Underemployment can happen to young college grads

You could probably guess that unemployment is a little higher for new college grads than for older ones; it’s to be expected to take some time to find the right job after graduation from college or trade school.  But here’s something you might not have thought about:  Underemployment, meaning that you may have to work in a job that requires lower skill and education levels than you have, is a threat, too.  With some careers, even in a good labor market, you may have to gain experience before you can be considered for, and comfortably step into, a real career position.

What can you do to avoid the possibility of underemployment?  You can choose your field and career carefully to maximize your short-term possibilities.  New bachelor’s degrees in nursing, education, and engineering usually prepare you for career jobs right away.  Positions are usually available, and you’ll be ready to step right in.

However, with a new degree in the arts or sciences (like psychology, communications, biology, etc.) you may need to spend a few years working your way up to the career level you’re seeking—which is worth it, if you’re sure that’s the field for you.  But never fear–your degree will pay off in spades in the long run, whatever path you choose.