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Unemployed and Underemployed College Graduates

A May 2015 Washington Post article b quoted a few startling statistics for parents and kids to keep in mind as the flurry of college application season begins.

  • A Bachelor’s degree doesn’t come with guarantees
  • The unemployment rate for recent graduates is just over 5 percent
  • Underemployment (college graduates people working in jobs that did not require a college degree) stands at about 45 percent.


As reported in the Wall Street Journal May 2015 By MELISSA KORN Updated May 7, 2015

As reported in the Wall Street Journal May 2015 By MELISSA KORN
Updated May 7, 2015

Be aware income charts like this don’t take into account the unemployed and underemployed graduates. A 2013 profile of PayScale’s 40 million uncovered the top ten majors most affected by underemployment.

  • Business administration and management majors are 8.2 times more likely to find work in a job beneath their skill level.
  • Criminal justice and drama degrees are nearly 7 times more likely to be underemployed,
  • Liberal arts, anthropology, psychology and English degree holders also struggle.
  • History and Psychology graduates often end up in positions they did not prepare for or hope for such as administrative assistants and coffee baristas.


Even that layer of statistics is misleading, as a business degree with a STEM focus (for example, management analyst) has more openings than graduates.

A good search pattern for purchasing a four year education includes

  1. finding topics (teachers, courses of study, and electives) that will sustain your interest (Look in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields and aim for a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) rather than a B.A. (Bachelor of Art).STEM Opens Doors Inside Image
  2. looking at the types of internships that your college choices make available in the degree that interests you (take the time to read student reviews);
  3. looking at jobs that you believe your degree will prepare you for.  Search Indeed for job descriptions and see if Google can tell you how many applicants each job attracted.
  4. consider a double major and explore an area that is just to make you smile!
  5. if you are limited by income and facing huge amounts of student debt, get an associates degree in STEM and steady work with an employer who will pay for your education.
  6. Attend the upcoming Prepare for the Future Workshop!

Grow a Generation 2015 Prepare for the Future Flyer


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1 comment

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