Weekly Pulse Polling: Americans Agree – Not Everyone Needs a Four-Year Degree

Across the political spectrum, Americans want teachers, counselors, and parents to put more emphasis on alternative career paths.
Press ReleaseMarch 21, 2019

Washington, D.C. (March 21, 2019) – Higher education has come to the forefront of public debate this week, with many asking if we should reexamine the value of a college degree. New polling from Job Creators Network/ScottRasmussen.com shows that the general public believes parents, teachers, and counselors should spend more time educating children about alternative career paths that don’t involve a four-year college education.

Questions revealed:

  • 72 percent of people think that, when looking at prospective employees, employers should place more emphasis on actual work experience rather than a college degree.
  • 57 percent of people think parents have become overly obsessed with sending their children to college and planning their children’s careers.
  • Only 19 percent of people think high schools do enough to provide teens with knowledge of alternatives to a four-year college education.
  • 73 percent of people think it would be better for America’s workforce if high school counselors and teachers spent more time promoting trade schools and other alternatives to college.

This data reveals overwhelming support for alternative education paths that don’t include a traditional four year institution, and shows that Americans realize the valuable role vocational careers—such as plumbers, electricians and nurses—play in the economy.

“Americans understand that not everybody needs to go to college,” said Elaine Parker, President of the Job Creators Network Foundation. “In light of recent scandals, now is the time for parents and teachers to emphasize the value of other paths to success that empower our economy and lead to a more diversified workforce. Thankfully, the administration is already pursuing this issue with their workforce development initiative that is helping improve vocational education and job training for countless Americans.”

Other poll questions revealed Americans are confident about the economy, with only 13 percent of people rating the economy as poor, compared to 50 percent who described the economy as “excellent” or ”good.”

“Considering that job openings keep rising, it’s not surprising that confidence in the economy is holding steady,” said pollster Scott Rasmussen. “Only 16 percent of people say their finances are getting worse, compared to 81 percent who say their finances are getting better or about the same.”

Other polling questions this week included:

How would you rate the US economy today? Excellent (13%), Good (37%), Fair (33%), Poor (13%), Not sure (4%).

Is the economy getting better or worse? Better (33%), Worse (24%), About the same (35%), Not sure (7%).

Okay, how would you rate your own personal finances these days?  Excellent (11%), Good (38%), Fair (33%), Poor (15%), Not sure (2%).

Are your personal finances getting better or worse? Better (31%), Worse (16%), About the same (50%), Not sure (3%).

Are companies in your area more likely to be hiring new workers or laying off existing workers? Hiring new workers (46%), Laying off existing workers (19%), Not sure (35%).

For historic data on these economic questions visit: JCNPulse.com

Download full crosstabs on all this week’s questions:

https://polls.jcnf.org/app/uploads/2019/03/JCN-Crosstabs-March-18-19-2019.xlsx

This ScottRasmussen.com/HarrisX poll of 1,097 US adults was conducted March 18-19, 2019. For more information about the Job Creators Network, please visit www.JobCreatorsNetwork.com.