Those without college degrees hit hard by recession

June 11, 2012

A new study conducted by researchers at Rutgers University sheds light on the importance of getting a college degree in order to maximize job marketability and career opportunities.

Researchers surveyed 544 individuals who graduated from high school between 2006 and 2011. They found that those who are not full-time college students have been hit especially hard by the recession in terms of finding and keeping a well-paying job.

In particular, they found that 30 percent of recent high school grads are looking for job, compared to 27 percent who have a full-time job. Additionally, 15 percent are employed part-time but are looking for full-time work.

"The vast majority of recent high school graduates who are not attending college have been left out of the workforce or even job training and frankly are struggling to survive," said study co-author Carl Van Horn. "Typically, they are either unemployed entirely or working in part-time, temporary jobs that do not pay them enough to earn even a poverty-level income. To make matters worse, many jobs that do not require a college education are being snapped up by recent college graduates who are also struggling to get a toehold in a slow job market."

The median hourly wage of the graduates' first jobs after high school was $7.50. Only 4 percent describe their first job as a career, and just 17 percent classify it as even a possible stepping stone toward a career, leaving three out of four taking the job "just to get by."

The good news for mothers who want to avoid a similar situation is that going to college is an option, no matter what your financial situation is. Moms can take advantage of scholarships for mothers, grants and other financial aid for moms in order to pay for an education.

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