Better education 'doesn't lead to greater job satisfaction'

·1-min read

Better education doesn't lead to greater job satisfaction, a new study has suggested.

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame discovered that there was "almost no relationship" between formal higher educational attainment, such as a university degree, and having job satisfaction.

While "better-educated individuals" enjoy a higher income and job autonomy, they also endure longer working hours, and increased job pressure, the study showed.

"On average, these demands are associated with increased stress and decreased job satisfaction, largely offsetting the positive gains associated with greater resources," study co-author Brittany Solomon explained.

They also found that women were more likely to have an increased negative association between education and job satisfaction.

"Women still face workplace adversity that can undermine the positive returns on their educational investment," Solomon added. "Highly educated women experience more stress at work and lower job satisfaction."

However, those who were self-employed had more job satisfaction mainly due to flexible working hours and choosing their work content.

"Those in self-employment seem to be more insulated from the adverse effects of education on job stress and satisfaction. We believe illuminating this boundary condition is notable for the educated and organisations that value and want to retain their educated employees," she noted.

While the researchers do not suggest avoiding higher education to achieve better job satisfaction, they recommend that people set themselves a realistic compromise between "good" and "bad" working conditions.

"Balancing those conditions that lead to both stress and job satisfaction may help workers recalibrate their values and ultimately make decisions that suit their priorities," Solomon stated. "It's good for people to be realistic about the career paths they pursue and what they ultimately value."