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1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed


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1-2-graduates-jobless-underemployed-140300522.htmlYahoo News:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor's degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs — waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example — and that's confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.

An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor's degrees.

Opportunities for college graduates vary widely.

While there's strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder. Median wages for those with bachelor's degrees are down from 2000, hit by technological changes that are eliminating midlevel jobs such as bank tellers. Most future job openings are projected to be in lower-skilled positions such as home health aides, who can provide personalized attention as the U.S. population ages.

Taking underemployment into consideration, the job prospects for bachelor's degree holders fell last year to the lowest level in more than a decade.

"I don't even know what I'm looking for," says Michael Bledsoe, who described months of fruitless job searches as he served customers at a Seattle coffeehouse. The 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative writing degree.

Initially hopeful that his college education would create opportunities, Bledsoe languished for three months before finally taking a job as a barista, a position he has held for the last two years. In the beginning he sent three or four resumes day. But, Bledsoe said, employers questioned his lack of experience or the practical worth of his major. Now he sends a resume once every two weeks or so.

Bledsoe, currently making just above minimum wage, says he got financial help from his parents to help pay off student loans. He is now mulling whether to go to graduate school, seeing few other options to advance his career. "There is not much out there, it seems," he said.



Maybe focusing on a writing degree was part of the problem?

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The older I get, the less value I put on a college degree. From my experience, the most constructive work environment is with a spectrum of backgrounds.


I'd take a high school drop out welder with drive over a B.S. in Urban Studies any day of the week. All I can say is that I worked my ass off to put myself through college, and there is no way I would have done it for a fluff degree. That was back in '93, and there's no way i could afford to do that if I was just going to school now. College costs are insane. Tuition at my Alma Mater was $1350 a semester back then and is pushing ten grand now.


It's pretty sobering when your fluff degree doesn't haul in a fantastic job in a crappy economy. But then, that's one of the few chances to turn a liberal into a conservative.

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You must not be that old.

Off hand I'd say he's late 30's, early 40's, been around long enough to grow a brain and is in a period where he sees a lot that used to roll off his back but now it causes great concern.

When I was that age politics didn't concern me in the least so he's way ahead of my curve.


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I agree things are bad, but combining the two stats, underemployed and unemployed, is a little bogus. The article says the all time low is 41% in 2000 at the peak of the tech bubble. So 12% more either unemployed or "underemployed" since then.

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Yes, I'm a product of the 1970s. I just ramped up my interest in history and politics in my mid 30s. Friends and family have been a big motivator ... and goodness knows I've gotten hooked on this site since I joined. wink.png

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Fluff degrees aren't the problem. I'm seeing folks with accounting degrees that can't read a balance sheet. I am being sent CPA candidates who don't understand the importance or relevance of most of the financial documents that they are being asked to review. Don't get me started on first year law students.


I don't know what students are learning in college these days, but they are not being taught those skills necessary to enter into the workplace, regardless of their fields of study. The job market is not the primary problem, because, historically, new graduates have done well in soft employment markets because of the lower pay scales that they can expect. However, in recent years, the cost of training them to actually do the work that they are hired to do has become more expensive than hiring more experienced people demanding higher salaries.

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