Most college grads hold jobs that don't require degrees

Most college graduates are underemployed, with 52% employed in jobs that don't typically require a bachelor's degree one year after graduation and many of them staying with those jobs for at least a decade. 

The findings come from a new report called "Talent Disrupted" issued by Strada Education Foundation and the Burning Glass Institute, which seeks to measure the value of college education and entry into college-level jobs.

Here are six key findings from the report: 

1. Despite the tight labor market, the rate of underemployment among college graduates persists at a high level. A year after graduation, 52% of graduates are underemployed. After a decade, 45% are underemployed.

2. Rarely do graduates who begin in a college-level job transition into underemployment. Among those in college-level occupations five years post-graduation, 86% still held such positions a decade later.

3. Underemployed graduates earn 33% less than their counterparts working in college-level positions. 

4. Underemployment is lowest for graduates with degrees in health professions and related programs, such as nursing; engineering; and math-intensive business, such as accounting. 

5. The rates of underemployment are highest for graduates with degrees in public safety and security; recreation and wellness studies; general business, such as marketing and HR; humanities and cultural studies.

6. The report authors point out that "not all STEM majors are created equal." Graduates with a terminal bachelor's degree in computer science, engineering, or math have substantially higher college-level employment rates and earnings than those with a degree in the physical sciences or life sciences. 

The complete 56-page report can be found here

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