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McKinsey on Young College Graduates

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Written by Will Kimball   
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 14:45

McKinsey and Company released a report this week that found 42 percent of recent college graduates are currently in jobs that do not require four-year degrees. This finding was comparable to those estimates of previous studies that I mentioned in this blog post. McKinsey surveyed more than 4,900 recent graduates (2009-2012) using the learning platform, Chegg. Almost 45 percent of graduates of public universities reported that their current job requires less than a four-year degree compared with only 34 percent of those from private universities.

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Almost half of recent college graduates did not get jobs in their field of choice. The majority of these underemployed appear to work in the retail or restaurant industries. Among those working in the retail industry, 78 percent had desired to enter a different industry prior to graduating. Similarly, 81 percent of those graduates working in the restaurant industry had wanted to enter a different industry. This study once again showed that many of our recent graduates are currently underutilized.  

Tags: education | jobs | labor market

Comments (3)Add Comment
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written by Chris Engel, May 15, 2013 10:31
Awesome post, very important data for insight into just how screwed up our economy is.

Demand demand demand. We need demand, stimulus, and a total restructuring of what our federal government values through spending.

If we diverted some of our military-industrial-complex spending toward social welfare spending that utilized some of the liberal-arts skills we have from college graduates, suddenly we'd have a workforce of intelligent individuals working towards a common goal of increased social welfare of our fellow Americans.

Along with the insanely high U-6, this datapoint is really key to the current narrative of a disjointed labor market.
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written by watermelonpunch, May 20, 2013 11:51
42 percent of recent college graduates are currently in jobs that do not require four-year degrees

Almost half of recent college graduates did not get jobs in their field of choice. The majority of these underemployed appear to work in the retail or restaurant industries.


I would like to know how this compares to other time periods?
Where can I find information on that?


Also makes it sound like by this point, you'll need a 4 year degree to get a job selling shoes at the mall.
Historical comparison
written by Will Kimball, May 22, 2013 3:42
For numbers as recent as 2000, EPI cited Andrew Sum's work (http://www.epi.org/blog/high-u...more-49230) which finds a similar estimate of 40% in 2000.

Going back further though (you have to overlook some caveats in data categorization), this labor review (http://www.google.com/url?sa=t...1780,d.aWc) by Daniel Hacker is a pretty good source. From 1967-1990, the numbers there range from 10-20% of graduates in jobs that do not require college degrees.

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