Boss speaking to employee:

"yes, you have the minimum education level but I'd say that for this task the __________ education level is X"

I used the word "minimum", but is there a better way of saying it?

(I need to say that for doing a specific task (such as "calling a customer on the phone") there is a minimum level of education.)

Saying "ideal education" is not good because it can mean "the highest possible education".

Should I say "desired education"?

  • 1
    Could it be "Optimal", according to english.stackexchange.com/questions/41079/optimal-vs-ideal?rq=1 ???
    – user193655
    Dec 6, 2012 at 11:40
  • 2
    Downvotes with no comment are useless, I am italian so I don't speak perfect english, I guess i made many mistakes in my question, is this a good reason to downvote? (in stackoverflow.com where i am an active member there is the hidden rule of always commenting when downvoting, if not it is like throwing stones at random: no use)
    – user193655
    Dec 6, 2012 at 11:42
  • 1
    Perhaps "the preferred education level is..." Dec 6, 2012 at 11:43

4 Answers 4


How about using:


e.g. "For this task the required education level is a college degree."

  • 1
    +1_Required_ is a good choice because it's more specific than "minimum" and not ambiguous like "preferred" (which implies that even if you don't have the minimum or preferred level of education, I might hire you if you're pretty enough or if you put out).
    – user21497
    Dec 6, 2012 at 12:28
  • Required makes me think of minimum too, or not? Anyway I trust Bill Franke!
    – user193655
    Dec 6, 2012 at 13:37
  • If a particular level of education is what you require, then surely you should call it "required".
    – Urbycoz
    Dec 6, 2012 at 13:40

If you have a specific educational standard that all applicants must meet, it's called a "prerequisite."

prerequisite (adj): 1. required beforehand

The prerequisite education for this job is a High School diploma.

A google books search shows that this expression is commonly used in expressing the specific requirements for employees. Such as this passage...

The training process cannot proceed effectively unless learners have the prerequisite education.

Or this...

Mandatory prerequisite education and training would provide consistency of knowledge among vessel operators.

To be clear, a prerequisite is a requirement for a specific educational standard which is not necessarily synonymous with a minimum standard. So, a minimum standard would be a High School education with a prerequisite educational requirement of fluency in Spanish.


Consider using "desired".

Although you meet the minimum level of education, the desired level of education for this job is YYYY.

or maybe "preferred".

Although you meet the minimum level of education, the preferred level of education for this job is YYYY.


As the others have mentioned, you can use "prerequisite" or "required".

But another way is to use additional words to disambiguate the meaning of the ambiguous words used:

"Yes, you have the minimum education level by law, but I'd say that the minimum education level for this task is X."

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