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Nearly half of college grads have jobs that don’t require diplomas

Bad news for college grads: Nearly half of recent graduates of institutions of higher learning are working at jobs that don’t require a college diploma, a study has found.

About 48% of college students who graduated in 2010 are in positions that don’t need a bachelor’s degree, while 38% are working in gigs that don’t require even a high school diploma, according to the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.

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The report found that the number of workers overeducated for the jobs they were holding down could be growing. In 1970, fewer than 1% of taxi drivers and 2% of firefighters had earned a college diploma; now, more than 15% in both jobs have graduated from college.

That’s a sobering statistic for young people heading into the workplace, many saddled with thousands of dollars in student loans.

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The prospects are brighter for those who went to well-regarded private colleges, who on average make more than graduates of state universities. And by mid-career, those who majored in in-demand subjects such as engineering and economics earned almost twice as much as graduates in social work and education.

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