College Grads Taking Low Paying Jobs from Less Educated Peers


Because of the state of the job market, college degree holders are simply taking whatever jobs they can get, including low paying jobs. Companies and employers are far more reluctant to hire for high paying jobs that require a degree and the number of degree holders far exceeds the vacant job need.

This, however, creates a problem for those without a college degree, says Katherine Peralta. Those who are less educated, like high school dropouts or even high school graduates who did not pursue a higher education, are getting pushed out of jobs that they were traditionally used to getting in favor of college degree holders.

“’The underemployment of college graduates affects lesser educated parts of the labor force,” said economist Richard Vedder, director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a not-for-profit research organization in Washington D.C. ‘Those with high-school diplomas that normally would have no problem getting jobs as bartenders or taxi drivers are sometimes kept from getting the jobs by people with college diplomas.”

The percentage of jobless Americans ages 25-34 who have only finished and graduated high school expanded 4.3 percentage points to 10.6% percent in 2013 from 6.3% in  2007, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Joblessness for students in that age group with a college degree rose 1.5 percentage points to 3.7% in the same period.

Some of the worry revolves around whether or not colleges and universities are adequately preparing students with the skills they need for the working world, writes Liz Willen. The pressure is growing for colleges and educators because there is a rapidly growing job skills gap.

According to the Aiken Standard’s report, South Carolina is having a worker problem of its own kind. A study done by the University of South Carolina in November of 2013 suggests that by 2030, the state will have a shortage of around 44,000 workers with two-year degrees and about 75,000 workers who have a bachelor’s degrees or higher.

Luckily, some companies, such as Bridgestone and MTU America,  are working with employees to further their education for the company. Their plan involves workforce development programs that help to feed the region’s economic stability. For example, Bridgestone offers a tuition match for those employees who would like to further their education.


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