Nearly Half of Recent College Grads Considered "Underemployed"

3 years 11 months 4 weeks ago Thursday, January 23 2014 Jan 23, 2014 Thursday, January 23, 2014 7:04:00 PM CST January 23, 2014 in Poverty
By: Emily Spain, KOMU 8 Anchor
loading

COLUMBIA - It's a statistic that might shock you, or dismay you if you're in college right now. Nearly half of recent college graduates are working in jobs that do not require a college degree, according to a 2013 study released by the Center of College Affordability and Productivity. Analysts call this being "underemployed," meaning people are overqualified for the jobs they are working.

60-year-old George Appleman finds himself in that group. After serving in the Vietnam war and clocking more than 20 years in the Navy, he decided on a new mission - getting a college degree.

"I grew up in a generation where a college education was the golden ticket, if you will, to
success," Appleman said. "I had great aspirations to being the great history teacher."

So, in 1999, Appleman decided to take night classes after work at Columbia College.

"Makes for long days, very long days," he said.

He graduated with a degree in history and a minor in political science in 2005, then started his job search.

"I looked around the areas and there just weren't many social studies teachers openings
in the local area," Appleman said.

He looked for months and resorted to help from temp agencies that helped place him at American Air Filters in Columbia where he works the assembly line.

"I don't need the education I have to be able to do the job I'm doing. But I appreciate
that I have a job these days," he said.

Appleman is not the only person in this situation. It comes down to a simple issue of supply and demand. The supply of people, like Appleman, with a college degree is greater than the employers' demands for such qualifications.

Appleman said an HR employee with Columbia Public Schools, who spoke in one of his classes, told them history teachers are a dime in a dozen.

"It deflated the idea of being a history teacher," Appleman said.

In the Center of College Affordability and Productivity's study on "underemployment," it said the number of people working in jobs for which they are overeducated has increased since the 1970s. For example, in 1970, less than one percent of taxi drivers had college degrees, while now more than 15 percent do. The study said that trend will continue.

The projected future growth in both college enrollments and graduates is much larger than the actual or projected growth in jobs that need a college degree, meaning more and more people will find themselves underemployed.

Ben Falby works at Job Point in Columbia as a business consultant and he said he's seen this problem first hand.

"I can name, and won't, folks doing unskilled labor that definitely have full bachelors. Workers that have 20 years of work history and they're needing to support their kids and when push comes to shove, they just gotta find a way to do it," Falby said.

So, is getting a college degree still worth the time and money? A Georgetown University study says, yes. College grads still fare better financially than those who are less educated. Falby said he agrees. He said though, the key to avoiding "underemployment" as a college grad is choosing a marketable major.

"Everybody's having to think about what kind of skill sets they're having to bring to this
labor market to be valuable. Things are changing so fast," he said

Appleman has this advice.

"Choose your major wisely. Look and see what is becoming the hot item to be getting a degree in and don't give up," he said.

He said he hasn't given up yet, "I plan on working until the day I drop," he said.

The Georgetown study also found nursing and elementary education grads have the lowest unemployment rates, while architecture and information systems have the highest.

Photo credit: Flickr/Bill Selak

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens made his first public appearance in nearly two weeks since acknowledging an... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 6:20:00 PM CST January 22, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON - It took three days, but Congress has passed a spending bill to end the government shutdown. If... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 5:50:00 PM CST January 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens addressed his affair for the first time in a news conference while announcing his... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 5:15:00 PM CST January 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley says he wants a change in state law so that... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 4:44:00 PM CST January 22, 2018 in News
FORSYTH, Mo. — One of two suspects in the death of a 72-year-old Missouri man who was left beaten and... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 4:41:04 PM CST January 22, 2018 in News
MOBERLY, Mo. — A Missouri paramedic is accused of burglarizing a patient's home and stealing medication from another home. ... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 4:38:29 PM CST January 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia residents got their say Monday night on how to make zero traffic-related fatalities a reality. Residents... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 2:59:00 PM CST January 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – An expert in infectious diseases said viruses like the common cold survive well on surfaces and inanimate objects,... More >>
13 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 2:36:00 PM CST January 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Gun shop owners and gun buyers had no problem buying or selling a gun during the government shutdown.... More >>
14 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 1:35:00 PM CST January 22, 2018 in News
NEW MADRID (AP) — A southeast Missouri man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for strangling his... More >>
15 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 12:57:00 PM CST January 22, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON D.C. (AP) — The Latest on the budget battle (all times local): 12:55 p.m. It looks... More >>
16 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 11:58:00 AM CST January 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police responded to a reported armed robbery just after midnight Tuesday in the 1600 block of Kitty... More >>
18 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 9:55:00 AM CST January 22, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A violent weekend in St. Louis has left two people dead and four others injured in... More >>
19 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 9:00:00 AM CST January 22, 2018 in News
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say an officer has shot and killed a suburban Kansas City teenager while responding... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 7:16:00 AM CST January 22, 2018 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say a 9-year-old has been fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire in Kansas City.... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 7:00:00 AM CST January 22, 2018 in News
LAKE WALES, Fla. (CNN) -- Two improvised explosive devices detonated at a Florida mall on Sunday that has left police... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, January 22 2018 Jan 22, 2018 Monday, January 22, 2018 5:58:00 AM CST January 22, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens will release his budget recommendations for 2019 at 4 p.m. Monday. A press... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 21 2018 Jan 21, 2018 Sunday, January 21, 2018 10:24:00 PM CST January 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some say, the summer body is made in the winter, and Clovers Natural Market is hoping a clean... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 21 2018 Jan 21, 2018 Sunday, January 21, 2018 7:32:00 PM CST January 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
5am 29°
6am 29°
7am 29°
8am 31°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

4:00a
Early Today
4:30a
KOMU 8 News Today
5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program
5:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Ellen's Game of Games
8:00p
This Is Us
9:01p
Chicago Med
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
Black Lightning
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld