5,000 Janitors in the U.S. Currently Hold PhDs

mop and bucketThe state of the U.S. economy has left a substantial number of people without work and a very bleak outlook for the future. These difficult times have also caused many people to go back to school to earn a higher level of education. Reflecting on these times, people often think the higher their education level, the better their chances of gaining employment when the economy starts to bounce back. Some also think that if they are more educated, that might help stave off unemployment in the future. Something that many don’t consider during these times is how many people of high level education might be forced to do jobs they are overqualified for just to find work.

One alarming statistic to consider is that according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are 5,000 janitors in the U.S. with a PhD degree. This shows that people with the highest level of education are unable to get jobs in their field right now. There is nothing wrong with being a janitor but we could all agree that someone with a PhD is over qualified for that job.

No matter what level of education you have, some degrees are much more in demand than others. For example, someone with a PhD in the field of health care, engineering or education is going to have an easier time finding a job than someone with a PhD in philosophy or art history.

Those with a PhD aren’t the only ones having a hard time finding jobs that utilize their educational background though. There are also 18,000 parking lot attendants in the U.S. with college degrees and over 17 million college-educated Americans with jobs that do not require that level of education.

Although these statistics can be alarming to those who might be entering college, they don’t mean you should scrap your education plans. If anything, this shows the importance of choosing a degree that’s in high demand and making the most of your college experiences as well. Participating in networking activities and college internships can go a long way towards finding work that makes use of your degree.

Taken from Gizmodo

2 Responses to “5,000 Janitors in the U.S. Currently Hold PhDs”

  1. Bjorn says:

    ^^^ Agreed. Do these janitors have PhD’s is physics or art history, mechanical engineering or music, computer science or theology. People with PhD’s in academia can not expect to weather poor economies well, especially when the downturn is accompanied by budget cuts to education and research. Eight of the top ten jobs from the perspective of stability are in various fields of Engineering and the remaining two are in computers and technology. I highly doubt there is a single person with a PhD in any field of Engineering, technology or computer science working as a janitor.

    Some people choose their degree based on what they truly love (music, art literature) while others choose based on career stability. The wold needs professors of art and music and lit, however it should not be surprising that these professions do not weather poor economies well.

    That aside, statistics are inherently misleading and the fact that 5,000 janitors have PhD’s means practically nothing!

  2. Margaret says:

    It would be interesting to know what areas of study these janitors with PhDs wrote their dissertations on.

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