Good Jobs for College Grads — Or Just Jobs?


The kinds of jobs that don't require a college degree probably hasn't changed much in the last 30 or more years. What has changed is the number of those jobs now filled by college graduates.

According to study released today, about 48% of employed U.S. college grads hold jobs that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says require less than a 4-year degree. Of that total 11% of employed college graduates work in occupations that require more than a high-school diploma and 37% work at jobs that require no more than a high-school education.

Whereas in 1970 just 1% of taxi drivers and 2% of firefighters held 4-year degrees, more than 15% of those employed in both jobs now hold college degrees.

Not all colleges are created equal either. Graduates of elite private schools make more than do graduates of flagship state universities, who, in turn, earn more than graduates of non-selective colleges. What a student majors in also makes a difference: by mid-career engineering and economics graduates earn about double what their classmates with degrees in social work and education earn.

A few more 'gee whiz' numbers: nearly 25% of retail sales workers have college degrees; 23.5% of amusement park attendants have college degrees; so do 18% of telemarketers and 16.5% of bartenders and 14.5% of retail clerks and 14.3% of waiters and waitresses.

And when you look at a list of the 30 jobs that will be most in demand by 2020, only 3 require a post-secondary degree, while just 2 more require some post-secondary education but no degree.

The study is available here.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Economy, Jobs