Does higher education mean lower joy on the job?

Lauren Williams's picture

American workers who have a college degree are less likely than workers with just a high school diploma to feel enthusiastic about their jobs, and that's "bad for the U.S. economy," a new report says.

The trend holds no matter how much workers make or how old they are, says the report by Gallup Education, a division of the research and polling company. It's based on surveys of more than 150,000 American adults conducted in 2012.

On average, fewer than a third of American workers are emotionally invested in their work, the survey suggests. But the key driver for the lower levels of engagement among college-educated workers centered on one factor: College graduates were far less likely to agree with the statement "At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day" than those with less than a college degree.

That was "a real eye-opener," says Brandon Busteed, executive director of Gallup Education.

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