The College Graduate “Underemployment Epidemic”

It’s an epidemic that few talk about, yet it’s sweeping through our nation… affecting hundreds of thousands of people.

I’m talking, of course, about the epidemic of underemployment, and how it’s affecting our country’s new college graduates.

Keep reading to learn what’s happening… and how your college-bound child can not only keep from falling into this trap… but actually prosper.

– Scott

The College Graduate “Underemployment Epidemic”

Underemployment can refer to working in a position that is financially insufficient for one’s needs, that is below one’s level of skill or education, or is part-time when full-time is needed.

The A.P. reports that over 50% of recent college graduates are either working in a position that does not require a college degree or are entirely unemployed. This is a staggering statistic when you consider the rising cost of college.

No one wants to spend tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands of dollars on a college education, only to find that the best job they can find after college is nowhere close to the field they’ve earned a degree in.

And far too often that is exactly what happens. The same A.P. survey found that more recent college graduates were likely to be working in food service than as mathematicians, chemists, engineers, and physicists combined.

But this is not a problem that can be blamed solely on the economy or the job market.

An unrealistic sense of the job prospects for majors in the humanities and social sciences carries an equal amount of blame.

However, the good news is that underemployment is preventable.

You want your child to enjoy college and it is important that they go into a field that they are enthusiastic about, but you need to be aware that a poor choice in your child’s major can significantly cripple his or her future job and income prospects.

According to Yale economists, underemployed and unemployed recent grads will earn nearly $100,000 less than their fully employed counterparts over a 10-year period.

This represents a serious loss of money for individuals, and an equally significant hit to our economy.

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And that’s from a totally financial standpoint; the mental and social damages caused by the prospect of underemployment and college debt could be far worse.

The best way you can avoid this bleak future is to prepare early and find a career-path that your child will enjoy and is also in high-demand.

In a survey of 2000 U.S. employers about the most in-demand majors, the top five were Business (31%), Computer and Information Sciences (24%), Engineering (17%), Health Professions and related Clinical Sciences (10%), and Engineering Technologies (9%).

Liberal Arts and Humanities came in 10th with only 6%.

The industries with the most growth in entry-level jobs included Advertising, Computer Software, and Accounting and Finance.
Your child can also help his or her post-college employment prospects by looking in the right places. Cities like Phoenix, Minneapolis, Boston, Tampa, and San Francisco showed the most growth in entry-level positions for recent college grads.

Clearly, this demonstrates that the underemployment issue is more related to our approach to college than it is, as some believe, a problem with the modern college education itself.

Despite the poor job market and high cost of college, the long-term benefits of a college degree are obvious and indisputable.

When you look at the fact that the unemployment rate for college graduates (3.8%) is nearly half that of those lacking a degree (7.4%) – as well as the fact that college grads can still expect to make approximately $1 million more in their lifetime than those with a high school diploma – it’s easy to see that a college education is still the way to go.

But to maximize your chances of avoiding underemployment after graduation, consider the high-demand careers and majors.

To your college admissions and funding success,

Scott Weingold

Co-Founder, College Planning Network LLC
Publisher, CollegeMadeSimple.com – The free educational resource of College Planning Network

 

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Editor's Note: Scott Weingold has been ranked the #1 “College Financial Aid Expert Worth Knowing About” in the entire country by CollegeStats.org.  He has co-authored the book, “The Real Secret To Paying For College. The Insider’s Guide To Sending Your Child To College – Without Spending Your Life’s Savings.” Scott also publishes a popular free online newsletter, “College Funding Made Simple" which reveals insider’s tips, methods, and strategies for beating the high cost of college.

Scott is the co-founder and a principal of the widely renown College Planning Network, LLC – the nation’s largest and most reputable college admissions and financial aid planning firm. CPN is a proud member of the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of College Funding Advisors, the National Association for College Admission Counseling, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Scott, along with his college funding advisory team, helps thousands of families throughout the country with their college planning needs and offers a series of free educational webinars and workshops on “How To Pay For College Without Going Broke In The Process!” He's been featured or mentioned in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Yahoo News, TheStreet.com, Voice America with Ron Adams, Crains Cleveland Business, and on Cleveland Connection with James McIntyre.  Scott has published numerous articles and is a professional speaker who has addressed thousands of audiences online and offline throughout the United States.  His actionable insights and candid, open approach have earned him & his team numerous media interviews, citations, and speaking opportunities, and his free online video workshop is one of the Internet’s most widely viewed pieces in the college funding space.