Over 5,000 Janitors Have Doctoral Degrees

janitor jobsOver 5,000 janitors have doctoral degrees, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Those overqualified janitors have plenty of company in making their living at jobs which do not require higher education. In The Chronicle of Higher Education, Richard Vedder provides detailed statistics on about 17 million Americans who are currently doing jobs that could be performed with simply a high school diploma or less.

They include 317,000 waiters and waitresses, 80,000 bartenders, and 18,000 parking lot attendants. Many of those also acquired an average of $30,000 in student loans, which they will have to pay off working at jobs that earn them less than they expected to be making after college.

That brings Vedder and other observers of the higher education industry to conclude that for a growing number of Americans, the return on investment (ROI) for a college education is downright negative, after you factor in the loans. Therefore, some suggest that students be warned that college might not be an efficient or effective way to obtain career preparation. That might be achieved more directly and successfully in a trade school, community college, free job training, and apprenticeship program for types of work ranging from nursing to welding.

Simultaneously, it also needs to be explained what it is students can gain from attending college. That includes developing skills in critical thinking, which may or may not be applicable to problem solving in the workplace. In addition, some organizations still demand the completion of college to even be considered as an applicant for a job or, later, for promotions. Also, there are certain professions such as communications -- as in writing and editing -- and accounting, which are learned in college and are skills that can transferred to the work place.

Clearly, students and career changers owe it to their futures and their pocketbook to assess the best kinds of preparation for them to earn a living. That might be very separate from wanting the rite of passage of going away to college. They might wind up doing both. But before they do, they should be aware that they may be adding extra time and expense to eventually becoming self supporting.

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JOE HUMPHREY

YOU HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO DO SOMETHING. NO MATTER WHAT IT IS. I KNOW PEOPLE THAT PUMP SEPTIC TANKS AND MAKE A LOT OF MONEY YOU NEED TO LEARN SOMETHING THAT NO ONE WANTS TO DO OR NO ONE CAN DO AND YOU WILL MAKE A LOT OF MONEY. I KNOW ANOTHER GUY THAT CLEANED WINDOWS WITH A 8TH GRADE EDUCATION AND HE IS WORTH MILLIONS TODAY.

November 13 2012 at 11:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kat

It is sad we look down on certain professions.I am a certified nurses ast,CNA and I only make $9 a hour.People think we are special to work with the elderly.I am thinking about becoming a waitress,because with tips I could make twice as much money as I am now.In the end all professions are equal.So never look down on someone because of what they do for a living.

October 25 2010 at 8:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lori

Yeah I wish I made $100, I work as a janitor at a college. It's UNBELIEVABLE how theese kids are raised. I thank God I have a good job, but who brought theese kids up? spitting on walls, pissing in elevators?? I could go on & on

October 25 2010 at 8:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Roxy

There is nothing wrong with wanting to learn and obtaining a college education--it certainly isn't going to hurt you. The problem is that those of us when we graduate college (I had this naive viewpoint at first) believe that you are entitled to and will obtain a job making 60,000+ right out of college. That’s not the way it works for the vast majority, especially those of you that majored in English or Liberal Studies. Obtaining a degree doesn't qualify you to an easy life with jobs handed to you. It took me 5 years post graduation to obtain my 'dream job' and I had to work some jobs I didn't necessarily want to. The economy is even worse now than when I graduated & it's like college kids today are disconnected from the world--they go and major in history and party their parents money away or rack up 1000's in student loans and then are shocked to find out that employers aren't knocking down the doors to hire you. If you use your education wisely and know that you still are going to have to work hard to find a career, a positive attitude and education will one day lead you to where you want to go. But a crappy, I'm entitled to lots of money with my BA is going to get you nowhere fast.

October 25 2010 at 7:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jalapeno

As long as Mark Washatka of Kaukauna,Wi continues to lie to prospective employers, I couldn't get a job helping a janitor.

October 25 2010 at 7:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debi Drecksler

My husband just sent me this link. All I can say is ...It's about time someone wrote this!! My husband and I have operated a janitorial business for almost 20 years. We are both college graduates! I can't begin to tell you how many times we have been at a meeting or party and someone will ask us "And what do you do?" When we answer, "We own and operate a janitorial business!" They give us a fake smile and quickly walk away. It's amazing how we produced 4 brilliant children, including a professional songwriter, teacher, entrepreneur and Attorney. We work very hard, pay our taxes and are decent, law abiding citizens. For those of you who don't think we're worth knowing because we work with our hands...It's your loss!

October 25 2010 at 6:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Debi Drecksler's comment
Shari Lynn Bradford-

Hi Debi

What idiots!!! You work hard and the people who turn their nose down are the biggest loses!!!! Peole can be so ignorant.

January 07 2013 at 12:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
spikeg

Hey Jon, if a "low life Mexican invader" is qualified for your job, they are not really your problem. Your problem is that you didn't manage to make more of yourself with all the privileges being an American citizen provides. Can't compete with a low life even when you started on more solid footing?....BWAA HAA HAA Loser

October 25 2010 at 6:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Frank

What! I was told that they couldn't get Americans to do this kind of work. Maybe the people doing the telling don't know what their talking about.

October 25 2010 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
tom

America is awesome
Mexicans are the hardest workers in america
the us gov't has been bankrupt since 1933

October 25 2010 at 5:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kat

For those who bash people that get a college education you have to realize that there are many professions that require a BA or BS just to get a foot in the door. Just because you don't have a degree or are incapable of getting one don't assume that it's not necessary to have one. We live in a highly competitive world and not everyone is lucky enough to get a decent job without a college degree. And yes there are a great deal of useless degrees out there but don't use this article to push your views about how unnecessary a college education is.

October 25 2010 at 5:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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