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Impact Of Educational Attainment On Job Satisfaction

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The impact of educational attainment on job satisfaction is ambiguous. Existing literature has acknowledged there to be a positive association between education level and job satisfaction in some cases, a negative association in others and also found cases where there were no association at all between the two variables. This was documented across worker’s gender and wage-earning status (Martin and Shenan, 1989), working conditions (Weiss et al., 1967), and various aspects of health (Pisani, 2009).

Empirical evidence suggests that level of education increases the possibility of achieving a desirable and full-filling job, and highly educated individuals are more likely to find a job where they are more satisfied with the conditions of their jobs such as salaries, work environment and career opportunities, regardless of their gender. (Pisani, 2009) Pisani (2009) found general job satisfaction to be a strong indicator of different aspects of health and well-being, and therefore affirmed that obtaining a university degree is considered as an investment in an individual’s health. (Pisani, 2009) This is consistent with the findings of Gürbüz (2007), who used a modified version of a popular job satisfaction questionnaire to measure job satisfaction. His hypothesis suggests that there exists a positive relationship between education level and job satisfaction in the tourism sector and the findings of the paper, achieved by computing the Pearson correlation, confirm that his hypothesis is true.

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On the other hand, some studies report an inverse relationship between education level and job attainment. Jurik et al. (1987) assessed the overall job satisfaction using a questionnaire with a sample of 179 Correctional Service Officers (CSO). The qualitative data used in their paper supports the existence of a negative relationship and argues the reason behind this to be the increase of work-related expectations caused by a higher education level (Jurik et al., 1987). The educational attainment of a worker and the workers’ expectation of the type of job they should have is positively correlated, and holding the absolute income constant, the higher the education level, the lower the reported satisfaction level from an individual’s job (Clark and Oswald, 1996). The findings of Davia and Albert (2005) support the argument that these unfulfilled expectations cause the inverse relationship between the educational level and job satisfaction. Another determinant of this negative association is that employees with a higher level of education are more prone to suffer educational mismatches (González et al., 2009) Conversely, other studies have also encountered this inverse relationship when looking at employees working in the public sector (Wright and Davis, 2003) and younger workers (Vollmer and Kinney, 1955).

It is important to state that even though most studies report a negative or a positive association between educational level and job satisfaction, some studies argue that there is no significant relationship between these two variables at all. Within a sample of hotel employees in Cordoba, Spain, González et al. found that the level of education and job satisfaction are two independent variables. It is also mentioned that their findings support Francès (1981), who states that only a small part of the variation leading to job satisfaction is caused by an individuals’ education level. (González et al., 2009) They later on, conducted an ANOVA test which determined that employees with lower educational level have greater organizational commitment. (González et al., 2009)

The fundamental challenges for researchers on this domain are the issues that may arise from using questionnaires. Since many researchers tend to base their analysis on surveys that use questionnaires when looking at the impact of educational attainment on job satisfaction, there is a possible that the answers of the individuals are influenced by social desirability. In order to take account for this issue and reduce the confounders, Pisani (2009) matches the samples in the data set used, with reference to gender, age, having children, level of education and occupational status (Pisani, 2009). Another issue that may arise when determining satisfaction is endogeneity. In the existence of multiple satisfaction indicators, researchers generally use the variable that is more related to the problem they are studying; however, this reduces the range of multivariate techniques that could be used to determine the relationship between satisfaction and other variables and causes delays in taking account for endogeneity issues. (Davia and Albert, 2005)

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Impact Of Educational Attainment On Job Satisfaction. (2021, September 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 4, 2024, from
“Impact Of Educational Attainment On Job Satisfaction.” Edubirdie, 29 Sept. 2021,
Impact Of Educational Attainment On Job Satisfaction. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 4 Mar. 2024].
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