will a college degree help you?Conflicting reports are making our heads hurt this morning. After all, how do you react when you hear that nearly half of recent college grads work in jobs that require less than the college degree they worked so hard (and spent so much) on? That’s the state of the current job market, according to a new student by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP).

While authors of the study admit that a college degree can benefit many, they claim that the number of graduates who do not reap the economic benefits they may have expected from their academic achievement is fairly significant.

It all comes down to a matter of supply vs. demand, state Richard Vedder, Christopher Denhart, and Jonathan Robe, who authored the study for the not-for-profit research center on higher education issues in Washington. The supply of college grads with four-year degrees is far greater than the demand from jobs requiring such education. According to the report, the number of college graduates is expected to grow by 19 million by 2020, while the number of jobs requiring a bachelor’s degree is expected to grow by fewer than 7 million. I’m not a math whiz, but even I can figure out how concerning that is.

Even more interesting/worrisome/yikes-inducing is that college grads are pushing out those with less education, so to speak. The report points out that recent graduates are, in fact, crowding out job categories that have not typically required a degree.

So what of those studies that show skilled workers with college degrees are, in fact, needed? Case in point: Research from the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce states that by 2018, the U.S. will come up short — by at least 3 million — in fulfilling the 22 million new workers with college degrees that will be necessary to fuel the nation’s workforce. Perhaps it’s the difference of the few years it’ll take us to get there?

Nonetheless, despite conflicting reports (and the headache that has ensued), our opinion is that a college degree will never do you wrong. When it comes to who will get the job vs. who won’t, having a solid education — and all that comes with that (the dedication to complete a goal, the collaborative skills developed, etc.) — will make you the standout application. Let’s hope the job market transforms, as CCAP authors cite, to accommodate the expertise and experience graduates have to offer.

What’s your take on the conflicting reports?

3 responses to “So Will a College Degree Get You Ahead, Or Not?”

  1. susiewatts says:

    A college degree may not get you ahead immediately, but it will get you ahead in the long run.

  2. Rachael says:

    Here is a great article from ParentsandColleges.com that also talks about the benefits of a college degree: http://www.parentsandcolleges.com/blog/bid/149907/Review-Going-Away-to-College-This-Fall-You-re-Now-the-Exception

  3. Aryn Hill says:

    A college degree really doesn’t mean that much any more in America. That’s why I’m moving to China. There are so many more job openings, especially for foreigners!

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