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Is a College Degree Worth It?

Part Eight: Challenges 60-62

written by Patrick Ow May 14, 2020
Is a College Degree Worth It?

Patrick Ow shares problems and challenges for graduates looking for appropriate-paying jobs; salaries don’t even pay for the cost of their education. That is if they can even find a job – leading people to wonder if a college degree is even worth it.

60. Graduates Struggle to Find Their First Job

A college or university degree has lost its value as graduate numbers have exploded despite the significant cost to both students and the National Budget. Grattan found that many recent “relevantly-qualified graduates” find it difficult to get full-time employment.

The 2015 Graduate Outlook Survey found that 68.8% of employed graduates had found their employment within six months of commencing their job search and 16.8% found their role in less than a month. However, around one in five (20.5%) graduates had taken more than twelve months to find their role.

Research by the National Institute of Labour Studies found that between 2008 and 2014, the proportion of new university graduates in full-time employment has dropped from 56.4% to 41.7%.

The Australian Productivity Commission found that employment outcomes for full-time graduates have been getting worse, and many employers are not satisfied with the quality of recent graduates.

A quarter of recent graduates believed that their degrees added no value.

Underemployment ratio among graduates was at 20.5% in 2016 compared to about 9% in 2008. Graduate starting salaries have also been growing slower than wages across the broader economy declining from nearly 90% of average weekly earnings in 1989 to about 75% in 2015.

Recent university graduates are struggling to find full-time work with one in five employed university leavers unhappily working part-time in 2017, according to Canberra Times.

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