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According to The Wall Street Journal, about 284,000 American college graduates were working minimum wage jobs last year. This may seem like a lot, but it’s no match for the over 327,000 degree holders working minimum wage jobs in 2010. This number suggests that about 8 percent of minimum wage workers possessed at least a bachelor’s degree in 2012.

Three-fifths of the jobs that were lost during the economic down turn were proportionately replaced by low-wage work. Many question if public money is being spent to provide students with education that over qualifies them for the jobs that are actually available in the workforce. And with one in five American households carrying student loan debt, it will be tough to pay back your educational expenses on a minimum wage salary.

Graduating from school and having to work for minimum wage surely might feel like a kick to the gut, but surely the over 22 percent of unemployed African Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 would be more than willing to accept a minimum wage job.

With these numbers in mind, let’s jump to conclusions and think that earning a college degree is not the way to go. Pew Research shows that college graduates are likely to earn nearly double the income in a 40 year career than a person with just a high school diploma. Although this may be so, when determining your major be sure to know if your expertise will actually be in demand after graduation otherwise you could find yourself being another highly educated minimum wage worker.

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