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37.5% of Graduates Work in Jobs Requiring No Degree; Who is to Blame? Solutions?


By Mish   Follow   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 3:43am PST   7,560 views   60 comments
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Student-Loan Delinquencies Surpass Credit Cards, 37.5% of Graduates Work in Jobs Requiring No Degree; Who is to Blame? What About Solutions?
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/11/student-loan-delinquencies-surpass.html
Mish

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thunderlips11   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 5:10am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 1

Spoiled Lazy Employers, who now demand Bachelor degrees for basic supervisory and office clerk jobs.

There's no reason you can't answer phones, make appointments, and reorder supplies for the water cooler with only a HS education.

There's no reason you can't make a schedule, hire and fire Part Time kids for running the counter, or remember to order more pre-packaged turkey wraps to sell with only a HS education.

There's no reason you can't collect holiday cookie orders over the phone (or rental cars, or flights, or books, or dildos), take a CC number, type it into a field, and thank the customer on the other end with only a HS education.

You don't need knowledge of Joyce, Kirkegaarde, Margaret Mead, Differential Calculus, Trigonometry, EE Cummings, Carl Jung, Six Sigma Training, Keynes, Friedman, etc. to do any of these jobs.

But companies are demanding at least Associate Degrees, Bachelor Degrees preferred. It's ludicrous, and a huge drain on society.

The reason College Degrees aren't worth a damn is because the kids don't give a damn, they just know it's something they have to do to have a chance in hell of getting a job they can just live on.

thunderlips11   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 5:18am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 2

Think about how ridiculous this is:

"Gee, Jane would make a good Office Manager. She's on time, organized with all her little folders, knows the ins and outs of Google Calendar, is prompt and polite over the phone and email, but dammit, she has no knowledge of Nietzsche or the uses of Pi. We'll have to find a college grad instead."

CaptainShuddup   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 5:26am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike (1)     Comment 3

The only jobs that require a degree are Doctors and Lawyers.
And that's only because there's a legal reason.
Everything else is just bullcrap to justify enslaving our youth into years of school debt, they'll take most of their adult life to pay off.

thunderlips11   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 5:31am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 4

Here's a solution: Mandate a 900 SAT score across the board to get any federal aid or grants.

Problem solved.

I'm sorry, if you got less than 900 on your SAT, you don't belong in college, at least not now. 12 years of education should have done it. Even if you goofed off in HS and instead read books and did woodshop projects or whatever, you should have enough reading comprehension, vocabulary, and math skills to get 900. If you are not that smart, but you're dedicated and a hard worker, you should still be able to get 900+ on your SAT.

Ceffer   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 5:32am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 5

It would be nice if education were considered a value in and of itself again without the vested estate and meal ticket aspects.

I have acquaintances who think I am crazy because I did something for three years for the education, no ulterior motive, and I don't and never have regretted it a bit, it changed my life and outlook in ways that are difficult to describe.

Nobody   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 5:34am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 6

CaptainShuddup says

Everything else is just bullcrap to justify enslaving our youth into years of school debt, they'll take most of their adult life to pay off.

Welcome to slavery.

From 1%.

thunderlips11   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 5:37am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 7

Knowledge is important, but you can't make somebody give a damn about it.

I'd say that about 1/3 of all people with Bachelor's Degrees didn't really get much academically out of college. They can't speak intelligently about their own damn major. I had a Psych Grad once who did not know who Carl Jung is.

I'm sorry, but how does one get a degree in Psychology without the faintest idea of who Carl Jung is?

People like that can be warm, wonderful, even witty people, but formal, expensive education is wasted on them. Not because they're stupid, but because they don't give a shit. By demanding college educations for these kinds of people, we're wasting their time, our time, and society's limited resources.

Should education be available for all? Yes, but you have to show you give a shit. Raising the bar a bit to a modest leve keeps those who are seeking a rubber stamp out, and improves the experience and outcome for everybody.

zzyzzx   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 8:44am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 8

thunderlips11 says

Here's a solution: Mandate a 900 SAT score across the board to get any federal aid or grants.

I would make it higher than 900.

JohnLaw   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 9:53pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 9

The solution is the market. Remove government loan subsidies for education and individuals will make better choices about whether higher ed is a good investment of their time and resources.

CaptainShuddup   Wed, 28 Nov 2012, 10:21pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 10

Nobody says

Welcome to slavery.

From 1%

It's not the 1% (who ever in the hell that is, I still can't get an answer)
This is greedy Liberal educators that want a mansion and yacht to teach kids useless liberal arts subjects.

Nobody   Thu, 29 Nov 2012, 3:59am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 11

CaptainShuddup says

This is greedy Liberal educators that want a mansion and yacht to teach kids useless liberal arts subjects.

Last I checked, no teachers that I know was the 1%.

Keep up with your ignorance. The 1% rules. And you slaves don't have to know it. We'd like to keep it that way, so you don't feel like an idiot.

TechGromit   Thu, 29 Nov 2012, 10:59am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 12

Mish says

What About Solutions?

The solution is so obvious it's staring you in the face. Require a degree to work at Starbucks or Walmart.

Thomas Chongruk   Thu, 29 Nov 2012, 12:38pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 13

If that degree helps the person get the jobs, or advance, then unfortunately it has value, ... Even if it's not directly tied to the additional education.

dodgerfanjohn   Thu, 29 Nov 2012, 1:06pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 14

I can tell you that a part of the problem is people attending very expensive schools to obtain a degree that will not help them get a job all the while using government loans to pay not only for school but also to pay for living expenses as well.

A liberal arts degree from a very pricey school like USC still is a liberal arts degree. And when you graduate and are working as a barrista whatchagonnado with that $150k loan balance?

fil   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 8:17am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 15

Not all degrees are create equal. You can probably still get a job straight out of school with a CS or EE degree. Less technical majors your mileage will vary.

zzyzzx   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 8:21am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 16

TechGromit says

The solution is so obvious it's staring you in the face. Require a degree to work at Starbucks or Walmart

I was thinking that our excess college graduate should emigrate to other countries where college graduates are rare.

Kevin   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 8:53am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 17

I don't have a degree but I make in excess of $300000 a year as a software engineer.

"Requirements" are fuzzy.

Peter P   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 9:01am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 18

Kevin says

I don't have a degree but I make in excess of $300000 a year as a software engineer.

Good for you. This illustrates my point nicely.

BTW, you are only middle class.

Peter P   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 9:19am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 19

BTW, few jobs truly require a degree by nature.

The hiring managers may simply require it to make themselves feel better.

Mark D   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 10:49am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 20

this is the problem:
http://io9.com/5511030/earn-your-masters-degree-in-vampire-literature

there are a lot of high paying high-tech jobs that require a degree: chemical engineer, petroleum engineer, telecom engineer, hardware engineer, dentist, financial scientist, optometrist, pharmacist, software architect, RN, data scientist.

there are also a lot of IT/programming jobs that pay well and most employers will require a degree unless you have tons of experience. although it's hard to move up the corporate ladder if you don't have a degree.

the people graduating today entered college 5-7 years ago during the bubble when easy money was being made just like during the stock bubble. they will need to adjust their expectations.

i'd say the blame should be placed on 1) the people who didn't plan ahead 2) the gov keep giving loans and aids to people who get useless degrees.

TechGromit   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 11:17am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 21

Peter P says

Kevin says

I don't have a degree but I make in excess of $300000 a year as a software engineer.

Good for you. This illustrates my point nicely.

BTW, you are only middle class.

If 300k a year is middle class, than I'm living below the poverty line only making 100k (combined me and my wife).

Bellingham Bill   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 11:40am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 22

LOL, $300K is NOT middle class if it can be kept up.

What separates the middle class from the upper class is that the upper class no longer has to rely on wage income to survive, they have money "working" for them, collecting money from other people.

Ten years of $300K salaries with $200K/yr put away will have a $2M asset cushion at the end of it.

At 3% net returns that is $5,000/mo of interest income, plenty to be no longer reliant on wage income and thus no longer "middle class".

$300K/yr is a rocket ship out of the middle class, LOL

Kevin   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 1:45pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 23

By the traditional definition of "middle class", I am, indeed, middle class.

Lower class: Poor people, working poor, those who are a paycheck away from losing everything (or already lost it)

Middle class: People who are well off but must continue to work in order to maintain that status. Financially independent to a point; they can survive if they lose their jobs for a short while but can't survive on existing wealth alone.

Upper class: Rich people. They never need to work if they choose not to, because they can live comfortably off of interest / dividends / rents on their assets.

I'm not sure WTF me being middle class has to do with anything though. My whole point was that saying what a "requirement" for a job is is a very fuzzy concept. On paper, being a software engineer "requires" a degree in an appropriate related discipline. In practice, many of us don't have degrees.

There actually aren't that many professions that truly require a degree. It's pretty much just the ones that require licenses to practice (law, medicine, education, etc.) It's a damn shame that we ask kids to commit to paying tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for an education that they don't get much out of it.

Now, I did go to college for 5 years. I just dropped out because I wasn't learning anything new. I worked full time as a software engineer during that entire period, and my college education (or lack thereof) has never even appeared on my resume.

I don't want to sound anti-education. I just don't think the current university system is the best way to educate people.

Bellingham Bill says

Ten years of $300K salaries with $200K/yr put away will have a $2M asset cushion at the end of it.

Nobody who makes $300k can put away $200k a year if they actually want to enjoy their life during that period. My federal taxes alone are about $65k; total taxes maybe $72? Much higher if you live in a state with an income tax.

This is married filing jointly + a sizable mortgage interest deduction. If I were single or didn't own a home, my taxes would be much higher. In WA I'd be looking at $90k; in CA or NY it would be around $115k.

To save $200k I'd have to get a second job!

Peter P   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 3:15pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 24

TechGromit says

If 300k a year is middle class, than I'm living below the poverty line only making 100k (combined me and my wife).

The middle class has a wide range.

If your money is not making you money, you are in the middle class.

If you cannot live off the interest of the interest (duplication intended) of your capital, you are in the middle class.

If you spend more money on food than on political contribution, you are in the middle class.

Peter P   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 3:15pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 25

300K is not even upper middle class.

Peter P   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 3:31pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 26

Bellingham Bill says

Ten years of $300K salaries with $200K/yr put away will have a $2M asset cushion at the end of it.

In all likelihood IRS will be knocking on your door.

Kevin   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 6:37pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 27

Peter P says

300K is not even upper middle class.

Traditionally (ie. the British way of measuring these things), the rarely-used term "upper middle class" has little to do with size of income, but rather refers to people who's income is decoupled from an employer. This includes independent professionals, small business owners, large farmers, landlords, etc.

A VP at a big company earning $1M a year may not qualify but a partner at a law firm or an independent consultant earning $250k would.

When referring to incomes (the american way of measuring), though, every categorization that you'll find used commonly would certainly categorize my income as upper middle class.

Using income as a guide is beyond useless though. Based on my W2 for 2011, I was in the top 1% of income earners. Of course, amongst the 1% I'm in the very bottom, earning less than a quarter of what people in the 0.1% earn. There are about a million and a half of us in this country.

That said, I still don't know what the fuck you're going on about. We're talking about education vs occupation, not who qualifies as middle class.

Kevin   Fri, 30 Nov 2012, 8:20pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 28

John Bailo says

What it really comes down to is do we want to rebuild the Meritocracy...that artificial system of rewards that would allow someone to claim a job and salary simply by completing the accredited degree.

"Rebuild" what? The thing you're speaking of never existed.

Factory jobs have disappeared, and people were told that in order to get a good, middle class job, they now need to go to college. So they go to college. When they graduate the only jobs available that they are qualified for only require HS level education.

It's the loss of factory jobs that screwed things up, not some shortage of professional jobs. The professional jobs simply never filled the gaps left by factories. The free trade pushers were full of shit and now we're all paying the price.

John Bailo says

You get a Biology degree, a B.S. and it automatically qualifies you for a national position in that field, much a like kind of mini-tenure.

And how exactly do you fund this? There simply isn't enough demand for workers at that skill level in most fields.

The fact is, too many people are going to college in pursuit of too few jobs that require the education. Fewer kids should be going to college, and more should be working those clerk, sales, data entry, and other service jobs right out of highschool.

I'd argue that the bachelors itself is becoming a fairly useless thing. The majority of professions that require college education to perform require something more.

Want to be a physician? Get an MD
Want to be a researcher? Get a PhD
Want to be a lawyer? Get a JD

There are still a few professions where a bachelors is both necessary and sufficient (accounting and nursing come to mind), but not many.

John Bailo says

The alternative is the lottery style society that we now survive in.

It's not a lottery, it's a free market wet dream.

zzyzzx   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 8:21am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 29

Bellingham Bill says

Ten years of $300K salaries with $200K/yr put away

I don't see how it's possible to put away more than 100% of your after tax salary.

Bellingham Bill   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 9:03am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 30

zzyzzx says

I don't see how it's possible to put away more than 100% of your after tax salary.

Well, $300,000 is at the level when you can shelter a lot of it.

~$40,000/yr into corporate IRA, family of 4 gets $20,000 exempted, MID + Prop tax is another $25,000 deduction, so a $300k income might come out to $215,000 taxable, avoiding the 33% bracket altogether and paying $50,000 in federal income tax. Plus the $13k for FICA and $9000 for Medicare, bringing total tax burden to $72,000 and leaving $228,000 as disposable income.

Part of the $200,000/yr in savings was the mortgage pay-down, btw. On a 15 year loan, $1500/mo of the $5000 PITI would be principal paydown, $20,000/yr and increasing as the loan is paid down.

Bellingham Bill   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 9:07am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 31

Kevin says

It's the loss of factory jobs that screwed things up, not some shortage of professional jobs. The professional jobs simply never filled the gaps left by factories. The free trade pushers were full of shit and now we're all paying the price.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?g=dlx

is interesting and showing that mfg and professional has swapped since 1990.

So not entirely "full of shit", but there's zero net growth in 20 years, when population has grown 25% since 1990.

Call it Crazy   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 9:09am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 32

zzyzzx says

Bellingham Bill says

Ten years of $300K salaries with $200K/yr put away

I don't see how it's possible to put away more than 100% of your after tax salary.

He's having problems with his calculator today...

Bellingham Bill   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 9:13am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 33

Call it Crazy says

He's having problems with his calculator today...

You would be very ill advised to bet your life that plenty of people aren't legally seeing $250,000 of disposable income on a $300,000 nominal gross.

Let me remind you that your team's Captain Capitalist -- Romney -- paid a 14% tax rate in 2011.

On a $300,000 base that's $260,000 disposable, LOL.

rooemoore   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 9:17am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 34

Mish's solution to all problems: Every man for himself!

Peter P   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 9:58am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 35

rooemoore says

Mish's solution to all problems: Every man for himself!

It is a real solution. If not the only natural solution.

Peter P   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 10:00am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 36

Bellingham Bill says

Let me remind you that your team's Captain Capitalist -- Romney -- paid a 14% tax rate in 2011.

On a $300,000 base that's $260,000 disposable, LOL.

He said $300K SALARY.

New Renter   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 10:12am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 37

Kevin says

I don't have a degree but I make in excess of $300000 a year as a software engineer.

"Requirements" are fuzzy.

I know of a few people in or recently have been in your income range with nothing more than a high school diploma. On the other hand I have a BS, MA and a Ph.D. and I only make $100k as to most of my Ph.D. colleagues.

Clearly there is an inverse correlation to education and earning potential - damn you to hell you lying sack of $#!& educational industrial complex!

If $300k/yr is middle class does that mean I quality for section 8 and food stamps?

New Renter   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 10:16am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 38

CaptainShuddup says

Nobody says

Welcome to slavery.

From 1%

It's not the 1% (who ever in the hell that is, I still can't get an answer)

This is greedy Liberal educators that want a mansion and yacht to teach kids useless liberal arts subjects.

Gee I had no idea Elmer J. Fudd, millionaire was a greedy liberal educator:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_Brush

Kevin   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 10:17am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 39

Bellingham Bill says

Call it Crazy says

He's having problems with his calculator today...

You would be very ill advised to bet your life that plenty of people aren't legally seeing $250,000 of disposable income on a $300,000 nominal gross.

Let me remind you that your team's Captain Capitalist -- Romney -- paid a 14% tax rate in 2011.

On a $300,000 base that's $260,000 disposable, LOL.

If you earn $300k from capital gains, sure.

But we aren't talking about that.

Peter P   Sat, 1 Dec 2012, 10:18am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 40

New Renter says

If $300k/yr is middle class does that mean I quality for section 8 and food stamps?

You wish.

I do believe that if we want a social safety net, it should be available to everyone. Currently, the welfare system discriminates against people with so-called "high" incomes.

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