Underemployed, With A Degree? What You Need To Do Now

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The underemployed college graduate with a liberal arts degree has almost become a sad cliché in the new economy. But what about a trained environmental scientist, with years of professional experience? Surely, he won't be forced to resort to flipping burgers or working the cash register?

Consider the case of Tyler Ellis, a 2008 graduate of the University of Reno. Ellis has worked as a geophysical technician and a consultant in a trace metals lab where he tested mercury levels in water and dirt. But since moving to New York last September, he's only managed to nail down a single temp job, losing jobs to people with more experience -- and education. "Most recently, there was a job I was in the running for that had to do with mercury research, which I have a lot of experience with so I was a pretty good fit for the job," Ellis said. "But the researcher decided to go with someone with a Ph.D. instead."

More:The Worst Year To Graduate College

So how does a person with a four-year degree compete in the new economy? And is college really worth it for everyone? On the latest episode of AOL Jobs' "Lunchtime Live," career coach and AOL Jobs blogger Marty Nemko addressed these issues and gave some pointed, no-nonsense advice to Ellis and Nadia Kader, another recent graduate searching for work in her field while she cashiers at Walgreen's.

Watch what Nemko advises both of them above.


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