Our over qualified work force
Nearly half of working Americans with college degrees are in jobs for which they're overqualified, a new study out Monday suggests.
The study, released by the non-profit Center for College Affordability and Productivity, says the trend is likely to continue for newly minted college graduates over the next decade.
"It is almost the new normal," says lead author Richard Vedder, an Ohio University economist and founder of the center, based in Washington.
The number of Americans whose highest academic degree was a bachelor's grew 25% to 41 million from 2002 to 2012, statistics released last week from the U.S. Census Bureau show.
The number with associate's degrees increased 31%, while the number of Americans for whom the highest level of education attainment was a master's or doctorate degree grew fastest of all — 45% and 43%, respectively.
Earnings in 2011 averaged $59,415 for people with any earnings ages 25 and older whose highest degree was a bachelor's degree, and $32,493 for people with a high school diploma but no college, the Census data show.
Vedder, whose study is based on 2010 Labor Department data, says the problem is the stock of college graduates in the workforce (41.7 million) in 2010 was larger than the number of jobs requiring a college degree (28.6 million).
That, he says, helps explain why 15% of taxi drivers in 2010 had bachelor's degrees vs. 1% in 1970. Among retail sales clerks, 25% had a bachelor's degree in 2010. Less than 5% did in 1970.
"There are going to be an awful lot of disappointed people because a lot of them are going to end up as janitors," Vedder says. In 2010, 5% of janitors, 115,520 workers, had bachelor's degrees, his data show.
...I suspect that many of these people stayed in school because they could not find a job to begin with, and now they are over qualified for what jobs are available. Most would be better off working on an oil rig for twice as much with less than half as much education and no student loans to pay off. Many of these people have been ripped off by a higher education system that is pumping out students with worthless degrees or into fields where there is already an oversupply of talent. That has been especially true of lawyers of late. But MBA are also overstocked right now. If they are not self starters who want to start their own business they maybe in the janitor business.