Another Shocking Reality for College Graduates

In my previous blog post, I wrote about the grave debt burden recent graduates face as a result of years of college loans. While I offered the concession that the benefits of a college education might make the investment worthwhile in terms of pursuing a career, even this prospect has become increasingly dismal amidst an increasingly saturated job market.

According the New York Times (NYSE:NYT), 22.4% of 2009 college grads are not working. Perhaps even more disconcerting is the fact that 22.0% are in jobs that don’t require a college degree. According to a study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University, the median annual starting salary for college students had declined from $30,000 in 2006 through 2008 to $27,000 in 2009 and 2010. The question this raises is whether the cost (both in time and money) of a college education is even worth the (diminishing) prospect of higher pay post-graduation.

Part of the reason that graduates are having such a difficult time certainly has in part to do with increased automation and outsourcing, but haven’t jobs recently started to return stateside? In the last few months there has been a flurry of media coverage surrounding the reemergence of previously outsourced jobs in the US, due to the increasing wage demands of workers in countries such as China (NYSE:FXI), as well as the burden of shipping costs and the relative efficiency of the American worker. Unfortunately for college graduates, the jobs returning to the US are typically those that require minimal skill and rarely necessitate a college education. The American who has already paid for four years of college should feel slighted. At the same time, this isn’t exactly good news for the less-educated worker who is now competing with college graduates for the same unskilled jobs.

Check out my previous blog post about the debt burden of recent college grads: “Meet the Graduating Class with the Highest Debt Burden EVER