Office Workers (for Illustration)

Being more educated may not make you more satisfied with your job ─Study

*Experts have discovered that you might wind up with better job benefits, but that does not necessarily mean you will be happier. But they highlight some factors that lead to job satisfaction

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

A lot of factors can make consumers feel fulfilled by their jobs in workplaces, but a new study suggests that formal education may not be one of them after all.

Researchers from Notre Dame University, in a study stated that consumers who complete higher levels of education are likely to obtain jobs that offer higher salaries and better benefits, but those things do not equate to job satisfaction.

Researcher Brittany Solomon said: “Our study shows people who have invested in formal education do not tend to be more satisfied in their jobs.

“We found that better-educated individuals do enjoy greater job-related resources including income, job autonomy, and variety. But they also endure longer work hours and increased job pressure, intensity, and urgency.

“On average, these demands are associated with increased stress and decreased job satisfaction, largely offsetting the positive gains associated with greater resources.”

In determining what leads to job satisfaction, and the role education plays in it, the researchers analysed several earlier studies that have spanned the last two decades. They looked at education and job satisfaction from several different angles and identified key factors that come into play when determining what leads to fulfillment at work.

Ultimately, the researchers learned that education alone is not likely to yield job satisfaction.

Whereas consumers with formal education are more likely to earn higher salaries, the job demands outweigh the benefits.

However, it’s interesting to note that being self-employed, while also having higher levels of education, was associated with greater job satisfaction. The researchers attribute this to greater autonomy over workplace decisions.

They noted that self-employment also comes with more freedom than a traditional work environment.

“We found that, compared to their wage-employed counterparts, 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.”

On the other hand, the researchers found that educated women were less likely to feel satisfied in their roles at work than educated men, which the researchers speculate could be because of long-standing gender disparities in the workplace.

Solomon stated: “Women still face workplace adversity that can undermine the positive returns on their educational investment.

“This dynamic is particularly important given the reversal of the gender gap in education, with more women completing high education than men.

“We explored the notion that the education-job satisfaction link is negative and stronger for women and discovered that, compared to their highly educated male counterparts, highly educated women experience more stress at work and lower satisfaction.”

In finding a work-life balance, the researchers hope these findings don’t deter consumers from seeking higher education, but they say people should realise what a more demanding position at their job will look like in terms of their lives outside of work.

The team says job satisfaction should always play a role when it comes to applying for a new position.

Solomon further stated: “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.

“It’s good for people to be realistic about the career paths they pursue and what they ultimately value.”

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