It’s been well documented that people with a college degree make more over a lifetime, with the Social Security Administration saying that the median amount is $900,000.

That being said, there are plenty of jobs that don’t require a degree, and in today’s tight labor market, some companies are dropping the requirement of a degree.

It turns out, though, that New Jersey is one of the worst states for job hunting without a degree.

TSM Illustration
TSM Illustration

According to research conducted by Cashnet, job prospects for the degree-less vary by location, with big cities more likely to have a more educated workforce, making it harder to find a job without one.

On a state level, Maine, West Virginia, and South Carolina offer the most opportunities for non-degree holders, while the most competitive states for those same workers are: New York, California, and New Jersey.

Their research showed that the best city in New Jersey for people without a degree is Edison, while the worst is Newark.

Newark, NJ (Townsquare Media)
Newark, NJ (Townsquare Media)

Overall, the worst cities for the non-degreed are New York City and Berkeley, California.

The best city is Ft. Myers, Florida, followed by Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

Here’s the methodology:

We retrieved the local population size of people aged 18-24 with high school as the maximum level of education from the American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the 300 most populated cities in the U.S. and the top five most populated cities and urban areas in each U.S. state.

For each city and U.S. state, we then used to find the number of entry-level jobs advertised for high school graduates as the maximum educational level required.

This enabled us to calculate the local ratio of high school graduates per available entry-level job so we could rank the most and least competitive cities and states for job hunters without college degrees.

LOOK: Counties with the highest unemployment in New Jersey

Stacker compiled a list of the counties with the highest unemployment in New Jersey using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in November 2023.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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Stacker compiled a list of the most common jobs in New Jersey 150 years ago using data transcribed from the 1870 U.S. Census.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle only.

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