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Higher Education does not Create Jobs

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,113 times Debate No: 15593
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
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Often times you will here politicians complain about the startling lack of access to education and how it is having a detrimental effect on the competitive nature of the United States. This however is not true, jobs over the last couple of decades have not been lost due to education but rather a difference between wages of workers in the United States and the rest of the world.

Additionally as increases in the number of applicants that have a piece of paper claiming they are educated occur the actual value of that piece of paper falls. Hence it is not the education that matters but how that education allows someone to differentiate themselves from every other applicant. As ever growing numbers of people graduate with a bachelors degrees the value of that degree becomes ever smaller in an economic scale as increased competition of necessity creates a devaluation. The effects of Supply and Demand will therefore come into play showing that it is not the education that creates a job but the ability to fill a demand for that education without saturation of demand for said position.

What does this mean? It means contrary to popular opinion education is not a job creator and that through the institution of programs to 'educate' the population you only ensure that to be a cut above the rest you must obtain more education. Rather than education being the great equalizer claimed it simply creates a self fulfilling cycle of competition where employers seek the most educated for the lowest price. Ergo the premium paid for education is further discounted.

This can easily be seen in the number of college graduates who now have difficulty in finding a job and the vast number of people who graduated in the past who simply have a bachelors degree coming into fierce competition with a larger than ever population that has obtained degrees since they had left school believing that they had adequately differentiated themselves from their generation.

This equates to education not Creating Jobs but rather differentiating people into separate pools of 'sort-ability' for businesses. A Business will not even hire a 'sales manager' if the sales manager today does not have a degree, whereas the ability to perform the tasks has little to do with the degree and more an HR sorting mechanism.

It is my postulation that if EVERYONE had a bachelors degree then the value of this degree would be meaningless as everyone had one and would no longer be used as a metric in distinguishing individuals. Thereby elevating a Graduates Degree to the same level a Bachelors Degree is currently. This thereby exemplifies that education is not used as a basis of 'Job Creation' and more of an example of job classification and mechanical sorting.

This does not mean Education is not vital to any number of factors and that the betterment of the self is not constantly needed, only that there is a belief that a better education leads to Job Creation. Job Creation on the other hand DOES need adequately taught applicants for it. The point here is that it is not cause and effect that better education equates to MORE jobs. Additionally an education typically only gains ENTRY to a field or a position, thereby rendering the question of how important is the classical education system in comparison to trade school or on the job training? Just fun points that may be interesting to consider in this debate.


Thanks to my opponent for this great debate.

I will use the wikipedia definition of higher education:

Higher, post-secondary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at academies, universities, colleges, seminaries and institutes of technology. Higher education also includes certain collegiate-level institutions, such as vocational schools, trade schools, and career colleges, that award academic degrees or professional certifications.[1]

It is my opponents BOP to show that in a world without higher education, assuming ceteris paribus, unemployment rates would be less than or equal to modern times. It is my BOP to show that higher education has created jobs. That is all. It is not my burden to show that current higher education is efficient, that everyone should have higher education, how politicians should change higher education or anything else.

I will prove to you that this is true. I theorize that higher education creates jobs mainly through the following principles:
(a) Jobs are created by increasing aggregated demand. Education creates jobs that increase aggregate demand.
(b) The greater the average productivity of an employees, the greater the amount of employees hired. The more employees hired, the lower the unemployment rate.

I will also provide empirical evidence to support my claims.


1)Engineers, entrepreneurs and scientist create new businesses and products that increase aggregate demand

Lack of aggregated demand causes unemployment. Simply speaking, if consumers do not want to buy products, then businesses will have to lay off workers due to lack of demand for these products. This causes unemployment. New products must be made that people want in order to increase aggregate demand. I cannot want an mp3 player, unless an mp3 player actually exists. Once there is a demand for the mp3 player, people can will be hired for the production, distribution, and selling of this product.

Engineers and scientist design new products that consumers want. Many products such as health-care, laptops, cell-phones, mp3-players, video games pharmaceutical drugs, and many others products would not exist without the innovation of scientist and engineers. Scientist and engineers must learn their trade through higher education.

Also entrepreneurs create new businesses that create goods and services people want. Entrepreneurs meet people that help their business succeed and learn how to run successful businesses through higher education. Steve Jobs created a company that has thousands of employees. Juggle, the owner of, hires many people to keep their company running.

2)The fastest growing occupations require at least an associate's degree

If one takes a look at the fastest growing occupations, 2/3 of them require at least an associate's degree, and � of them require at least a bachelor's degree. [1]

3)Empirical Evidence shows that those with higher education are less likely to be unemployed

According to the following graph, those with a higher education are less likely to be unemployed[2].

4)Many jobs would not exist without higher education

Engineers, doctors, lawyers, nurses, scientists, architectures, teachers, dentists, accountants, and actuaries are all required to have a bachelor's degree or higher in order to practice in these fields. If higher education did not exist, then these jobs, that employ millions of Americans, would not exist.

5)In order to be employed, you must have skills an employer or consumer wants

Employers will only hire you, if he/she believes that you will be productive. If you are looking for a job as a financial adviser, but no nothing about finance, you are not going to get the job. Even "blue-collar" jobs like electricians and mechanics often need training at a vocational school in order to be hired. Higher education teaches skills that employers and consumers want, and therefore employment increases.

6) A fall in GDP causes unemployment

According to Okun's law, as GDP falls, so does unemployment.[3] Since those entering STEM careers (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) create innovation and technology that improve GDP, then unemployment will decrease as well.


1) Education is just a piece of paper that signals that you are a productive worker.

This is false. As I stated, education teaches people skills that improves ones productivity in the workplace. It is the skills learned in higher education that causes a person to be hired.

2) Over-saturation of skilled workers

This is again false. If this were true, then college graduate would just as likely to be unemployed as those without an education. This is not the case.

Also, if there were an over-saturation of skilled workers, then based on the law of supply and demand, then skilled occupations would have low pay. After all, as supply of skilled workers increased, then wages go down. However, there appears to be no "market saturation" of skilled workers.[2]

3) College graduates having difficulty finding a job

Those without a college degree and high school drops have it much worse. Since we are in a recession, unemployment is unnaturally low. Since the youth have little or no job experience, they are the least likely to get hired. Fannie Mae's government-backed mortgages and the Fed setting the interest rate to low, created a housing bubble which caused the recession.

4) If everyone had a bachelor degree it would be meaningless

It is true that there are jobs that do not require higher education, and these unskilled workers are necessary in society. However, my opponent's argument is both affirming the consequence and using a composition fallacy. His argument reads as so (A = education):

If A is good, then A is good for the whole.
(composition fallacy)
A is not good for the whole. Therefore A is not good.
(affirming the consequence)

The positive effects of higher education would be exemplified the more people are educated. The positive effect were explained above. Of course there is a limit to this effect. However, I do not have to prove that everyone should have a higher education.

Thank you and I look forward to your rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1


Innocent forfeited this round.


My opponent has forfeited. Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


Innocent forfeited this round.


Well, this debate failed. Vote CON
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by darkkermit 5 years ago
lulz, I honestly didn't think about higher education creating jobs for teachers.
Posted by Silver_Falcon 5 years ago
Well education creates jobs for teachers for sure! ;)
Other than that it gives one a potential to do high productive work. But it is up to the individual if he can use it or not. Sometimes he fails so. Formal education is not everything and it is more up to the person itself to succeed.
Posted by darkkermit 5 years ago
I'm so sorry but I forgot to cite the sources (yes I used 1 twice, my bad).:[1][1][2][3]
Posted by phantom 5 years ago
Here is one way education creates jobs.
Smart people get rich. Rich people create jobs. take Bill Gates for example. He has created thousands of jobs for different people.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
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Vote Placed by boredinclass 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: forfeit