When Americans aren’t fretting over being undereducated, we’re usually fretting about being overeducated.
Every so often, writers and academics start sounding the alarm about a coming glut of college graduates who will end up doomed to a life of underemployment. And, when the economy is down, those warnings can seem pretty reasonable.
That’s why the chart below, from a recent report by the OECD on jobs skills around the world, caught my eye. Though it doesn’t deal specifically with the college educated, it shows that about 19 percent of all Americans say they have more education than necessary to qualify for their job. That’s actually below average among the 22 countries listed. In Japan and the UK, the figure is around 30 percent. At the other end of the spectrum in Italy, it’s about 13 percent.
The problem stems from the outdated educational practice of keeping students disconnected from industry mentors who can guide them in career meaningful education processes. We can impact this issue with the invention of these connections.