Once again, June has come and gone–and, with it, an annual rite of passage for tens of thousands of college students: Graduation.
That occasion when young innocents formally leave the academic nest to make their way into the harsh realities of the work
Among those harsh realities: The average college graduate faces a debt loan of more than $29,400.
But wait! There’s something even more demoralizing awaiting these “heirs of tomorrow.”
The discovery that, for all the “we hire only the brightest” rhetoric by employers, having a college degree actually means little to most CEOs.
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 hold aren’t worth the price of that 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;
But the future isn’t completely bleak–at least not for women willing to transform themselves into glorified babysitters for obscenely-rich families.
Consider a recent post on Facebook by AC Connections, which describes itself as “a nanny and household placement agency.”
Under the headline, “Growing Nanny Industry Is Enticing More College Graduates,” the ad/article begins:
“As more college graduates leave school and struggle to find work, they’re turning to the nanny industry.
“Many working moms love the idea of a highly-educated, experienced nanny providing individualized care for their children in their own homes. But it can come with a substantial price tag.
“In this challenging economic climate, more college graduates are finding a little spoonful of sugar in the burgeoning nanny industry.
“These ‘modern day Mary Poppinses’ are educated, experienced, and in increasingly high demand.”
The International Nanny Association claims that the average salary is about $16 an hour.
The ad asserts that “highly qualified and educated nannies in certain locations can make $100,000 or more each year. It’s not uncommon for nannies to start out with salaries comparable to entry-level finance careers.”
Besides the money, says the ad, there are other reasons for becoming a nanny:
“Many love working with children, want a chance to use their college education, or enjoy the role of caretaker.”
“A chance to use their college education”? As in cleaning up spills, changing diapers and feeding baby food to infants?
So if you’re a college graduate who can’t convince an employer within your chosen profession–such as pharmacy or engineering–to hire you, there’s always the Mary Poppins option.
Or some similar menial “career” that caters to the indulgences of the American plutocracy, for whom $16 an hour amounts to a Snicker’s candy bar for the fast-disappearing middle class.
It should be enough to make you hesitate before signing up for a loan to cover the average $57,000 cost of a public college education.
Or an even larger loan to cover the $132,000 cost of a private college education.
But if you’re still thinking that “employers really respect that degree,” consider this: 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.
According to the study, when scanning a resume, recruiters looked at the following items:
- Current title and company
- Current position start and end dates
- Previous title and company
- Previous position start and end dates
American employers should be legally compelled to hire as responsibly as college students are expected to pursue an education.
Until this happens, those young men and women thinking of committing a big chunk of their time and going into massive debt to pursue a college degree should think twice before doing so.