Recently, a number of analysts and editorialists have attempted to tackle the much-debated question: are degrees and advanced degrees worth it

With the jury still out, Glassdoor and market research firm Harris Interactive asked nearly 1,000 U.S. employees about their own opinions on the value of higher education.

A large majority of respondents--82 percent--said that their undergraduate degree has, indeed, helped to boost their career. However, when it comes to further acquiring the skills they need for their job, 72 percent of employees said they value specialized training over earning a degree.

Additionally, 63 percent of respondents said they believed that non-traditional ways of learning new skills--such as certificate programs, bootcamps, webinars and massive open online courses--could help them to also earn a bigger paycheck. 

And three in four employees said they expect that their work experience and related skills, as opposed to their level of education, are more likely to help them land their next job. (See the graphic below for a further survey breakdown.) 

The results are derived from a larger quarterly Glassdoor survey on employment confidence. The survey considers four main indicators of confidence, which include: salary expectations, job market optimism/re-hire probability, job security and business outlook optimism. 

Overall, employment confidence is down slightly from last quarter (Q114). Here are some highlights from that portion of the survey: 

  • 37 percent of employees expect a pay raise in next 12 months. This is down 7 percent from last quarter. 
  • 40 percent of respondents believe that their company's business outlook will improve in next 6 months, which is down 4 percent from Q1. 
  • 16 percent are afraid of getting laid off--up 1 percent from last quarter.
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