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**Report Reveals Nearly 50% of Recent American College Graduates Employed in Entry-Level Positions**

Within a year of graduation, approximately 52% of recent bachelor’s degree recipients in the United States find themselves employed in positions that do not necessitate a college education, as indicated by a recent collaborative study from two research organizations.

The study, which analyzed the career trajectories of 60 million individuals in the US, including 10.8 million bachelor’s degree holders, highlights a concerning trend. It reveals that a significant portion of graduates—88% of them—are engaged in roles typically associated with high school-level qualifications, such as office support, food service, and retail, within five years of completing their education. This data comes from the research conducted by the Burning Glass Institute and the Strada Education Foundation.

The report underscores the challenging reality faced by new graduates who may have anticipated better professional prospects upon earning their degrees. While it is true that college graduates generally command higher salaries compared to individuals with only a high school education, a substantial number of graduates do not achieve the anticipated economic benefits associated with a bachelor’s degree.

One key finding of the report is the stark disparity in earnings between underemployed graduates and those in roles that align with their educational qualifications. Underemployed individuals earn approximately 25% more than their counterparts with a high school diploma. However, this figure pales in comparison to the 88% income differential enjoyed by individuals employed in positions that require a college degree.

The most prevalent occupations among graduates working in roles below their educational level include clerks, sales supervisors, retail sales workers, salespersons, and secretaries. Furthermore, a significant number of these individuals are employed in food and beverage services, as well as construction. Fields that emphasize quantitative skills, such as engineering, finance, accounting, and computer science, exhibit lower rates of underemployment compared to disciplines like public safety, recreation, wellness studies, and marketing.

The study also sheds light on the challenges of transitioning out of underemployment. Individuals who commence their careers in roles that underutilize their education are significantly more likely to remain underemployed a decade later, underscoring the critical importance of the initial post-graduation job. While around 27% of underemployed graduates eventually transition to positions that align with their qualifications within a decade, a substantial portion—45 out of 100 graduates—continue to face underemployment challenges even after ten years.

Internships emerge as a valuable pathway to securing college-level employment, with graduates who participated in internships experiencing a significantly lower risk of underemployment in their early career stages. However, despite the benefits, only 29% of college graduates manage to secure paid internships before completing their studies. The report advocates for increased support from policymakers and educational institutions to promote internship opportunities and provide personalized career guidance to students, emphasizing the effectiveness of these interventions in mitigating underemployment risks.

Furthermore, the researchers highlight the importance of enhancing career services at colleges to assist students in navigating the complexities of the job market effectively. Despite the evident benefits of personalized career coaching, the current student-to-career services staff ratio in US colleges stands at a concerning 1 to 2,263, underscoring the need for improved support structures to address underemployment challenges among graduates.