More kids, same number of jobs...

In the year 2000 (when the economy was booming) 36 percent of employed college graduates age 22–27 worked in jobs that did not require a college degree. In 2014 that number was up to 46% (source).

Some kids do need time to adjust and to find a good job after school and this statistic includes those grads. However, can our kids (or the parents paying) afford to cover student loans, food, rent, gas, beer money on minimum wage (roughly $8 in most states)?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, from 2001 to 2012 the number of degrees earned increased by 39%, more college students competing for jobs. But that is OK since the number of available jobs increased as well, right? During the same period, the number of jobs increased 1.9%...(yes, I found that stat on wikipedia). So we have more grads competing for essentially the same number of jobs.

I am particularly critical of the number of business undergrads these days as I tend to believe that specializing makes our kids more employable so I searched for data to back up my hypothesis that the number of business grads had also increased as a percentage of total college graduates. I was wrong, the percentage of business degrees in 2012 was identical to those in 2001. In fact, the only degree with a major change in this time period is Education, which was 8.5% in 2001 and dropped to 6% in 2012. Interestingly, in a report by the Federal Reserve Bank of NY in 2014, students majoring in Education were among the most likely to get a degree related job after college. The only degree that beat Education was Engineering and the difference was too small to matter.

The increase in competitors (other kids with college degrees) has not kept up with the increase in jobs. The excerpt below from the Federal Reserve article sums it up:

What can students do to increase their chances of finding a good job upon graduation? It does appear that one’s college major matters: unemployment and underemployment rates differ markedly across majors. In particular, those who choose majors that provide technical training, such as engineering or math and computers, or majors that are geared toward growing parts of the economy, such as education and health, have tended to do relatively well. At the other end of the spectrum, those with majors that provide less technical and more general training, such as leisure and hospitality,  communications, the liberal arts, and even the social sciences and business, have not tended to fare particularly well in recent years.