College Graduates in 'High School' Jobs: A Commentary

By Hecker, Daniel E. | Monthly Labor Review, December 1995 | Go to article overview

College Graduates in 'High School' Jobs: A Commentary


Hecker, Daniel E., Monthly Labor Review


Some facts about college graduates relative to persons with less education are well documented in the literature, and subject to little, if any, debate: college graduates have much higher median earnings than those with less education and the earnings premium for college graduates increased during the 1980's, in contrast to a decline during the 1970's.

From an occupational perspective, data also clearly show that most college graduates are employed in professional, managerial, or other jobs that generally require a college degree. Since the early 1980's, however, between 17 and 18 percent of all college graduates were employed in jobs that do not require a degree. The proportion was even higher for those with a bachelor's degree, with about 23 percent in jobs that do not require a degree.(1)

John Tyler, Richard J. Murnane, and Frank Levy provide an important contribution to information about the college graduate job market through their analysis of young graduates and older graduates, separately for men and women, using 1980 and 1990 census data. They show that the status for young college graduates improved from 1979 to 1989 based on earnings improvements and a slight decline in the proportion of graduates in noncollege-level jobs--which they call "high school jobs." Data in table 2 of their article show that the proportion of bachelor's degree graduates in "high school jobs" declined from 28.2 percent in 1979 to 25.2 percent in 1989 for young women and from 25 percent to 23.2 percent for young men.

I have two primary concerns about their analysis. First, I question the significance of the declines in the proportion of graduates in "high school jobs." The higher percent in 1979 may be attributable, at least in part, to a change in education classification from the 1980 to 1990 census in which persons with 4 years of college, but no degree are included in the 1979 data, but not in the 1989 data. The Current Population Survey (cps) data from February 1990 coded both on the 1980 and 1990 census classification indicated 8 percent of those reporting 4 years of college did not have a bachelor's degree.(2) This group may be more likely to hold a noncollege-level job than those with a degree. Furthermore, the 1989 data for persons whose highest degree is a bachelor's degree, include persons who have had post-bachelor's degree study, but have not received an advanced degree. These individuals may be less likely to have a noncollege-level job than those with no postbachelor's study.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

College Graduates in 'High School' Jobs: A Commentary
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.