Thursday, December 16, 2010

We Have Oversold College in America

This afternoon CCAP has released its latest study, titled From Wall Street to Wal-Mart: Why College Graduates Are Not Getting Good Jobs, in which we take a deeper look at employment data for college graduates over the past half century. Shockingly, the data reveal that, as of 2008, more than one-third of all employed college graduates were in non-college level jobs and fully 60% of the incremental increase in college graduates since 1992 have wound up in occupations requiring less than a college degree. While there were 5.1 million under-employed college graduates in 1992 (a year in which the unemployment rate of college graduates was above-average), there were over 17 million under-employed graduates by 2008 (a year with below-average college graduate unemployment for the first half of the year).

Here's how lead author Richard Vedder summarized the report's findings in an essay for Minding the Campus:
We have created a Potemkin Village -a few truly good universities that come close to meeting the former academic standards, but a vaster melange of institutions that are often neither "higher" nor even "education" in the classical sense, particularly since the typical student spends less than 30 hours a week on academics. Bottom line: too many people go to college.
This study presents more detailed analysis of the data we have discussed previously, here as well as over at the Chronicle of Higher Education's "Innovations blog (here and here).

The full version of the study is available for free download from our website (in pdf format). In the future we look to do even more detailed and sophisticated analyses of these data.

1 comment:

Glen S. McGhee said...

Also available for download in PDF is George Leef's September 2006, The Overselling of Higher Education.