Good News: Business Degrees Pay for Themselves… Instant-Messaging Platform Slack Becomes Aid in Job Hunt… Do Employers Really Value Alternative Credentials?

Good News: Business Degrees Pay for Themselves

There’s a good reason business degrees are the most popular undergrad and graduate majors in the US—these degrees deliver one of the highest returns on investment, according to a report conducted by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce.

Business degrees may not net the highest economic value of a degree—that honor goes to health, engineering, and computer and information sciences programs—but business degree programs lead to median earnings that exceed student debt payments roughly tenfold just two years after graduation, according to the report’s findings.

The report ranked business programs based on students’ financial returns. Associate degree recipients at Excelsior College in New York and Union County College in New Jersey, bachelor’s degree holders at Bismarck State College in North Dakota, and master’s degree graduates at the University of Pennsylvania had the highest returns compared to peers at their level of higher education.

Still, earnings and debt at the degree, institution, or program level tell only one side of the story. In a specific business program at a given institution, students can earn significantly more or less than the typical earnings for that institution or program, said one of the report’s co-authors.

The researchers concluded that the information collected can help prospective students assess the value of various business programs.

Weissman, S. (2022, June 28.) Report: Business majors earn high returns. Inside Higher Ed.

Instant-Messaging Platform Slack Aids in Job Hunt

The popular business messaging app Slack has become an informal way to link job hunters and hirers.

Slack allows teams and entire workforces to instantly share information, which has made it particularly popular as the number of remote workers has soared. Although originally designed for use in individual firms, Slack has launched a networking function that facilitates instant information sharing between disparate organizations.

These invitation-only groups are now being used to land positions faster than traditional methods would allow. Groups such as women in marketing, human resources, Blacks in technology, and many more have appeared on the platform since the pandemic.

Job matches result when employees at one company share news about job opportunities with their Slack networks. Candidates who connect via Slack have an edge because they can claim a personal connection.

Ellis, L. (2022, May 31.) Forget LinkedIn—Your next job offer could come via Slack. The Wall Street Journal.

Do Employers Really Value Alternative Credentials?

While many executives claim to be open to alternative credentials such as certificates, badges, and apprenticeships in lieu of a college degree, their hiring managers are stuck on traditional diplomas from colleges and universities.

New research from the Society for Human Resource Management documented the disparity between company leaders’ words and the actions of their hiring personnel. This disconnect has significant implications for colleges offering non-degree programs designed to help employees without degrees get ahead as well as the students who obtain these credentials.

Specifically, the survey found that although the majority of executives, supervisors, and even HR staff said alternative credentials give workers credibility, a much smaller group agreed that those without degrees were better performers compared to college grads. In fact, when asked to rank the importance of factors affecting hiring, executives placed alternative credentials behind experience, education, specific skills, work history, and interview performance.

Alternative credentials are touted as a means to improve workplace diversity. But only 46 percent of HR professionals surveyed—the ones in the position to actually hire people—agreed that was the case.

Koenig, R. (2022, April 20.) Employers claim to value alternative credentials. Do their practices match their promises? EdSurge.


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