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Education as a Signal in Job Market

There may be no market more important to college students than the job market, especially for the students of Class of 2016.  Things were very different a few years back, when my sister graduated in Class of 2008.  According to this Wall Street Journal blog post, 201 employers from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), they plan on hiring eleven percent more college graduates this year compared to last year.  Michigan State University’s survey had similar results; there is a projected 15 percent increase in hiring graduates of all types of degrees.  However, these optimistic statistics only apply to certain industries—NACE predicts that the oil and gas industry will experience a 57.9 percent drop in hiring this year.  The overall consensus is that the increase in job growth these past years has been led by higher-wage jobs, which usually require at least a bachelor’s degree.

This projected activity in the job market brings up the importance of what fuels a student’s job competitive edge—an education. Because if that,  in markets such as the job market, the worker, also known as the job seeker, is the one that knows more in the game of “Hire me, hire me not”.  They know the actual value of the good or service being sold on the job market, which can be productivity, resourcefulness, intelligence, e.t.c.  Meanwhile, employers only know the information that job seekers will market toward them.  In the market, having signals of quality is important, and education can serve as a signal of productivity.


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November 2015