Nearly Half of Recent College Grads Considered "Underemployed"

3 years 8 months 3 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
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri banned smoking on campus in 2013, but after issues with compliance over the past... More >>
32 minutes ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:29:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
FULTON- Fulton Medical Center is getting a new name along with its new owner. It will soon be called... More >>
51 minutes ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 10:10:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education met Thursday and unanimously decided to vote 'no' on The Broadway Columbia's tax... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 7:13:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Elm Street will open on Friday after five months of construction. Patricia Hayles with Columbia Sewer Utility said... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 6:59:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that public defenders may not turn away clients without first getting permission... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 6:37:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA– A shuttle service responsible for bringing residents back-and-forth to campus is citing a communication breakdown for its slow response... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 6:25:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Thursday Missouri officials officially announced its proposal to attract Amazon's second headquarters to Missouri. Governor Eric... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:51:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed a Republican Missouri House member to serve as an associate circuit... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:31:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA -- The City of Columbia received recognition for its efforts in working towards LGBTQ equality. The city earned... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 5:20:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An official from a company working to commercialize high-speed Hyperloop transportation says Missouri is among the... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 4:23:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
FULTON -- A South Callaway High School student is accused of sending out a threatening Snapchat. Police said the... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 3:54:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Kansas City woman had pleaded guilty to failing to pay taxes on at least... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 2:55:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A woman has admitted that she lied about her nursing credentials to work at a St.... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 2:33:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
FULTON – Ameren Missouri’s Callaway Energy Center is in the middle of a 55-day outage, where crews will replace fuel... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 1:42:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Students were speaking out in frustration Thursday about how professors handled Wednesday's active threat on the MU campus.... More >>
9 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 1:40:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Access to health care can be a matter of life or death. Callaway County's only hospital almost... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 12:47:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The question of whether to rename Robert E. Lee Elementary, in part because of its Confederate roots, will... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 12:44:00 PM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia reached a settlement with General Motors... More >>
11 hours ago Thursday, October 19 2017 Oct 19, 2017 Thursday, October 19, 2017 11:57:11 AM CDT October 19, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 65°
11pm 59°
12am 60°
1am 59°
2am 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:35p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
11:37p
Late Night with Seth Meyers
12:37a
Last Call with Carson Daly
10:30p
Rules of Engagement
11:00p
Rules of Engagement
11:30p
The King of Queens

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Superstore
7:30p
The Good Place
8:00p
Will & Grace
8:31p
Great News
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
Supernatural
8:00p
Arrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld