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May 1, 2012 • Gear Bits

That Classic High Schooler Summer Camp Job is Now Filled With a PhD Graduate

Anyone who thinks that economic woes are behind us needs to check out this recent article from the Atlantic. It talks about how many recent graduates are unable to find a suitable job based on their education.

About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor’s degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years. In 2000, the share was at a low of 41 percent, before the dot-com bust erased job gains for college graduates in the telecommunications and IT fields.

Out of the 1.5 million who languished in the job market, about half were underemployed, an increase from the previous year.

I know the feeling well, having graduated from college just after the 1987 stock market crash and finding the job market still recovering … I chose to be ‘underemployed’ for about 9 months to allow me to focus on getting a job I actually wanted.

But rather than just squeezing college grads back into their parents’ houses (a trend that has been rampant since the 2007/2008 recession began), it is pushing these 20-somethings back to jobs that they might have done back when they were teens.

In a recent article in my local paper the Star-Gazette:

“The traditional jobs where the young people were working, grown folks are now doing the jobs,” Brooks said. “We used to have a lot of young people apply but now we have so many people with master’s and Ph.D.’s looking for summer work. We have extremely overqualified people being camp counselors. It’s good for us, but not so good for the kids who would normally have these jobs.”

Our local youth bureau collects up ad-hoc jobs for 14 & 15-year olds doing things like yard work and helping the elderly with computer tasks, but even those jobs have been drying up as more college-kids are pushed to stay at home and find extra income wherever they can.

My own kids are feeling the pinch – my younger son applied at the local ‘Hot Topic’ which hires at 14, and the manager said that the normal openings she would have at this point in the year simply aren’t there, due to older kids hanging on and coming back.

All of this will continue to have a trickle down effect as these kids are not able to pump the money into the economy, and not to save towards college, buying a car, and other major investments.

What are you seeing in YOUR area?

4 Responses to " That Classic High Schooler Summer Camp Job is Now Filled With a PhD Graduate "

  1. thsu says:

    The book “Worthless” covers this:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1467978302

    Basically, college kids need to major in a STEM field, preferably an engineering field (any except for environmental). Anything else, and the kids are going to come out of college with bad job prospects.

  2. thsu says:

    The book “Worthless” covers this:
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1467978302

    Basically, college kids need to major in a STEM field, preferably an engineering field (any except for environmental). Anything else, and the kids are going to come out of college with bad job prospects.

    • Well … not everyone is built for STEM, really.  Nor are all jobs in STEM.  The whole thing is to understand your path through life and work that plan … 

      • thsu says:

        Let me put it another way. College is expensive. If you go into debt attending college, you need to graduate with a degree that is valuable enough to pay off that debt.

        The more expensive the college, the more student loan debt you accumulate, the more valuable that degree needs to be to the real world. Otherwise, you should not be going to college. That’s the basic crux of the book.

        It’s a harsh reality check.

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