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Uneven Opportunity: Exploring Employers’ Educational Preferences for Middle-Skills Jobs


Abstract: This analysis follows research published in 2015 by the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Atlanta on ?opportunity occupations,? which are defined as occupations that pay at least the national annual median wage, adjusted for differences in local consumption prices, and that are generally considered accessible to a worker without a four-year college degree (Wardrip et al., 2015). Among the primary findings in the original research is that, in online job advertisements, employers often express a preference for a college-educated candidate even for occupations that have not traditionally required one. Further, the authors find that even for the same occupation, employers? educational expectations can be much higher in some metropolitan (metro) areas than in others.

Keywords: high education; employment; education;

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Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Part of Series: Cascade Focus

Publication Date: 2017-01

Order Number: 6