College graduates really need a job

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The Future. College degrees and the job market aren’t seeing eye-to-eye these days — a major study found that over half of college graduates are “underemployed” a year after graduation. While colleges’ failure to prepare students for the workforce and the job market’s obsession with data-driven work are both at fault for the phenomenon, expect minors, certificates, and other extended learning programs to become necessary to land a good role after graduation.

Degree dysfunction
Analyzing data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Education, and the Census Bureau, Burning Glass Institute and Strada Institute found…

  • 52% of college graduates aren’t working a job that requires or “make(s) meaningful use” of their diploma, per Forbes.
  • And those results don’t typically get better with time — 73% who are underemployed one year after graduation are still so a decade later.
  • A student’s choice of major has a big impact — students who studied a quantitative major like computer science had an underemployment rate of 37%, while students who took something more abstract like marketing had a rate of 57%.
  • But doing an internship in college made a positive difference — those students had a 49% less chance of being underemployed after graduation.

Does underemployment really matter? If you want to realize your full earning potential, then absolutely — people who work a job utilizing their major typically are paid 33% more than those who don’t.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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