Dear College Freshmen: You're Screwed.
It’s that time of year again. College students are starting to stock up on energy drinks and get ready to lock themselves away cramming for finals. But a looming question remains over their head, what happens after graduation?
Does having a college degree really make a difference in this economy? I mean, how often will your calculus or biology class really come in handy?
I’m here to tell you, your degree is worthless.
The cost of tuition is rising rapidly, but what are you really getting out of it? Most of what you learn in college isn’t even applicable to daily life. Instead of learning how to manage your finances, or gain hands-on experience through an apprenticeship, academia focuses on a “well-rounded” education leaving millennials good at everything, but experts in nothing.
Rather than learning how to learn, academia teaches students how to take a test. Which isn’t really an important skill in real life. So is it any surprise that millennials have had 53 straight months of unemployment over 10%? Even worse, those of us under 24-years-old have an unemployment rate above 16%!
This flaw in our education system has definitely been exploited by America’s economic downtown. In 2012, a record one third of 25 to 29-year-olds in the U.S. had their bachelor’s degree. With a surplus of college graduates, the workforce just isn’t supplying enough jobs for us all. Recent college graduates get hurt the worst by this because we are competing for jobs alongside people who have been in the workforce for 5-10 years.
In 2010, Labor Department data from the Center for College Affordability and Productivity reported that the number of jobs requiring a college degree was around 28 million. Unfortunately, the number of college graduates exceeded 41 million.
Last year Rutgers University conducted a survey and found that half of new graduates were working jobs that did not require a 4 year degree. Only 20% of the graduates were even working in their chosen field. The starting salary for new graduates was about 10% less than five years ago; new graduates find themselves underemployed, taking jobs to pay the bills, or opting to go back to graduate school to boost their credentials, hoping to give them an edge in an increasingly competitive market.
The problem is every job application requires 1-2 years of experience, but how can a recent graduate get the experience necessary to launch their career, if no one will hire us?
Most students are graduating with more than $27,000 of debt! Not only are millennials spending money more to attain a college degree than ever before, but we aren’t seeing any reward for our investment. When will Washington start to talk about these very real issues that are crippling our generation?