Good Jobs without Degrees

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

We have been inundated for years with stories—indeed, books and conferences and seminars—in which we are told that it is impossible to find good jobs without a college degree.

In fact, Georgetown has a center dedicated to sounding that very alarm in every way possible. Nevertheless, when you look at their data, you find that, as usual, the current wisdom is not necessarily the case.

Amber Northern from the Thomas Fordham Institute did just that. “In looking at the national breakdown of good jobs, 55 percent of those workers hold at least a bachelor’s degree,” she writes. “And of the 61 percent of employed adults who don’t have a bachelor’s degree, 40 percent have a good job.”

“But this differs between states. In Wyoming, for example, 62 percent without the credential have good jobs.”
“Overall, the share of good jobs for workers without a bachelor’s degree declined from about 60 percent of workers in 1991 to 45 percent in 2015. But variation among states is wide. Thirty-four states (mostly in the South and West) added good jobs for these workers over the nearly twenty-five years covered by the study; sixteen states and the District of Columbia had fewer, and they are mostly located in the Northeast and Midwest—areas hit hard by manufacturing declines.”