A new report from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity concludes that nearly half of the nation’s recent college graduates hold jobs that don’t require a degree.
In short, many of the jobs they have aren’t worth the price of their diploma.
From that report:
Increasing numbers of recent college graduates are ending up in relatively low-skilled jobs that, historically, have gone to those with lower levels of educational attainment. This study examines this phenomenon in some detail, concluding:
- About 48 percent of employed U.S. college graduates are in jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests requires less than a four-year college education. Eleven percent of employed college graduates are in occupations requiring more than a high-school diploma but less than a bachelor’s, and 37 percent are in occupations requiring no more than a high-school diploma;
- The proportion of overeducated workers in occupations appears to have grown substantially; in 1970, fewer than one percent of taxi drivers and two percent of firefighters had college degrees, while now more than 15 percent do in both jobs;
- About five million college graduates are in jobs the BLS says require less than a high-school education.
And here’s something else to think about: Job recruiters spend exactly six seconds examining your resume.
According to The Ladders’ research, recruiters spend an average of “six seconds before they make the initial ‘fit or not fit’ decision” to interview you.
Not hire you–just meet you. You’ll still have plenty of chances to get shot down during or after the interview.
The most important truth to be learned from these reports: Most employers claim to respect a college degree, and use the lack of one as yet another excuse for refusing to hire.
Yet after someone has invested years of rigorous intellectual effort and gone into thousands of dollars’ worth of debt to attain that degree, the average employer assumes–if not says:
“Why should we hire you? You’re just a wet-behind-the-ears snotnose. You don’t have any experience in this field. Find another company that’s willing to take you on, and if they’re willing to, come back to us in five years and we’ll talk again.”
I once attended a jobs fair that featured a table for a hospital that was supposedly hiring nurses. A job-seeking woman told me that she had recently graduated from nursing school. But the hospital was hiring only those with five or more years of nursing experience.
Where–and how–are job-seekers supposed to get that experience if employers refuse to hire?
The fact that the average resume gets a total of six seconds makes a statement employers would prefer to ignore. Essentially, the employer is saying:
- “Your four or five years’ of hard study in a specialized field; and
- Your going into thousands of dollars’ worth of debt
is worth exactly six seconds of my exalted time.”
There is no better definition of intolerable arrogance–and no better explanation as to why so many millions of willing-to-work Americans can’t find willing-to-hire employers.
But there is no reason for American job-seekers to continue to tolerate such arrogance–and the human and economic wreckage it leaves in its wake.
Reform starts with facing the truth–however painful–for what it is. And with seeing one’s enemies–however powerful–for what they are.
For thousands of years, otherwise highly intelligent men and women believed that kings ruled by divine right. That kings held absolute power, levied extortionate taxes and sent countless millions of men off to war–all because God wanted it that way.
That lunacy was dealt a deadly blow in 1776 when American Revolutionaries threw off the despotic rule of King George III of England.
But today, millions of Americans remain imprisoned by an equally outrageous and dangerous theory: The Theory of the Divine Right of Employers.
Summing up this employer-as-God attitude, Calvin Coolidge still speaks for the overwhelming majority of employers and their paid shills in government: “The man who builds a factory builds a temple, and the man who works there worships there.”
America can no longer afford such a dangerous fallacy as the Theory of the Divine Right of Employers.
The solution lies in remembering that the powerful never voluntarily surrender their privileges.
Americans did not win their freedom from Great Britain–-and its enslaving doctrine of “the divine right of kings”-–by begging for their rights.
And Americans will not win their freedom from their corporate masters–-and the equally enslaving doctrine of “the divine right of employers”-–by begging for the right to work and support themselves and their families.
And they will most certainly never win such freedom by supporting right-wing political candidates whose first and only allegiance is to the corporate interests who bankroll their campaigns.
Corporations can–and do–spend millions of dollars on TV ads, selling lies–lies such as the “skills gap,” and how if the wealthy are forced to pay their fair share of taxes, jobs will inevitably disappear.
But Americans can choose to reject those lies–and demand that employers behave like patriots instead of predators.