The Jobs Situation Is Critical: Do You Need a College Degree to Wait Tables?

January 29, 2013  |  

The answer to this question is no. I’d dare to say you don’t need a college degree to wait tables, deliver pizzas, mop floors or answer phones. However, according to CNN and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, college graduates of various backgrounds are finding themselves working all sorts of gigs just to make ends meet.

Underemployment has plagued the US over the past few years and although the unemployment rate is getting better the underemployment rate seems to be getting worse. We hear about the US unemployment rate of around eight percent (for the end of 2012), and don’t highlight the number of underemployed working jobs that in no way relate to what they have studied in college and have racked up debt for.

To put things in perspective, BLS data says about 15 percent or more taxi drivers have a college degree compared to one percent in the 1970s. They have also documented that 1 in 6 bartenders, 1 in 5 telemarketers, and 1 in 4 retail workers have a college degree in their back pocket.

A study released by The Center for College Affordability and Productivity says that about 37 percent of employed U.S. college graduates are working jobs that require no more than a high school diploma. Yes, you read that correctly!

After, going through undergraduate school and/or graduate school we all walk across the stage on commencement day with thoughts of a bright future and a great job. But given this economy, it might take a little longer to get to the higher rungs on that ladder.

We discussed the issue of colleges meeting the needs of an evolved student body and the modern day jobs landscape. Students should also take time to think about the career path they’d like to take and how best to craft an educational experience that will get them there.

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