New Report Shows Over Half Of Recent College Graduates Work In Jobs That Don’t Require Bachelor’s Degree

According to a report by the Strada Education Foundation, 52% of recent college graduates work in jobs that don’t need a bachelor’s degree.

“Talent Disrupted” is the study published in February by the Strada Education Foundation contends that “a college degree is not always a guarantee of labor market success.”

Researchers classified graduates as “underemployed” when they are employed in “jobs that don’t typically require a bachelor’s degree.”

The report describes underemployment as “a large and persistent problem” and highlights that “even a decade after graduation, 45 percent of graduates are underemployed.”

Furthermore, 73% of graduates “who start out underemployed remain so 10 years after completing college,” per the findings. The underemployed make less than counterparts who acquire jobs that use their degrees, and only 25% more than individuals with only a high school diploma, the research found.

Strada CEO Stephen Moret contended that all of these figures point to the need for students to obtain “access to high-quality education-to-employment coaching and at least one paid internship.” He specifically suggested that graduates start in a college-level job from the jump.

In a press release, Moret argued that college majors in finance, accounting, STEM, nursing and health have less problems with underemployment. 

Several colleges have built alternative programs to address this growing problem. In one case, a community college in Idaho put forward a bachelor’s degree concentrated on “applied” skills as part of an effort to promote more vocational and jobs-skills programs. This is the most proactive way of addressing a very real problem afflicting millions of Americans instead of just granting the federal government more powers to create distortions in the education market.

The fact of the matter is that degrees, especially in majors that are not in demand on the market, don’t guarantee a stable career. It’s going to take more contrarian policies by policymakers and creativity on the part of young adults to muddle through the harsh realities of the new job market.

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