Nearly Half Of College-Educated Workers Are Overqualified For Their Jobs

college degree overqualified job

The college degree used to be the ticket to a good middle class job. That is officially over, according to a new study by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

It found that nearly 1 out of 2 Americans with college degrees are working at jobs they're overqualified for. While less than 5 percent of retail sales clerks had college degrees in 1970, the study found that 25 percent did in 2010. And 15 percent of taxi drivers were college grads in 2010, versus just 1 percent in 1970.

More: Top 10 Best-Paying College Majors


Despite the slowly improving labor market, the trend is likely to continue for new grads. "It's almost the new normal," Richard Vedder, an Ohio economist and an author of the study, told USA Today.

The reason: The number of people with bachelor's degrees is growing at a rate that exceeds the creation of jobs demanding college degrees. Using 2010 Labor Department data, Vedder found that the number of college graduates was 41.7 million -- while just 28.6 million jobs required a college degree.

Only about half of the jobs lost during the Great Recession have been recovered, and according to an analysis by The Associated Press, many of the good, middle-class jobs won't be coming back, due to new technology. About half of the lost jobs were in mid-paying industries, and Moody's Analytics, a research firm, says only 2 percent of the 3.5 million jobs created in recent years are in that category.


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Lou Weisenbacher III

You voted for Obama you bought into the lies he used you now pay the price of stupid decisions

January 31 2013 at 12:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

They are only going to change the requirements because technology changes things faster than knowledge learned in college an besides visa workers were already hired.

January 30 2013 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Go to school and take out big loans then when you graduate you can pull heavy pallets at the big box store then later get hip, or knee transplants and maybe a hernia operation to boot!

January 30 2013 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

The government will make the illegals legal an the college grads will still be overqualified.

January 30 2013 at 11:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

I guess those people on H1B and L1 visas got all the jobs US citizens went to college for?

January 30 2013 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
talari

And Obama encouraged them to takeout HUGE student loans.... Great Leadership!

January 30 2013 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
robboni1

Well, those of you who voted for obama have little excuse and no one to blame other than your image in the mirror. And boy is it going to get worse with more strictures from the NLRB and the EPA and lots of new "citizens" and God knows what else. . At least Romney was focused on job creation. He knew what was important.

January 29 2013 at 9:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to robboni1's comment
Ed Invests

I wish we could keep politics out of the obvious, but maybe not for some. If you really want to go that way, though, the economic collapse happened under Bush. It did not help that he started two wars and cut taxes at the same time. I will not even bother on comments about Romney.

If you once get the opportunity to go to college and intend to work in your intended field, then I suggest one pick a degree that is not in arts, politics, government, history, or the vast majority of the students. The jobs are in computers, and engineering. It has nothing to do with politics, it has to do with degrees that have a chance of making things better, and those that are somewhat lost about what they even want to do and are poorly prepared for finding reality. It is nothing new and the same good degrees stay the same. It is only at times like these that we find out how little in demand some things are, but we have had far too many years of warning. I never fail to be amazed at the strange posts.

January 29 2013 at 11:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ed Invests's comment
talari

Idiot. You want to keep politics out of it and in the next breath you blame Bush. You people are all the same and are representative of New America.

January 30 2013 at 1:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
socraticknight

because the prez can't create the "good jobs" America needs to help the economy and pay for is $6 trillion in new debt, I have met many truckers who are former small business owners, and quite a few ppl have bachelor's degrees. one said he gets picked on by intellectual peers, because he has two master's degrees and used to run his own company. there are even more ppl who used to be cops or teachers that resort to trucking as a career, just to try to match their former salary. trucking doesn't required experience or a college degree.

January 29 2013 at 9:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
assaultrifleownr

thats because osama...ooops...i mean obama has failed to provide the jobs needed to employ them.

January 29 2013 at 4:32 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to assaultrifleownr's comment
trngguru

No. It is because the House failed to act on the American Jobs Act proposed by the Obama Administration.

January 29 2013 at 11:23 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
bjzink

In our city welders, diesel mechanics and anything medical are in high demand - not enough applicants to fill all the job vacancies. However, there are a lot of art history majors working in fast food.

January 29 2013 at 3:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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