Do you have a college degree? Do you have a job? You might well be overqualified for whatever it is you’re doing, suggests a new study, as almost half college-educated Americans are apparently in jobs they’re overqualifed for. And the way things are going, that’s how it will be for recent graduates down the line as well.
The study released by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (a non-profit) points to this phenomenon as just how the way things are these days, and will likely continue for the next decade.
“It is almost the new normal,” says the study’s lead author and the center’s founder, Richard Vedder, via USA Today.
On one hand, it’s a positive thing that so many Americans are getting college degrees — the number of those with a bachelor’s as their highest degree grew to 41 million between 2002 and 2012, a 25% boost. Those with associate’s degrees jumped 31% and American earning a master’s or doctorate jumped 45% and 43% respectively.
On the other hand, all those degrees don’t have enough places to go where those qualifications are needed: Vedder says there are more college graduates in the workforce at 41.7 million than there are jobs requiring a college degree, at only 28.6 million jobs.
To that point, 15% of taxi drivers in 2010 had bachelor’s degrees compared to a paltry 1% in 1970. Retail clerks are also educated beyond their employment, with 25% holding bachelor’s degrees in 2010 compared to less than 5% 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.
You’ve been warned. Although a job is a job.