The Atlantic: How Bad Is the Job Market For College Grads? Your Definitive Guide
You hear it from journalists. You hear from academics. And, most painfully, you hear it from the twenty-somethings who are shouldering a ruck sack of student debt through this frightening job market: A college degree just isn't worth what it used to be.
In a lot of ways, the lament is true, especially when your point of reference is that frothy time of Spice Girls singles and signing bonuses otherwise known as the nineties tech boom. Like the rest of America's middle class, the gains college grads made during that amazing economic run have largely been erased by the last dozen or so wasted years.
Yet, the college skeptics have a habit of overstating their case. A bachelor's degree in English is not, in fact, a ticket to working at a coffee shop, as Megan McArdle half-jokingly suggested last week. And while the stat's in wide circulation these days, half of all young college graduates are probably not jobless or toiling in menial jobs.
When researchers have used a more liberal -- and I'd argue modern -- definition of what makes a college-level job, they've predictably found that underemployment is less common. According to a January report by the Pew Charitable Trusts Economic Mobility Project, before the recession about 60 percent of working college graduates under the age of 25 were in occupations that matched their education, down about 2 percentage points from the pre-crash days.
Read the fill article at The Atlantic.