Under-Employed, Over-Educated and in Debt

Under employed

OverEducated, Under-Employed

We have heard much about young college grads being saddled with debt, so-called ‘over-educated and under-employed.’

There is some reason to think these people are notvictims.  Some of them arewhere they are due to lack of due diligence on their part.  It is incumbent upon the young personseeking an education to do his/her due diligence when planning aneducation.

Attending college is, at some level a business transaction and should be looked upon as such.  Why is it a good idea to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a degree that is obsolete, or of little value?

Wouldn't it be better to do some investigating and decide on a direction / career at the outset?  Of course, there are no guarantees but it surely would reduce the incidence of those attending school for some lackluster career like psychology –which is clearly a waste of time and money for most people.

It’s not that there is no need for psychologists. At one private college (renowned for engineering) the psych department growth outpaced every other department on campus and finally became the one with the largest enrollment. 

That didn’t occur because of any great demand for psych majors.  It happened because it was perceived (by students) as an ‘easy’ degree to get (it is not).  Some students, not knowing what they want, go to school ‘just to get a degree.’  Many go out of their way to avoid what they perceive as the difficult courses of study.  They are just taking up space and spending their family’s money. 

Those are the ones who end up waiting tables.

Isn’t it a Better Idea to Go Where the Money Is?

I ate regularly throughout my career as an industrial electrician by 'going where the work was.' 

Today the area of elder care, elder law, anything to do with the myriad of issues regarding the aging baby boomer generation is where the work (and money) is.  There are, of course, other areas in demand.  This is but one example.

Colleges are to blame, partly.  They are no more than a'mill;' a business that turns out mass quantities of degrees.  They coulddo a better job of tailoring the curriculum toward the degrees that are indemand.  The students are being cheated when the college leads themto believe they are selling them a good product.  The product the studentsare being sold is, in many cases, obsolete.

'Let the buyer beware' applies here. It is no differentthan doing your due diligence for any other ‘high-ticket item’ you plan topurchase.

It is incumbent upon the student (along with parents) to do thisdue diligence to be able to recognize the obsolete product.  That takes research.  For some ideas on attractive careers,see http://www.squidoo.com/most-popular-careers-in-the-usa

A Misnomer, Perhaps?

When the term 'over educated' is used for a college grad workingas a waiter, for example, it could be construed as a misnomer.  Thatperson is either under educated (when the degree doesn't qualify him/herfor anything worth any money) or mal-educated (the degree is useless,outmoded or too generic).

On the other hand, the college educated waiter may not have abad degree.  It could be he can't compete successfully with his peers inhis chosen field.  It could have nothing to do with hiseducation.  He may not bethe ‘sharpest knife in the drawer.’

Here’s another thing that is often misconstrued:  Just because one has an education, itdoes not mean that person is intelligent.  It merely means that person was ableto read and report on what was read.

Of course, that last statement wouldn’t apply to certainprofessions, say, brain surgeons, for example.  But it does apply to the vastmajority.