Do We Have Too Many College Graduates?

Why are
recent college graduates underemployed?, asks a report
out today from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP).
The answer, says the report, is that “a growing disconnect has evolved between
employer needs and the volume and nature of college training of students, and
that the growth of supply of college-educated labor is exceeding the growth in
the demand for such labor in the labor market.” The result is that increasing
numbers of recent college graduates are ending up in relatively low-skilled
jobs that, historically, have gone to those with lower levels of
educational attainment, such as bartender and taxi driver. About 48 percent of
employed U.S. college graduates are in jobs that the Bureau of Labor Statistics
suggests requires less than a four-year college education.   


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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One thought on “Do We Have Too Many College Graduates?”

  1. The problem is even more pronounced once you think about what the BLS means in stating that a job “requires” a college degree. It does not mean that the work is so intellectually demanding that only a college graduate could possibly learn to do it, but rather than most of the workers doing that job have that level of education. Credential inflation has swept over many occupations where individuals without college degrees used to readily find work but are no longer considered — insurance for example. That isn’t because the job has become so difficult that reasonably bright high school grads simply can’t do the work, but because the employers have decided that they can afford to screen out those who haven’t gotten their college credentials.

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