Congratulations to all of you who obtained their college degree this season! Is your degree leverage for employment? Since it is graduation season, and many college graduates are moving forward with life, how many are actually employed with a job in their major? Too early to tell of course, but those of us in the career space watch these stats as an indicator of the condition of the job market.
The Data on the College Degree
One Forbes article says that unemployment and underemployment for college graduates is a myth. In 2016, some studies showed some law schools with up to 31% of their graduates were unemployed. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics latest report doesn’t feature any of the college graduate employment numbers yet.
Regardless of the number, it is still a wait and see. Nor can anyone use it as an excuse to successfully find a job without doing everything possible.
The Return on the College Degree
My oldest son graduated in December, and in January he was off to the Air Force. That was his plan for the last two years. But he also had two internships before graduating. His plan is to attend graduate school in the next year or two, but in the meantime his job will take him on quite a few travels. Like many graduates, the first plan is to experience, and then explore. And there is nothing wrong with that.
I reflect on this because three years ago, my friend Keith Townsend and I talked about the Return-on-Investment of a college degree. Every few years, I think this is a discussion worth revisiting for any year. At that time we created a video to coincide with the podcast–I think it’s worth watching.
Getting a college degree is a personal thing for some, and for others it’s family expectation. It is worth the discussion to evaluate your career trajectory if it is worth the investment of time and money. But those of us who advise clients if a college is a must have, we will likely answer, “it depends…”