Nearly Half of Recent College Grads Considered "Underemployed"

4 years 1 month 5 hours 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
ARNOLD (AP) — A man who went to pick up a relative from a suburban St. Louis high school with... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 8:26:00 AM CST February 22, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A former Missouri charity executive has been indicted in a conspiracy that has ensnared a former Arkansas... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 8:14:00 AM CST February 22, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Federal court documents filed Tuesday give details into the past of Coffee Zone's owner. This comes after police... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 22 2018 Feb 22, 2018 Thursday, February 22, 2018 12:28:00 AM CST February 22, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The city is considering an additional audit of Columbia. Every year an audit takes place to make sure... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 7:32:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
CENTRALIA - A bill that would give the city of Centralia the opportunity to increase sales tax by a half... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A bill to legalize the industrial production of hemp in Missouri will face a final vote before... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 6:22:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Senate has endorsed a bill that could boost Medicaid payments for nursing homes.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:47:01 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Both the Missouri House and Senate have given initial approval to bills that would create... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:43:37 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Not all convicted Missouri inmates run from the law, but most run up large costs for the... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 5:09:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Target 8
JEFFERSON CITY - Nearly six million vehicles cross structurally deficient bridges every day in the state of Missouri. That's according... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:21:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - For the first time, a Columbia competitive cheer squad will compete at The D2 Summit Championship at Disney... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:07:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri teens are twice as likely to use tanning beds than the average American teen according to... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 4:03:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines (FHLBanks) awarded Jefferson City $910,000 to Greenway Village, Inc.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:37:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA — Back-and-forth winter temperatures have been known to cause headaches, but especially for drivers this year. Potholes are... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:36:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is one of three states that has not outlawed texting while driving for drivers 21 and... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:34:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A local business owner is facing charges of marijuana possession and distribution. Osama Nadir Yanis and his... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 3:05:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Pharmacy specialists outlined ways to address the opioid crisis as they spoke Wednesday in Columbia. Faculty members... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:57:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri House is leaning toward making it a felony to purposefully send explicit images without consent,... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 21 2018 Feb 21, 2018 Wednesday, February 21, 2018 2:55:00 PM CST February 21, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
11am 45°
12pm 46°
1pm 47°
2pm 49°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00a
Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer
12:00p
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
The 3rd Annual Howie Mandel Stand-Up Gala
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld