Reign of Error: The Facts About College Graduates
Excerpts from “Reign of Error” by Diane Ravitch
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.”
Here are some excerpts from the chapter “The Facts About College Graduates” in Reign of Error, an enlightening book by education historian, Diane Ravitch.
A 2012 study of census data by researchers at Northwestern University, Drexel University, and the Economic Policy Institute found that about 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of people under the age of twenty-five with a bachelor’s degree were jobless or underemployed.
Broken down by occupation, young college graduates were heavily represented in jobs that require a high school diploma or less. In the last year, they were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists, and mathematicians combined (100,000 versus 90,000). Further, only three out of thirty occupations (teachers, college professors, and accountants) with the largest projected number of job openings by 2020 would require a bachelor’s degree or higher. Most job openings are in jobs such as retail sales, fast food and truck driving, jobs that aren’t easily replaced by computers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast that two-thirds of the jobs available between 2008 and 2018 would not need any post-secondary education. Most would require on-the-job training. Jobs will open for 175,000 computer engineers and 600,000 nurses, which require post-secondary degrees. But the economy is likely to offer jobs for 460,000 home health aides, 400,000 customer service agents, 400,000 fast-food workers, 375,000 retail clerks, 255,000 construction workers, and other occupations that require on-the-job training, not degrees. Unless there are unexpected changes in the economic outlook, many of the young people that graduate from two- and four- year colleges will not find jobs that require the education they have purchased at a high price. But the demand for college degrees will continue because many employers will only hire college graduates, even for jobs that don’t require a college education…