Getting a ‘good’ job is getting easier for college graduates

College graduates have 97 percent of “good’’ jobs that have been recently added in the United States.
College graduates have 97 percent of “good’’ jobs that have been recently added in the United States. –Boston Globe / Contributor

Maybe not so surprisingly, college graduates have the higher paying jobs in the United States.

“Many media accounts suggest the nation is flooded with baristas who were trained to create business plans and Uber drivers who can solve differential equations,’’ explained the new report from Georgetown University called “Good Jobs are Back: College Graduates are First in Line.’’

The report said that though this phenomenon is true in some cases, it is getting more rare and “good’’ jobs for college graduates are on the rise.

According to the study, a good job is one that pays more than $53,000 per year for a full-time position. Eighty-six percent of the good jobs are full-time, 68 percent offer health insurance, and 61 percent provide employee-sponsored retirement.


And these good jobs, the report states, have grown the most in the post-recession recovery period: “Of the 6.6 million jobs added during the recovery, 2.9 million were good jobs compared to 1.8 million low-wage jobs and 1.9 million middle-wage jobs.’’

Who is getting these good jobs?

Not so surprisingly, college graduates have taken most of them. According to the report, out of the 2.9 million good jobs created since the recovery, 2.8 million of them have been filled with people who have at least a bachelor’s degree.

“We found essentially in some ways what was expected,’’ Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, told “What would be expected is a growth in higher wage jobs going to college grads. In a recession it’s expected that higher wage higher skilled workers are last to lose their jobs and first to get them back.’’

Carnevale emphasized that though going to college helps you get the best odds of claiming a good job, not all degrees are weighted the same.

“Success is very much dependent on college major or field of study,’’ he said, more so than what college you attended.

According to the study:

“Of the 2.9 million good jobs added during the recovery, 1.8 million were in managerial and professional office occupations. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations and healthcare professional and technical occupations were the other two major areas of growth in good jobs. By contrast, education occupations lost 184,000 good jobs during the recovery, reflecting continued tight budgets in school districts, colleges, and universities.’’

“The college population has been more and more segmented in terms of economic opportunity,’’ Carnevale said.


The study showed that Management, IT, and healthcare occupations had some of the largest growth during the recovery. Managers had the highest growth and includes jobs such as, regulatory-affairs managers, security managers, investment-fund managers, and supply-chain managers.

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“It’s very destructive for people with high school degrees or less,’’ Carnevale said. The number of middle-wage jobs ($32,000 to $53,000 per year) and low-wage (less than $32,000) have not had the same increase as good jobs.

Almost 2 million middle-wage jobs have been added in the recovery, but that’s still 900,000 below the pre-recession levels. Low-wage jobs have added 800,000 jobs above the pre-recession levels, but are not growing as fast as good jobs.

Overall though, things seem to be improving, though Carnevale made it clear “it’s not the best of times for anybody.’’ But in general, having a college degree will make your odds of getting a good job a lot better.

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