According to a recent Chronicle of Higher Education piece written by economist Richard Vedder, many Americans are grossly overeducated for the fields in which they work.
Armed with Bureau of Labor Statistics data which reveals that many individuals are employed in sectors which do not require more than a high school diploma hold higher degrees, Vedder writes:
...the relentless claims of the Obama administration and others that having more college graduates is necessary for continued economic leadership is incompatible with [the view that Americans are over-investing in higher degrees...the growing disconnect between labor market realities and the propaganda of higher-education apologists is causing more and more people to graduate and take menial jobs or no job at all.
Economist Andrew Sum suggests that the patterns Vedder has identified have more to do with trying times than with individual educational worthiness, and that policy-makers should make efforts to ease malemployment among recent graduates. And a number of others argue that, regardless of how many college grads do end up at attainment-appropriate jobs, the nation requires a larger pool of the college educated in the workforce.
Vedder and Murray's conclusions are predicated on the assumption that the primary goal of a liberal arts education is pre-professional; a claim that most institutions would deny outright. And while Vedder acknowledges that colleges do offer students a "consumption function" (he compares the enjoyment that stems from taking classes to that which comes from watching movies) he does not mention how other relevant factors, like unquantifiable positive external factors and projected length of employment, weigh into into his analysis.
Below, check out nine occupations which -- according to Vedder's data analysis -- attract the most over-qualified candidates. Do you think that too many people are being educated, or that the U.S. needs to increase its professional economy? Tell us below.
See more occupations with overqualified workers at the Chronicle.