THE EMPLOYMENT LANDSCAPE IS HARD TO NAVIGATE , EVEN WITH A BACHELOR ’ S DEGREE
This year we asked our graduates if their “ job requires a Bachelor ’ s degree ” and we found that 27 % responded “ no ” - including a line cook , a train operator , an underwriter , a fraud investigator , and day-care staff . Nationally , the ratio of Bachelor ’ s degree holders “ over-qualified ” for their occupation is similar , with higher ratios for younger graduates and for those who graduated in a weak economy 10 and lower for those who have a graduate degree .
We found these factors to be true for our graduates : for instance , those working in a strong Bay Area labor market are more likely to report a job requiring a Bachelor ’ s degree ( 78 %) than those outside California ( 59 %). Yet we also found that our African American alumni were more likely to be overqualified for their current employment ( only 58 % say their job requires a Bachelor ’ s degree ), hinting at the well known reality of discrimination in the workplace .
We are concerned by these findings because jobs that require a Bachelor ’ s degree pay a lot more : in our sample of 132 individuals who graduated from college more than two years ago and are currently working , the median wage is $ 20,000 higher for those whose job requires a Bachelor ’ s degree and 13 % more report having health insurance ( 87 % vs 74 %). 11
In years to come we will continue to examine the factors that lead to such under-matching . But we are taking immediate action for our current students , supporting them with internships and post-college plans .
Last year we reported on-the-job outcomes for DACA recipients , which clearly showed that DACA works ! For several years , College Track Dreamers had the experience of starting and graduating college with DACA — but this experience is suddenly halted , and now our college Dreamers live without the security that they can compete for a job after they earn their degree . Laura ’ s story reminds us of the tragedy of this loss : “ For me , having DACA didn ’ t just allow me to live and work in the U . S . It offered an opportunity to pay it forward , advocate for immigrant communities , and help give voice to the voiceless . I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with dual degrees in Latin American Studies and Politics . As a paralegal at The American Bar Association , I plan to get my law degree and become an immigration attorney .”
-Laura , College Track East Palo Alto , U . C . Santa Cruz Graduate
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