dynamic environment.”

Echoing the importance of securing an advanced degree to prepare for today’s increasingly complex environment, 77% of executives say that a graduate degree is “worth the investment.”

From April 1-14, Korn Ferry surveyed nearly 200 corporate executives.

Full Korn Ferry Executive Survey Results

Do you think that the prospects for college graduates this year are better or worse than a year ago? Than three years ago?

 

One Year Ago

Three Years Ago

Better

67%

56%

Worse

33%

44%

Is a college degree necessary for career success?

Yes

62%

 

No

38%

 

Is it easier or harder for a 2014 college graduate to get a job compared to the year you graduated?

Harder

82%

 

Easier

18%

 

Do you think your education prepared you for the job you have now?

Yes

87%

 

No

13%

 

Is the US education system preparing students to be highly competitive workers?

Yes

44%

 

No

56%

 

Is a college degree today more or less valuable than it was when you graduated?

More

46%

 

Less

54%

 

Do you think a graduate degree (doctorate, masters etc.) is worth the investment?

Yes

77%

 

No

23%

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