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Conor Sen

An Educated Workforce Is Overrated

The low unemployment rate has shown another path to wage growth and reducing inequality.

A master’s degree should not be required.

A master’s degree should not be required.

Photographer: Putu Sayoga/Bloomberg

A tight labor market shows the true value of education – and we’re seeing now that college has been overpriced. For many workers, it’s not worth the time or the money.

In the depths of recession employers added years of experience and additional degrees into hiring requirements – "the barista with a master's degree" – not necessarily because that experience or education was important to do the job, but just because employers had the luxury of being more picky. As the labor market has improved, those requirements have been loosened, presumably without much impact to productivity.