For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

Rest Assured: You’re Better Off Earning a College Degree

The Close School’s resident sage sheds light on prospects for entrepreneurs in the U.S. job market.


November 11, 2014

By Dr. Roy Carriker

A recent Gallup study reported by the Wall Street Journal found that 41 percent of recent college graduates said they didn’t have to have a degree for the job they were able to get. In other words, they’re underemployed.

Supporting this, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that, as of this past June, 34.6 percent of all college graduates and 46 percent of recent graduates aged 22 to 27 were underemployed. Although salaries have been suppressed in recent history, they found median income for college graduates is $48,000, while for high school graduates it is $25,502. 

So, although the level of underemployment is distressing, you’re still better off earning a college degree.

Similarly, in the UK, the Financial Times reports that as of 2012, 17 percent of recent UK university graduates were unemployed and 36 percent were underemployed, up from 27 percent in 2001. 

Why this matters:

More than ever before, to improve the odds of being fully employed, and thereby fully compensated, students need to make reasoned researched decisions about how they invest in their time and resources in pursuing a degree. 

An important option to consider is to mix in experiential learning available from the Close School of Entrepreneurship, which unlocks the creative confidence to start something — no matter what you choose as your principal field of study.

Says Carriker: An entrepreneur friend of mine once told me: "Learn, earn, return." After 55 years of learning and earning around the world, I am returning.

Roy Carriker is a Teaching Professor and Director of Technology Entrepreneurship in the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship. He is also a School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems senior executive in residence.

Email Dr. Carriker: