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College Graduates: Unemployed, Underemployed, Underpaid

A new survey, released by management consulting firm Accenture, has found that more than 40 percent of people who graduated from college over the last two years are underemployed while only 16 percent of 2013 graduates had secured employment. The survey highlights the fact that the value of a college degree has fallen precipitously since the recession and college graduates are struggling to put their education to use.

Among 2011 and 2012 graduates, just 68 percent have found full-time jobs while 16 percent are currently working part-time jobs. Forty-two percent of students believe they will need to attend graduate school in order to find a “decent job” in their field.

Forty-five percent of 2011 and 2012 graduates said they would be willing to take a job that paid significantly less than they had hoped while 32 percent work in jobs that pay less than $25,000 per year. Forty-one percent are underemployed or working in a job that does not require a college degree.

Among graduates of two-year schools, the results are even more grim. Fifty-two percent of two-year school grads believe they will need to go to a four-year school to secure a decent job in their field, not realizing the perils already facing four-year school grads.

Like college degrees, the value of internships has fallen as well. Among 2011 and 2012 graduates, 72 percent had done at least one internship but only 42 percent of internships lead to actual employment.

All this is happening as tuition continues to skyrocket around the country and student debt continues to grow exponentially. In 2003, just 25 percent of recent graduates had student debt, up to 43 percent in 2013. While a decade ago the average student debt held was $10,000, the average 25-year-old graduate now has more than $20,000 in outstanding student debt.

Those numbers are expected to get even worse as Congress has failed to pass a bill that would keep student interest rates low. Interest rates are expected to increase to 8.25 percent for undergraduate students, 9.25 percent for graduate students, and 10 percent for parents. With a grim outlook for the future and poor job prospects, 44 percent of 2011 and 2012 graduates still live with their parents.

(Image courtesy of Will Folsom)

About the author

Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh