Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Is there really a Millennial underemployment crisis? Yes, but only among liberal-arts majors."

In hindsight, picking a different major would have probably been among the alternate choices I'd have made.  
The Economic Woe of Young Liberal-Arts Majors - The Atlantic:  "Since the Great Recession, a powerful and occasionally terrifying narrative about the state of recent college graduates has emerged: Many young, educated 20-somethings are languishing in the purgatory of unpaid internships. Those who have managed to find jobs earn wages whose meagerness stands in stark contrast to their student debt. Even now, seven years after the Great Recession, about half of young college graduates between the ages of 22 and 27 are said to be “underemployed”—working in a job that hasn’t historically required a college degree—including, most prototypically, that infamous caricature, the College-Educated Barista. For many years, this crisis of overeducated latte artists seemed quite real, according to research by Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz, two economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York...

Finally, youth underemployment, like youth unemployment, is in decline. This happy news comes with an important asterisk. A large chasm has opened between the fates of young liberal-arts majors and their peers in STEM (science, tech, engineering, and math) fields. The former are struggling to find work that pays, at least before their late twenties. The latter are mostly finding lucrative work after they graduate...

Indeed, the gap between humanities and STEM students is striking. Underemployment afflicts more than 50 percent of majors in the performing arts, anthropology, art history, history, communications, political science, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and international affairs. But the undergraduate majors that promise the best shot at a high-paying job all have one word in common: engineering. Civil-, mechanical-, aerospace-, and industrial-engineering majors all have extremely low underemployment percentage and they are the least likely of all majors to land their degree-holders in a low-paying, low-skilled service sector job. “Our work does suggest that certain skills have a higher demand relative to supply than others—such as those majors related to the STEM fields and healthcare,” the authors write. "

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