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The job market for college grads is extremely competitive, so much so that many graduates do not get a job in their field. Gail MarksJarvis’ article in the Chicago Tribune goes into detail about what can be expected for recent and future college graduates. According to research by the Pew Research Center, a third of Americans between 25 and 29 have college degrees and the hope of a better future is pulling in students from every demographic. “College completion is now at record levels for men and women, blacks, whites and Hispanics and foreign-born and native-born Americans,” Pew researchers Richard Fry and Kim Parker said in a recent study.
This increase in people obtaining a higher education would be extremely beneficial to society as a whole, but it is causing many students to move back into their parents’ house with their degree in hand and begin hunting for a job that requires absolutely no education. In fact, according to MarksJarvis’ article, “Government data suggest that about half of the students who have finished college lately are either unemployed or underemployed — working in restaurants, stores or other jobs that don’t use their education. With more than $26,600 in student loans held on average by those who borrowed for college, a low-level job after college is a harsh reality.”
So why are these bright, college graduates not getting jobs related to their field? A large reason is due to the competition of other college graduates, but perhaps an even bigger factor is the economy itself. Gone are the days when a kid can get a great job straight out of high school or college, which says nothing of the student’s ability. Despite the fact that the economy is in shambles, the push for college education has increased drastically. “In 1978, Pew found Americans were widely divided over whether a college education was necessary to get ahead in life. Yet, in 2009, 73 percent of American adults said college was a necessity. A Gallup Poll in 2010 found similar results — 75 percent thought college was necessary.”
While society believes college is necessary, the harsh reality shows that a college degree is not the golden ticket to success as it once was. A college degree may be beneficial to some, but others will never actually use their degree in their field of choice because of the broken economy and the fact that they must take any job to start paying back their thousands of dollars in student loans.