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Nearly half of college grads have jobs that don't require diplomas

January 29, 2013|By Shan Li
  • Many college graduates are working jobs they are over-qualified for.
Many college graduates are working jobs they are over-qualified for. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los…)

Bad news for college grads: Nearly half of recent graduates of institutions of higher learning are working at jobs that don't require a college diploma, a study has found.

About 48% of college students who graduated in 2010 are in positions that don't need a bachelor's degree, while 38% are working in gigs that don't require even a high school diploma, according to the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

The report found that the number of workers overeducated for the jobs they were holding down could be growing. In 1970, fewer than 1% of taxi drivers and 2% of firefighters had earned a college diploma; now, more than 15% in both jobs have graduated from college.

That's a sobering statistic for young people heading into the workplace, many saddled with thousands of dollars in student loans.

The prospects are brighter for those who went to well-regarded private colleges, who on average make more than graduates of state universities. And by mid-career, those who majored in in-demand subjects such as engineering and economics earned almost twice as much as graduates in social work and education.

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