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Do you happen to know how they classify a bachelors degree vs a university degree? I see StatsCan lists them as:

1) some postsecondary; 2) trades certificate or diploma from a vocational or apprenticeship training; 3) Non-university certificate or diploma from a community college, CEGEP or school of nursing; 4) University certificate below bachelors degree; 5) Bachelors degree; and 6) University degree or certificate above bachelors degree.'

I'm not sure what would count as a degree or certificate above bachelors that wasn't some sort of graduate degree.

Good example of composition effects. You can go back to 1971 for earnings on an annual basis.

There are other factors at work here that could be significant: e.g the age distribution of workers with different levels of qualification. With such a rapid increase in the proportion of more highly educated workers, the age distribution of those with lower levels of education increasingly "shifts upward" while the age of distribution more highly educated workers shifts downward, towards workers with lower levels of experience (below their maximum earnings age level, but increasing). As the older less educated workers age they also decline in earnings ability - probably more quickly than more highly educated workers. Credientialism is another possibly major factor in the decline in earnings of less educated workers, as educational qualification levels for most occupations have been shifting upwards for decades, so that able workers find themselves blocked from employment and advancement by more highly credentialed workers. The effects of credentialism likely result in overestimates of the value of education and limit the ability of older workers to reintegrate into the market following job losses.

Kent: Credentialism doesn't lead to overestimating the value of education, only the value of the credential papers.

From my perspective in tech, "skill"/specialization requirements *have* increased. But stated in high-level qualitative terms, in highly "skilled" (and often highly specialized) fields, maybe 10-20% of the work require the high specialization, and 80-90% are bog standard stuff that competent generalists can do.

However, most (and I don't want to guess how many) work tasks of a size that measures in maybe days, or even hours, are "contaminated" with just enough of the 10%+ specialized content that they require an expert, or at least consulting with an expert. An additional issue is that it is often not clear upfront whether and when along the process this will be required.

With increasing complexity, also traditionally (perceived as) "lower level" tasks like testing, document preparation and review, customer assistance, product installation/maintenance etc. have started to require higher "skills" and specializations. In "high tech", the support staff often gets stuck in their job and in turn needs to escalate to product developers, either because of lack of specialized knowledge (and in software, notoriously lack of documentation) or because servicing the product simply cannot be done by non-experts anymore.

As a result of all this, companies were to some extent forced to hire more specialized and college educated or trained in the respective fields staff even for roles that are nominally "lower level" with the corresponding prestige penalty. To some extent this has in turn led to such roles being classified with higher titles ("title inflation"). A related trend has been to hire people in e.g. highly-classified product development positions but then expect them to "also" do support. This is very common in software, which suffers a lot from the described issues.

But of course there is the aspect that without unions and company pensions, and tenuous job security, work has become a "pay as you go" affair, with little mutual investment. So companies don't want to train people more than minimally necessary.

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