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Thursday
Aug022012

Wages for college graduates in the cross hairs of US business

Nancy Folbre reports at Economix that fewer than half of recent college graduates are employed in jobs that require college degrees and that their real entry level wages are lower now than they were in 2000.  US college graduates are facing stiff competition from foreign workers here under H-1b visas, as well as by offshoring, keeping wages for these jobs depressed.

Further, he [Professor Matloff] observes that high-tech companies insisting that there is a shortage of STEM workers with advanced degrees in the United States don't seem willing to invest much in increased financial support for graduate education.

Maybe college students should seek jobs that seem less vulnerable to global competition, in fields like health sciences. But I just read an article about health care companies sending jobs overseas that gave me palpitations.

The economist Alan Blinder asserts that high educational requirements can make a job more rather than less "offshorable." Most large American companies have already figured this out – but it's not clear how many college students have.

Not only have large American companies figured this out, but Lumina Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded a study at Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce to calculate how many more college graduates the US would need to turn out in order to drive down the college-versus-high-school wage premium from 74% to 46%! Yep, that's the plan. Your college education, even in STEM—perhaps especially in STEM—may not be your ticket to a well-paying domestic job.

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