Nearly Half of Recent College Grads Considered "Underemployed"

4 years 4 weeks 21 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
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — People with misdemeanor convictions of domestic violence would be barred from having access to guns... More >>
6 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:37:00 AM CST February 15, 2018 in News
FAYETTE - Thirty-three years ago, Jeff Sherman took the court as the head coach of the Central Methodist Eagles for... More >>
6 days ago Thursday, February 15 2018 Feb 15, 2018 Thursday, February 15, 2018 2:59:00 AM CST February 15, 2018 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Valentine’s Day had some people swinging in the name of love. MU Swing Society held a dance... More >>
6 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:47:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Citizen's Police Review Board said the Columbia Police Department is facing several difficult issues relating to an... More >>
6 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 8:23:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is pushing to increase funding for public libraries in Missouri's rural areas.... More >>
6 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 7:49:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – A recent study out of the University of Missouri in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University in the United... More >>
6 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 6:56:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Consumers spend Valentine's Day buying and giving flowers to their loved ones, but they might not think about... More >>
6 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:28:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A Kansas City company is working to make health care more efficient in Cooper County by constructing a... More >>
6 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:07:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Elections aren't the only U.S. democratic institutions intelligence experts say were influenced by Russian meddling. Protests, specifically the... More >>
6 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 5:01:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A controversial bill that would allow some university faculty members to carry guns on campus is making... More >>
6 days ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:28:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Sexual assault evidence kits would be tracked through a statewide system under proposed legislation. ... More >>
1 week ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 3:01:21 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Many people have probably seen the signs sitting on the side of the highway, flashing one simple... More >>
1 week ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 2:19:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Sobering statistics and the rising tide of the #MeToo movement has led to possible legislative action in... More >>
1 week ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 12:40:00 PM CST February 14, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department is urging residents to check their credit and debit card statements for charges they... More >>
1 week ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:51:00 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A former St. Louis judge who sentenced a teenager to more than 240 years in... More >>
1 week ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:41:18 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
FLORISSANT (AP) — Two women are hospitalized in critical condition after the car they were in collided with... More >>
1 week ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 11:24:39 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A candidate running as an independent has been elected to a vacant seat on the St.... More >>
1 week ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:23:23 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A man has been sentenced to a 120-day prison treatment program for setting two fires at... More >>
1 week ago Wednesday, February 14 2018 Feb 14, 2018 Wednesday, February 14, 2018 10:02:33 AM CST February 14, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 28°
4pm 37°
5pm 36°
6pm 34°
7pm 33°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
The Goldbergs
4:30p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
Riverdale
8:00p
Penn & Teller: Fool Us
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld