Academic education is a threshold requirement for many jobs, especially for high-income jobs. In addition, even when academic education is not a threshold requirement, it 'signals' employers on skills, perseverance and motivation, thus giving an advantage to those with an academic education, and for good reason: overcoming the challenge of obtaining an academic degree involves improving many skills relevant to the employment market.
Ayalon, H., & Yogev, A. (2005). Field of study and students’ stratification in an expanded system of higher education: The case of Israel. European sociological review, 21(3), 227-241.
Gofen, A. (2009). Family capital: How first‐generation higher education students break the intergenerational cycle. Family Relations, 58(1), 104-120.
Individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds
Studies indicate that individuals from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds are less inclined to get an academic education.