Study Finds Almost Half of College Graduates are Working High School Level Jobs

A newly released study has found that nearly half of all college graduates work high school-level jobs, like retail or food service.

The study by Burning Glass Institute and Strada Institute for the Future of Work also found that 52 percent of college graduates are underemployed a year after graduating.

The report explained that “underemployment” refers to “the experience of four-year college graduates who are employed in jobs that don’t typically require a bachelor’s degree.”

“Seventy-three percent of graduates who start out underemployed remain so 10 years after completing college, making them at that point about 3.5 times more likely to be underemployed compared with those who start out in a college-level job,” the survey found.

“A recent graduate employed in a college-level job typically earns about 88 percent more than a high school diploma holder, while an underemployed graduate typically earns only about 25 percent more than someone with no education beyond high school. This leaves underemployed graduates on weaker financial footing as they start their careers, especially those with substantial student loan debt”

The cost-to-degree and degree-to-job ratio is also a problem for college graduates.

The Epoch Times reports:

A June 2023 analysis by Campus shows that an associate degree costs about $11,600 per year, including room and board, for a full-time student. That’s $23,200 for this two-year degree.
The average yearly cost to attend a four-year public college or university with room and board was $21,035. That’s $84,140 for a bachelor’s degree.

The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the median annual salary of someone with an associate degree is $48,240. For those with a bachelor’s degree, it’s $68,736.

For a bachelor’s degree, data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that business degrees are the number one major (19 percent) among today’s college students. Data compiled by Coursera shows that the median annual salary for someone with a bachelor’s degree in business is $65,000.

The report, published on Thursday, is based on data about 60 million people’s careers in the US, including 10.8 million people with a bachelor’s degree.


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