Are you planning for a post-college career?

As employers slash hiring plans, the job outlook for new college graduates is looking bleaker than ever -- at a time when the number of college grads is near its peak. The signs on college campuses are obvious: dejected students with little in the way of enticing prospects, and increased interest in low-paying, high karma positions like Teach For America.

But the ultimate sign of just how bad the economy has gotten presented itself in a flyer produced by the US Air Force R.O.T.C., advertising an upcoming open house at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I found it on a table in the dining hall, and here's the opening line:

Are you a freshman or sophomore planing for a career after graduation?


That's right: Apparently a post-college career is no longer looked at as a given. Indeed, an increasing number of cynical, realist students would probably answer that question: "No! I'm planning to move back home and work at the grocery store while living off my parents until I'm 30!"

Even if they don't admit it now, it seems like a safe bet that an ever-increasing percentage of them will do just that. Soaring college enrollment is devaluing the worth of a college degree. As the percentage of high school graduates who enroll in college has increased, the average IQ of a college student has, by definition, decreased: It's no longer the province of the intelligentsia, and it's not the job guarantee that it once was either.
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