Computer skills and the ability to work well with others is considered more important than a college education, according to a new study.
The value of a college degree has changed to the point where a whole bunch of college-age kids, as well as those who have already gone through college, aren’t certain it is necessary for future success.
According to the most recentAllstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, an increasing number of people see more value in being able to use current computer technology and being able to work well in a group than in a four-year college degree. That value is measured by how it helps a person succeed in the modern business world.
The poll asked questions of two distinct groups of individuals: those who were ages 18-24 along with those aged 25-29 who self-identified as still “getting started in life”, and those older, including everyone 25 or older who felt properly established in their lives.
From the younger group, only 55 percent said a four-year degree was “very important’’ to have a good career. Approximately one-third said a college degree was “somewhat important” and the remaining 12 percent said college was not important at all.
Among the older group, 53 percent considered a college education “very important”.
These percentages are well below percentages previously reported in terms of the significance of a college education.
Asked to rank a series of choices in terms of their value to having a successful career, The older group most frequently selected “a detailed understanding of how to use computer technology” (85 percent) followed by “being able to work with people from many backgrounds (79 percent) and “keeping your skills current through training” (79 percent).
Marked more often than a college degree was also “having good family connections (61 percent).
The college education outpolled “being willing to work long hours (51 percent) and “being willing to switch to new jobs and occupations (48 percent).
The younger group had the same priorities beating out a college degree, but in a different order. “Being able to work with people from many backgrounds” (82 percent) was the top selection, followed by “keeping your skills current” (79 percent), “understanding computer technology” (77 percent) and “good family connections (59 percent).
The attitude about the value of a college education was slightly different based on racial and ethnic backgrounds. African-American and Hispanic people in both age groups valued a college degree more than did white respondents.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.