Is college education worth it? After all the money and time I spend which I could use to start my career early?
by tdong1 on April 14, 2014 - 9:18pm
People are very nervous about how to find a job and stay employed. Many believe if they go to college, they can get a better job after they graduate, but is it true? Saving the money and time you would spend in college to look for a job and get a head start is more efficient, is this assumption fair? The answer is: college education does play an important role in whether you could get a job or not. Recent college graduates still face higher unemployment rates than those who graduated many years earlier, but the unemployment rate is still much lower compared to young people who without a college degree.
In the article Are Recent College Graduates Finding Good Jobs? (Jaison R. Abel and colleagues., 2014), they have answered these kinds of questions by using and analyzing up to two decades of data. They have collected these data from reliable sources like the U.S. Department of Labor, current population survey, decennial census and American community survey. In their article, they have concluded that the unemployment rate is related to economic recession, for example, there was a high level of unemployment in 2007-2009, but the trend of unemployment rates of different categories of people is similar. It shows that young workers whom are aged 22 to 27 and without a bachelor’s degree or higher, have higher unemployment rates than all the workers which have higher unemployment rates than recent college graduates students whom are aged 22 to 27 with a college degree. The lowest rate from 1990 to 2012 is the college graduate category which contains college graduate workers aged 22 to 65. They also found out that unemployment is also related to age, by comparing three different time periods, their figures show that no matter the overall unemployment rate in each period, recent college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher facing a higher unemployment rate than college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher aged older than 30. They also looked into the issues of underemployment, job quality among the underemployed, and the data shows college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher are doing better than recent college graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher. They also summarized the difference between different majors and their employment outcomes.
I found this article is totally worth to read for people who haven’t decide if they are going to college or not, choosing a major or about to graduate and enter the labor market. It proposed a social problem and analyzed it by using data from U.S. Department of Labor which is one of the best places to gather data to answer this kind of problem; it also discussed the question in-depth analysis, they not only compare the different between with a degree and no degree, but also the difference between ages and majors. These data are not that easy to find and very helpful when choosing major or adjusting your attitude when you just graduate from college and feel frustrated about finding a job. It is never bad to analyze an issue in multiple ways. All the figures are well labeled with detail explanations of the meanings of different categories, how they analyzed these data and what were their findings.
Jaison R. Abel, Richard Deitz, & Yaqin Su (2014). Are recent college graduates finding good jobs?. (2014). Current Issues in Economics & Finance, 20(1), 1-8.