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Half of new graduates are jobless or underemployed

Is college worth the expense? USA TODAY has reported that half of graduating college students are either unable to find a job, or they take a job that is not in their field of training.

“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,” ABC News reported.

“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,“the report stated.

Opportunities for college graduates vary widely.

“You can make more money on average if you go to college, but it’s not true for everybody,” said Harvard economist Richard Freeman, noting the growing risk of a debt bubble with total U.S. student loan debt surpassing $1 trillion. That’s incredible!

Most students who graduate with a bachelor’s and/or a graduate degree leave with a debt that may exceed $100,000. Why the surge in student debt? Rising tuition costs, high salaries being paid professors and instructors, and a growing number of students choosing college over other options.

“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 mid-level 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,” an Associated Press report noted.

Are student loans the next bubble syndrome that will burst, dumping a trillion dollars of debt on the taxpayers of the U.S.? There have been rumblings in Washington to reduce the amount of government-guaranteed loans owed by students, or forgive the entire loan amount. If that happens, look for politicians to want more of your hard-earned dollars for another bail out.

One word to students entering college in the fall: don’t look for the easy way out, evaluate the job market now and stay away from studies that you may ace, but finding a job with a degree in that field might be getting more difficult.

—Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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