Forbes: 1 in 3 Recent College Grads ‘Underemployed’

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Democrats are all yapping about “universal college,” free tuition (translation: the defenseless taxpayers foot the bill), etc., as if we didn’t already have nearly universal college.

But Forbes Magazine, citing figures from the New York Fed, reports that one out of three  college graduates have jobs for which no college degree is required–and for recent grads, that figure climbs to 44% and sometimes up to 50% ( That is, half of them have jobs for which no degree is required–which means their degrees are irrelevant.

And they’re earning less money than they used to, too. Fifteen years ago, underemployed college graduates earned, on the average, a little over $45,000 a year. They weren’t all sweeping the floor in the 7-11: some non-degreed jobs paid very well. But now only one in three grads earns that much.

But they’ve still got to pay off their student loans. Ouch!

“Could the college degree become the new high school degree?” Forbes asks rhetorically.

Once almost everybody had a high school degree, a high school degree stopped being worth anything. You can get one without learning to read. Just show up.

As we expand “higher education” to take in almost everybody, the same thing is happening to a degree from a college.

And the Forbes article doesn’t raise the issue of totally worthless degrees in Gender Studies and Superhero Studies and the like: imagine the underemployment rate, and the earnings, for grads with those degrees.

Back in the 1970s I found my B.A. in Political Science not a help but an impediment, Phi Beta Kappa key and all. Wherever I applied for a job, I ran into the brick wall called “You’re overqualified.” It seems I was qualified for nothing but to go back to college, which I didn’t want to do; I just couldn’t sit in classrooms anymore.

We are always told that a college degree is indispensable for success in today’s economy.

I don’t believe it.

8 comments on “Forbes: 1 in 3 Recent College Grads ‘Underemployed’

  1. What I think we need are more vocational **high schools** where students could learn employable skills alongside other school subjects — and would probably have more motivation to learn even those other subjects when they knew they were working toward an obtainable goal. Then they wouldn’t even need to think about going to college; they’d probably get good jobs and wind up making more money, and making it sooner, than the students coming out of our modern colleges.

    As a bonus, when more and more youngsters discovered they could do better with HS-level vocational training than with a college degree, college enrollments would begin to drop and college administrators would have to be more competitive, both about what they were charging and about what they were offering.

    College was never supposed to be about job training, anyway.

  2. Become a welder and you’re income will probably be in six figures, at least in places where the demand is high. Frankly, I’d rather weld than put up with the crap I have to deal with.

  3. I feel the same way about G.E.D.s. I could have dropped out of high school and worked jobs and gotten all kinds of experience while I taught myself about things I was interested in, and then taken a test and gotten a GED without ever having gone to class. The high school diploma has been cheapened, and now it is being done to the college degree (which is way more expensive). I am still hoping online education will be perfected in such a way to run all those flimflam professors and administrators out of business.

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