Earlier today, CNBC’s Make It published an article by Morgan Smith that highlighted a significant shift in the American workforce’s preferences, with an increasing number of people seeking flexible careers that don’t necessitate a bachelor’s degree. This trend is particularly notable in the context of rising inflation and the staffing challenges faced by many companies.

CNBC says that, according to Google Trends data, searches for “no degree jobs” in the U.S. have reached an unprecedented peak this year. They take this surge to mean a growing interest in career paths that don’t require traditional college education.

Lisa Gevelber, Google’s Chief Marketing Officer for the Americas, told CNBC that about 75% of U.S. jobs paying over $35,000 annually typically require a college degree. However, only 38% of Americans possess a bachelor’s degree. This gap presents challenges for both employers and workers, especially in the current economic climate.

Google’s data reveals that job seekers are particularly attracted to roles offering travel opportunities, flexible work schedules, and clear paths to entrepreneurship.

CNBC reports that the most Googled jobs in the U.S. as of November 2023 are:

  • Real Estate Agent
  • Notary
  • Travel Agent

Per CNBC, these rankings are based on the frequency of “how to become…” queries on Google. It points out that these roles generally require only a high school diploma or GED, with no formal education beyond that.

To become a notary or real estate agent, individuals need to obtain state-specific certifications or licenses. The duration for obtaining these can vary between 1 to 9 months. Travel agents typically need a high school diploma and on-the-job training. They may also opt for certifications from transit associations like the Cruise Lines International Association or the International Air Transport Association.

CNBC highlights that compensation is a key factor for those seeking no-degree jobs. “High paying jobs without a degree” was among the top Google searches in this category in 2023.

Average salaries for these roles vary significantly:

  • Travel Agents: Average salary of $39,955 (according to ZipRecruiter).
  • Real Estate Agents: Average salary of $86,356.
  • Notaries: Average salary of $129,717.

Finally, CNBC mentions that the top 10% earners in real estate and notary professions can make over $100,000 and $200,000, respectively.

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