41% of college grads overqualified for what they do
More than 4 out of 10 recent graduates say they are stuck in jobs that don't required a college degree.
May 1st, 2013
01:49 PM ET

41% of college grads overqualified for what they do

By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney

(CNN) - A survey out Tuesday found that 41% of college graduates from the last two years are stuck in jobs that don't require a degree.

Consulting firm Accenture talked to 1,005 students who graduated from college in 2011 and 2012 and haven't returned to graduate school. In addition to those who are underemployed, 11% said they are unemployed, with 7% reporting they haven't had a job since graduating.

The lack of job options in their chosen fields are weighing grads down, as nearly half of the recent graduates believe they would fare better in the job market if they'd pursued a different major.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they would need additional training in order to start their chosen career, with 42% saying they expect to go to graduate school. That's a sharp change in thinking from those still in school: A separate survey by Accenture found that only 18% of the class of 2013 expects to need graduate school.

It will likely be much higher, as job prospects are grim for the class of 2013. The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 7.6%, and recent graduates fare even worse, according to the Labor Department.

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Starbucks, Walmart offering classes - for college credit
Every year, 5,000 McDonald's employees spend a week at Hamburger University at its Oak Brook, Illinois, headquarters.
April 18th, 2013
09:40 AM ET

Starbucks, Walmart offering classes - for college credit

By Christopher Connell, The Hechinger Report, CNNMoney

CNNMoney - Arianna Suarez's first job after emigrating from Cuba as a teenager was as a cashier at a Walmart in Hialeah, Florida, Thanks in part to college-level classes that Walmart offers online, she has risen through the ranks to store manager and is now on her way toward earning a college degree.

From ethics to inventory management, the classes covered the skills Suarez needs to help run a round-the-clock, multi-million dollar retail operation with scores of employees. Even better, she has earned dozens of credits that she can put toward a bachelor's degree.

A growing number of Fortune 500 companies, like Walmart, have grown tired of waiting for colleges and universities to produce the skilled workers they need and have started offering their own classes instead. And as an added bonus for employees: Many of these courses - from Starbucks' Barista Basics to Jiffy Lube's finance fundamentals - are eligible for college credit.

"What companies like is just-in-time learning that gives somebody a skill they need at the time they need it," says Mark Allen, a Pepperdine University business professor and author of The Next Generation of Corporate Universities. "What traditional universities do to a large extent is just-in-case learning."

In Seattle, Starbucks workers take courses called Barista Basics and Barista 101. They can earn one and a half credits from City University of Seattle for each of the company's two barista classes, and three credits apiece for higher-level management courses.

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Class of 2013 faces grim job prospects
College grads under age 25 face an 8.8% unemployment rate, a new research report says.
April 15th, 2013
02:05 PM ET

Class of 2013 faces grim job prospects

By Annalyn Kurtz, CNNMoney

New York (CNNMoney) - The class of 2013 will face an "extremely difficult" job market when college students graduate in the months ahead, according to a new research report.

Unemployment remains high for young college grads. For those who will find jobs, many will probably have to settle for low-level positions, the Economic Policy Institute said Wednesday.

The unemployment rate for recent college grads between the ages of 21 to 24 has averaged 8.8% over the last year, according to Labor Department data.

Once you also include young grads who are working part-time for economic reasons, and those who have stopped looking for a job in the last year, the so-called "underemployment rate" is a whopping 18.3%.

Sure, the job market has improved during the past few years. But both these rates remain higher than pre-recession levels.

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My View: What will you do with an English degree? Plenty
He's now Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In grad school? He studied literature -- W. B. Yeats, to be exact.
January 4th, 2013
12:41 PM ET

My View: What will you do with an English degree? Plenty

Courtesy Michael BérubéBy Michael Bérubé, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Michael Bérubé is the Edwin Erle Sparks Professor and director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at Pennsylvania State University, and the 2012 president of the Modern Language Association.

(CNN) - Almost every college student who considers majoring in English - or French, or philosophy, or art history - inevitably hears the question: "What in the world are you going to do with that?" The question can come from worried parents, perplexed relatives, or derisive, incredulous peers, but it always implies that degrees in the humanities are “boutique” degrees, nice ornaments that serve no practical purpose in the real world. After all, who needs another 50-page honors project on the poetry of Charles Baudelaire?

Well, strange as it may sound, if you’re an employer who needs smart, creative workers, a 50-page honors project on a 19th century French poet might be just the thing you want to see from one of your job applicants. Not because you’re going to ask him or her to interpret any poetry on the job, but because you may be asking him or her, at some point, to deal with complex material that requires intense concentration - and to write a persuasive account of what it all means. And you may find that the humanities major with extensive college experience in dealing with complex material handles the challenge better - more comprehensively, more imaginatively - than the business or finance major who assumed that her degree was all she needed to earn a place in your company.


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