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Bubble Burst? Survey Finds College Creates Workforce Expectation Crisis

The November Freedom Economy Index, a joint effort by PublicSquare and RedBalloon, highlights a growing concern among the small business community concerning the expectations imposed by colleges and universities on students’ post-graduation trajectories.   

This bombshell survey builds on the momentum of its predecessor, which played a pivotal role in shaping the national discourse on the workforce outcomes generated by Higher Education. 

Key Findings: 

  • Unrealistic Expectations: An alarming 91% of small business owners expressed concern that educational institutions are fostering unrealistic expectations among students regarding post-graduation and professional life. 



  • Top Challenges for Graduates: Respondents rank "salary levels," "amount of work hours required," and the "difficulty of work to be performed" as the top three challenges faced by college students when entering the post-college job market. 

    • 63% said college grads have unrealistic expectations on salary levels.   

    • 62% said college grads have difficulty adjusting to the amount of work hours required.  

    • 50% said college grads have wrong expectations about the difficulty of work to be performed. 

  • Subject Misalignment: The survey raises questions about the alignment of diploma subject matter with real-world business needs. Nearly half of the respondents highlight "business" as the most crucial bachelor’s degree subject, while a comparative analysis of National Center for Education Statistics data for 2022-2023 reveals significant percentages of college students earning degrees in other fields. 


“All this adds up to why 80% of small business owners now say that a college degree makes no difference, or is actually a disincentive, when hiring their people,” Crapuchettes added. 

Crapuchettes finished by saying, "Not only are colleges producing degrees that small businesses don’t value, but grads are coming to the workforce with hugely unrealistic expectations about pay, work hours, and the difficulty of the tasks to be performed. 


The Freedom Economy Index surveyed a universe of over 70,000 small business owners throughout the United States, fielding the questionnaire from November 30 to December 5, with 682 respondents.  The survey has a margin of error of +/-4.0% at the 95% confidence level. 

PublicSquare Is America’s largest non-woke marketplace app with over 70,000 businesses and over 1.6 million active consumer members.  They empower the consumers to put purpose behind every purchase, from daily essentials to non-woke restaurants in their area.   

Founded In 2021, RedBalloon has quickly become America’s largest woke-free job board, connecting employers and employees who prioritize a positive workplace culture free from the divisiveness of cancel-culture mandates. 

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han gu
han gu
Jun 05

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