Skip to comments.Letís Invest More in College so Graduates Can be Stuck in Jobs that Donít Require College Degrees
Posted on 04/01/2013 6:04:49 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
We need to invest more in college education so that college graduates can get jobs that don’t require college degrees while paying off piles of student debt for an unnecessary college degree.
And that will help our colleges pay off their massive burden of debt. Welcome to the Obama Economy. (via Instapundit)
The recession left millions of college-educated Americans working in coffee shops and retail stores. Now, new research suggests their job prospects may not improve much when the economy rebounds.
Underemploymentskilled workers doing jobs that don’t require their level of educationhas been one of the hallmarks of the slow recovery. By some measures, nearly half of employed college graduates are in jobs that don’t traditionally require a college degree.
Economists have generally assumed the problem was temporary: As the economy improved, companies would need more highly educated employees. But in a paper released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a team of Canadian economists argues that the U.S. faces a longer-term problem.
They found that unlike the 1990s, when companies needed hundreds of thousands of skilled workers to develop, build and install high-tech systemseverything from corporate intranets to manufacturing robotsdemand for such skills has fallen in recent years, even as young people continued to flock to programs that taught them.
The problem isn’t just high tech skills. America does need more technical grads in some professions, unfortunately those professions are also glutted by low quality Third World students.
Meanwhile American students are wasting piles of money on unemployable non-technical degrees.
Brian Hackett, who graduated with honors from the College of New Jersey in 2010 with a political-science degree, is among those who haven’t found full-time work. Instead, the 25 year old works part-time doing clerical work and conducting phone interviewsand he is hardly the only one at his company with advanced credentials.
“There are people with master’s degrees and bachelor’s degrees and even people with law degrees applying to work for $10 an hour,” Mr. Hackett said.
Well yes. Not exactly all that surprising. There’s a lawyer surplus and political science is a chancy specialty.
Better-educated workers still face far better job prospects than their less-educated counterparts. The unemployment rate for Americans with at least a bachelor’s degree was 3.8% in February, compared with 7.9% for those with just a high school diploma.
This slops together all degree holders. The actual unemployment stats are 4.5 for BA holders and 3.5 for MA holders. High school grad unemployment does top 8 percent, but student loan debt more than makes up for the difference in incomes.
And some degrees have whopping unemployment rates that are worse than those of High School dropouts.
Even pre-law has an unemployment rate almost as bad as High School grads.
How about in green technology?
We’ve completely removed free market controls from higher education and then wonder why it’s not working well. If I was loaning money to a student, I’d be very interested in their chances for success, as it would directly relate to their ability to pay back my investment. We don’t do that. We taxpayers basically guarantee a college education to everyone without regard to their choice of degree or ability to someday repay the loans.
We have an over credentialed society, and government makes the situation much, much worse by demanding degrees for a slew of jobs that don’t really require them. Then we hand out money left and right to students who don’t have to do much of anything to earn it. People don’t generally appreciate things that are handed to them, but we have government/education industry collusion that will ensure the status quo is maintained until the country can simply no longer afford it.
I still laugh at my younger sister and her poli-sci degree which she got in 1987. Wanted to go into the foreign service. Yeah right. Ended up going to the Peace Corps in Africa for 8 months of living in a shithole and then to a travel agency for a year. Great investment sis.
“Big Education” serves as a conduit to route huge amounts of borrowed money to colleges who employ Democrat supporting profs and admins at excessive salaries.
Once again the Dems have created a beautiful system.
Original degree was in Elementary Ed, then went back to a Community College years later for an office-tech certificate (MS Office) and bookkeeping. Haven’t look back ever since.
My degree in El Ed. cost about about 20k (1984-1988). My two certificates cost about $5500 combined.
college can serve students in at least 2 very valuable ways.,..
1. real job/career preparation, and/or
2. real “liberal arts” to better understand and enjoy life, such as the more significant writings of Greece, Rome, Judea/Israel, British and other significant literatures which have addressed significant issues in people’s lives and their societies, etc.
Unfortunately, many students enroll in “liberal arts” or similar type programs that are not designed for purpose number 1 above, and which, regrettably, fail miserably to deliver on purpose number 2 (due to being so “watered down” or “diversified” as to either not study what counts .. or only give it a “social science type” general brush-over treatment ... while instead reading a completely different, often deliberately “diverse” (racist, communist, revolutionary, etc.) syllabus.
It is no wonder nobody who still is able to offer any well-paid employment wants to even touch graduates of such krapsated programs of “study.” Quite frankly, so many of the immigrants have much, much better work skills and especially better attitudes about doing good jobs, too.
So, all these kids spend 4 or 5 years preparing themselves to stand on queue for any available McDonald’s or taxi-driving openings. Nothing wrong with those jobs, they are honest ways of earning money and I respect and appreciate those who do them. But such jobs do not require MA’s in Sociology, Ethnic Studies, Liberation Studies, Queer Studies, or, shudder, even “Community Organizing” (whatever the hell that really is!?)
I put 3 of my 4 kids thru college. I told them I’d not chip in one thin dime for an arts, social or music degree.
nascarnation: “Once again the Dems have created a beautiful system.”
Well, it’s corrupt. The liberal politicians who control the federal government pour money into the liberal colleges which produce more drones that vote to keep the liberal politicians in office. It’s the same way with big labor. Everyone has their snout in the trough trying to suck up as much federal funny money as they can while it lasts. Imagine their surprise when it all falls apart. I’m thinking a lot of liberal professors will be begging on the streets when the SHTF. These are people who are generally not known for their ability to do anything in the real world. Note I wrote “generally”—I’ve known some very good professors over the years, but they were almost always in engineering and the hard sciences.
“Weve completely removed free market controls from higher education and then wonder why its not working well. If I was loaning money to a student, Id be very interested in their chances for success, as it would directly relate to their ability to pay back my investment.”
If this was privatized, the problem would correct itself immediately. Actually, in many countries, the problem doesn’t even begin to exist. If you don’t pass the tests, you don’t go to a public college or university. Period.
I can already smell a bailout.
I don’t see why the federal government needs to be involved in higher education at all, and as far as entrance tests go, I don’t really care if a moron goes to college so long as he or she is paying for it themselves. Other than that, I agree with your post. Unfortunately, I don’t see the current system changing, because too many people have a vested interest in maintaining it. Can you imagine a system where the vast majority of students had to work their way through college or go to private lenders who demanded a return on their investments? As you wrote, that would fix the system almost overnight.
What finally happened to your sister? Did she finally get a good job with her degree?
My guess is that she got married to an engineer, had a kid or two, and became a housewife.
Let’s see if I’m right.
Isn’t there a college somewhere that can at least see that their graduates are capable of doing basic math, writing legibly and speaking understandable English?
That would give their graduates a big jump over many of the unemployables churned out by many colleges over the last 20 or 30 years.
RE: I put 3 of my 4 kids thru college. I told them Id not chip in one thin dime for an arts, social or music degree.
So what did the 3 major in and how are they doing now?
At Easter dinner, a guest was explaining how he was applying to grad schools and all of them were “full ride” programs where they actually would pay him to be a “TA” and go to school there. I couldn’t help myself and burst out, “What a racket” and followed up with “all at taxpayer expense”....
“I dont see why the federal government needs to be involved in higher education at all, and as far as entrance tests go, I dont really care if a moron goes to college so long as he or she is paying for it themselves.”
Well, note that I said “public” (=taxpayer supported) colleges. I don’t care either if someone’s parents pay to send their kids to school to get a degree in astrology from a PRIVATE school. I am supporting students in public universities with taxes; they will be supporting me when I am retired (dream on...) and I want a return on my money.
Both girls in business. One is currently a stay at home mom, the other manages (not owns) a small business. The boy went into chemical engineering and works for a major oil company. Last boy, no degree, but has his own contracting business and is doing well.
I am one who believes that, in a better world, a BA was worth having for its own sake. Not today. I met an MA in English who never studied a play of Shakespeare. When I got my BA, I at least was familiar with all his works, and learned a few in great depth. Read the Romantics, Victorians, Classics like Poe and Dryden.
But a BA was also much less expensive for me than for the people now! The cost of studying your culture, just because it was worth studying, was in the loss of earning power for three or four years.
A classical education, or a good Great Books type program, can be a great thing. Most “liberal arts” programs nowadays simply don’t measure up. and are thus mostly a waste of time and $
Married an army medic, 2 kids and now works for the IRS.
And Germany does not offer advanced degrees in fields like engineering without time in the profession producing an employer recommendation before being eligible to apply.
True story. Back in the late 70s when I was in grad school at the U of Wisc in Madison, I took a cab ride home. The driver had a Ph. D. In medieval European philosophy. He was sure that eventually he would get a professorship at a good university. After someone retired or died. He'd been driving for almost five years.
“I am one who believes that, in a better world, a BA was worth having for its own sake. Not today. I met an MA in English who never studied a play of Shakespeare.”
Yup. I got a BS in zoology, and then later got an MA in English(TESL). Over the last 30 years, I’ve been amazed at the decline in variety and volume of writing that English majors must read. Oprah’s book club seems to be about the most taxing level of understanding that the youngest teachers I met needed to get their degrees, even at the master’s level.
“Hey Hey Ho Ho Western Civ has got to go.”
Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.