PROOF: Employers Don’t Want College ‘Waste’


( – Revealing the conflicting relation between theoretical knowledge and real-life skills, recent survey data shows a notable shift in employer attitudes toward college degrees, highlighting a growing preference for job applicants with practical skills and experience over academic qualifications.

The Freedom Economy Index (FEI), a collaborative effort between RedBalloon and PublicSquare, gathered insights from 70,000 small businesses in late October, drawing responses from 905 participants. The survey holds a 3% margin of error and a confidence level of 95%.

The results were revealing: a significant 67% of employers strongly disagreed that higher education institutions are producing graduates with skills pertinent to current business needs. Another 24.4% somewhat disagreed, while a mere 8.7% agreed to varying degrees or chose other responses.

Ken Rusk, a former construction worker and author of “Blue Collar Cash,” commented on “FOX & Friends Weekend,” noting a shift in the role of college education. He observed that colleges once enhanced already capable individuals, but now many graduates lack essential life skills.

The survey’s respondents echoed Rusk’s sentiments. One employer lamented the talent shortage, attributing it to high schools and colleges failing to produce skilled individuals. Another suggested introducing practical skills training in high school. A third respondent, identifying as a former college graduate, dismissed higher education as a “waste.”

Rusk also pointed out a challenge with college-educated job-seekers, stating they often overestimate the value of their degree and lack the necessary experiences that businesses seek. He emphasized the need for applicants to complement their education with practical skills.

Furthermore, the survey queried employers’ likelihood of hiring candidates with four-year degrees. Only 10% viewed a college degree as a hiring advantage. Conversely, 41.5% said it made no difference, and over 40% were less likely to hire someone with a college degree.

Rusk urged leveraging the supply-and-demand principle in favor of trades where demand is high and supply low. He highlighted the cost-effectiveness and time efficiency of trade certificates compared to college degrees.

The trend of downplaying college degrees is evident in several major corporations, including Walmart, IBM, Accenture, Bank of America, and Google. This shift is concurrent with escalating higher education costs, fueling ongoing debates about student loan debt and potential federal relief measures.