Is a college degree worth it? Adobe Stock Images

There was a time when obtaining a college degree was the solution to having a financially stable career and life. Recently with the increase of tuition and the crippling amounts of student loan debt on young people, and low-salary paying jobs, it is very easy to ask “Is college with it?”, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, published a survey to examine hiring practices and how companies manage education background checks. Research experts analyzed responses from
1,250 senior management professionals.

Key Findings:

  • 23% of employers never check job candidates’ education credentials; 24% sometimes do
  • 57% of employers verify education credentials to ensure applicants have the right knowledge for the job; 52% want to confirm applicants aren’t lying
  • 9 in 10 managers have caught applicants falsifying information about their education backgrounds
  • 40% of employers are still very or somewhat likely to hire an applicant who lies about their educational background

Managers who typically perform background checks say they are most interested in verifying candidates’ degree titles, graduation year, and the schools they attended.

Likewise, 73 percent of employers say they always or often notify
candidates about confirming the information on their resumes.

The survey shows that 57 percent of employers verify education credentials to ensure that
candidates have the necessary knowledge and skills for the position. However, 52 percent of
respondents say they conduct education background checks to make sure that candidates
aren’t lying. Only 11 percent of employers who verify degree status say they never catch
applicants lying, while 24 percent say they frequently catch applicants, and 22 percent report that they sometimes catch candidates lying. Despite this, 40 percent of employers admit they would hire a candidate even if they misrepresented their educational qualifications on a resume.

“Higher education is still a strong requirement for many positions, and continues to serve as a ticket for entry to most professional roles,” career strategist Carolyn Kleiman says. “This is especially true for the first job or two out of college. Over time, employers may value the experience and skills you bring over where you went to school and what kind of degree you have, but those things are key when starting out.”

The report also indicates which industries are most likely to verify a candidate’s educational
background. Industries that tend to verify credentials include 77 percent of employers in the computer and IT industry, 70 percent of business and finance employers, 64 percent of
healthcare employers, and 63 percent of education industry employers. Only 41 percent of
community and social services employers, 36 percent of office and administrative support
managers, 30 percent of media and communications employers, and 30 percent of personal
care services claim to verify educational status.