Magazine Research Corner

Well Worth It

Employers weigh in on the value of higher education

Winter 2024

Despite increasingly negative public attitudes about the value of a higher education, employers across the United States continue to affirm the worth of a college degree. In the latest employer survey commissioned by the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), eight in ten respondents agreed either strongly or somewhat that colleges and universities are equipping graduates for success in the workforce and that earning a degree is worth the investment in time and money. Survey respondents also expressed a high regard for the free exchange of ideas key to liberal learning, suggesting, as AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella writes, “that limiting what can be discussed in college classrooms not only hinders students’ learning but also harms their marketability and employability.”

Consistent with findings from previous AAC&U employer surveys, the 2023 survey, which queried 1,010 executives and hiring managers across the United States, found a strong correlation between the outcomes of a liberal education and the knowledge and skills employers view as essential for success in entry-level jobs and for advancement in their companies. Conducted online in May 2023 by Morning Consult, the survey is the eighth commissioned by AAC&U since 2006. Here we present a snapshot of the latest findings.

Download a PDF of the full winter 2024 Research Corner.