Degree-Holding and Discouraged: The Plight of College Graduates
by, 8th April 2011 at 07:11 PM (2985 Views)
Since you first entered the schooling system, around age five, the absolute necessity of enrolling in an enchanted place called "College" was a constant reminder.
Get good grades so you could go to college.
Take Advanced Placement courses to have a leg up in college.
Study for your SATs, ACTs, and whatever other standardized test to prove to the Saint Peter of higher education you are worthy of entry.
You were told it was essential because without a degree, job opportunities would scarcely involve more than a deep fryer and a drive-thru window.
So you listened.
You filled out applications, wrote personal statements, scavenged for scholarships, and begged your teachers for letters of recommendation.
Then, it happened. Your mailman delivered a thick manila envelope containing a detailed road map of the next four years of your life.
For the most part, it was everything you expected. You felt like an adult, enrolling in classes that sparked your interests and catered to your passions. You were practically blinded by your bright future as you laid down, brick by brick, the smooth road to a fulfilling career.
So what happened?
Why are you, like the 700,000 out of 25 million college graduates under 25, working at job that doesn't require a degree?
You played fair, followed the rules, and yet you were hit with the unexpected.
Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200.
Entry-level job listings are sparse, and for those whose egos have been amplified by a paper that took four years to print, settling for ones with "No Degree Required" is nothing less than a slap in the face.
According to an article published in GOOD, "there are roughly 2 million Americans over 25 who have at least a bachelor’s degree and are unemployed. Nationwide, the jobless rate for college graduates in that category is double what it was before the recession."
Burdened with student loans steadily adding the weight of impending payments, graduates are left with few alternatives.
“Young college graduates are vastly underutilized. They go ahead and complete school and we don’t have anything to offer them once they’re out,” said Andrew Sum, an economics professor at Northeastern University, and Director of the Center for Labor Market Studies.
Settling for a no-degree-required job provides, at the very least, some money but even less reassurance.
With the likelihood of being stamped "overqualified" because of a now-damning degree, and "under qualified" for entry-level positions, the bleak outlook leaves many feeling discouraged and deceived.
Statistics ensuring they don't stand alone in this labor market limbo provide little consolation, with more degree-holding 20-somethings hungry for jobs being churned out of college campuses every year.
So, was it all worth it?
To read the complete article published in GOOD Education, click here.