, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, has published a survey report to examine hiring practices and how companies manage education background checks. Research experts analyzed responses from 1,250 senior management professionals.

According to the study, 47 percent of hiring managers say they sometimes or never check a candidate’s degree status. In contrast, 53 percent of employers report that they always verify the educational background of job applicants. Managers who typically perform background checks say they are most interested in verifying candidates’ degree titles, graduation year, and the schools they attended. Likewise, 73 percent of employers say they always or often notify candidates about confirming the information on their resumes.

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The survey shows that 57 percent of employers verify education credentials to ensure that candidates have the necessary knowledge and skills for the position. However, 52 percent of respondents say they conduct education background checks to make sure that candidates aren’t lying. Only 11 percent of employers who verify degree status say they never catch applicants lying, while 24 percent say they frequently catch applicants, and 22 percent report that they sometimes catch candidates lying. Despite this, 40 percent of employers admit they would hire a candidate even if they misrepresented their educational qualifications on a resume.

“Higher education is still a strong requirement for many positions, and continues to serve as a ticket for entry to most professional roles,” career strategist Carolyn Kleiman says. “This is especially true for the first job or two out of college. Over time, employers may value the experience and skills you bring over where you went to school and what kind of degree you have, but those things are key when starting out.”

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The report also indicates which industries are most likely to verify a candidate’s educational background. Industries that tend to verify credentials include 77 percent of employers in the computer and IT industry, 70 percent of business and finance employers, 64 percent of healthcare employers, and 63 percent of education industry employers. Only 41 percent of community and social services employers, 36 percent of office and administrative support managers, 30 percent of media and communications employers, and 30 percent of personal care services claim to verify educational status.

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