New College Grads Not Doomed to Life as Baristas After All

Photo (cc) by thedailyenglishshow

Working through college by taking a job at Starbucks is one way to avoid student debt — the company covers undergraduate tuition for most employees.

But media stories about a lack of good job openings sometimes suggest that many recent college students have few options better than becoming a full-time barista.

Fortunately, new research out of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concludes that working in a low-skill job after college is not as common as stereotypes suggest.

Researchers Jaison R. Abel and Richard Deitz explain in a blog post published this week that the college-educated barista is more myth than reality:

Although many recent college graduates are “underemployed” — working in jobs that typically don’t require a degree — our research indicates that only a small fraction worked in a low-skilled service job in the years following the Great Recession. …

Further, our analysis suggests that many of those who started their careers in a low-skilled service job transitioned to a better job after gaining some experience in the labor market.

The researchers used data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey from 2009 to 2013 to analyze the types of jobs held by underemployed recent college grads (defined as those ages 22 to 27 who have at least a bachelor’s degree) after the Great Recession.

They found that roughly 45 percent of those graduates worked in a “noncollege job.” The study authors defined a “college job” as one where “at least 50 percent of the workers in that job indicated that at least a bachelor’s degree is necessary.”

Looking specifically at the 45 percent of underemployed recent college grads who worked noncollege jobs after the recession, the researchers found:

  • The largest share (25 percent) worked jobs in the office and administrative support category, which paid an average annual wage of $37,207.
  • Nearly half worked in relatively high-paying jobs, with more than 10 percent in the information processing and business support category, more than 10 percent in the managers and supervisors category, and more than 10 percent in the sales category — all of which paid an average annual wage of about $52,000 to $59,000.
  • 19.3 percent worked jobs in the low-skilled service category, which includes waiters and waitresses, cashiers, bartenders, cooks and baristas, and paid an average annual wage of $23,584.

What’s your take on underemployment among recent college grads? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
9 Products That Will Organize Your Home for Under $45
9 Products That Will Organize Your Home for Under $45

These clever Amazon finds can help transform a messy nest into the pristine home of your dreams.

15 of the Fastest-Growing Jobs Today
15 of the Fastest-Growing Jobs Today

Times are tough, but these career fields are thriving.

7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement
7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement

Making even one of these mistakes can easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

Secret Ways to Save on Netflix
Secret Ways to Save on Netflix

These little-known savings tactics can help whittle down what you pay for your streaming video subscription — every month.

10 Items Every First-Aid Kit Should Have
10 Items Every First-Aid Kit Should Have

Take control of your health and safety by customizing your own first-aid kit with these Amazon purchases.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.