Although much media attention has been paid to statistics showing the value of a college degree is on the rise, recent college grads are still struggling with unemployment or inappropriate employment. Reports show that workers with a college education fared better during the economic crisis, this was found to be particularly true of people over thirty and professional women. However, this has not been the case for those with degrees under the age of 25.
Recent college grads are facing underemployment or “malemployment,” meaning that they are working at jobs that do not require a college degree. Professor of Economics at Northeastern University Andrew Sum estimates that during the first half of 2010, more than 50 percent of young B.A.-holders were employed at jobs not requiring a college degree.
“This growing problem of malemployment and joblessness among young college graduates has a number of dire economic effects on both the graduates themselves and many other young adults across the country,” writes Sum for The Huffington Post. “Those college graduates working in jobs that do not require college degrees are earning substantially less per week (30-40 percent less) than their peers who work in jobs that require college degrees.” Not only do lower salaries represent poor returns on the resources invested in acquiring a degree, it also sends negative messages to high school students and other young people entering college.