The More Educated You Are, the More Stressed You'll Be, Survey Says

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Educated If you think that the more education you have, the better job you'll get and the easier life will be, think again. Recent research shows that highest educated employees are experiencing increased stress levels as well as increased difficulty managing work-life balance.

The results of the GfK US Employee Engagement Benchmark 2011 Survey revealed that employees with the highest levels of education, such as a PhD -- which include the "knowledge workers" and "creative class" -- reported the highest levels of pressure and stress. They worry most about job security, having the resources to do their jobs effectively, stress at work and struggling to maintain a work-life balance. In addition, they frequently worry about the pressure to work long hours.

Employees with master's degrees worry less about those things than do those with PhDs, but more than those who only have bachelor's degrees.

"Greater education opens the door to more opportunities in the job market, but with that comes higher levels of responsibility and pressure to deliver results," said Thomas Hartley, vice president of GfK Customer Loyalty and Employee Engagement. "Addressing the pressures that more educated employees face is crucial to keeping them engaged and not seeking employment elsewhere."

In essence, stress and pressure lead to disengagement. Disengagement leads to dissatisfaction with one's current employer, and a tendency to want to look for another job.

During recessions, employees are far less likely to change jobs. Employers know this, and they tend to lessen their investments in employee training and development in an effort to keep overhead lower. When the recession ends, job mobility increases and companies lose experienced and talented employees who have become disengaged with their company.

In the end, more education may make you more qualified, but it doesn't necessarily make you any happier or more committed to your employer. Makes you kind of glad you didn't get that extra degree you were thinking about, doesn't it?


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