Paul L. Caron

Friday, October 15, 2010

85% of College Grads Move Back Into Their Parents' Home

CNN Money, Boomerang Kids: 85% of College Grads Move Home:

Getting a degree used to be a stepping stone to limitless career opportunities. Now it's more of a hiatus from living under your parents' roof.

Stubbornly high unemployment -- nearly 15% for those ages 20-24 -- has made finding a job nearly impossible. And without a job, there's nowhere for these young adults to go but back to their old bedrooms, curfews and chore charts. Meet the boomerangers. ...

"This recession has hit young adults particularly hard," according to Rich Morin, senior editor at the Pew Research Center in DC.

So hard that a whopping 85% of college seniors planned to move back home with their parents after graduation last May, according to a poll by Twentysomething Inc., a marketing and research firm based in Philadelphia. That rate has steadily risen from 67% in 2006.

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I almost hate to admit this, but I fall into this age group...I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Information Technology in December of 2009. I was very lucky to find a job right away--I was an intern and the company I was working for had several openings. I did have to move across the country, but I don't regret it at all.

*Some* degrees are not worthless, I would definitely prefer my doctor to have gone to medical school...but a large amount of them are, most of my coworkers are twice my age (at least) and I'd guess about half of them have college degrees. The ones that don't know just as much as the ones who do. You wouldn't be able to guess who had a degree and who didn't unless you were told.

It's sad, the majority of my peers are either unemployed or very underemployed and moved back home after graduation. My parents generously allowed me to live with them rent free while I attended school, (although I worked the entire time and paid for my own expenses) and I feel as though this helped me be able to move right after school and not incur a crushing load of debt. It's scary that the norm is to owe upwards of $30,000 in student loans, while working as a manager at Kroger making $12/hr because you can't find a job in your field. (Just guessing here, wage wise..) in fact many of my peers have gone on to grad school not because they particularly wanted to, but because they felt they had no other option.

As a side note, I agree with the posters who mentioned community college as a better option, I attended community college and university both and I actually felt that I got more out of the community college classes. They were more practical.

In conclusion, on one hand, I hate to be lumped into this group because I did work my butt off in high school and college, and by the time I graduated I had 2 years of experience in my field through co-ops and internships. On the other hand, I appear to be an anomaly, and it's really disheartening. I feel like many people my age have no drive to do anything, and I do blame their parents to an extent (my parents pushed me to excel, at the time I felt it was unfair, but looking back, I know I was lucky to have them) but ultimately...the choice to better yourself is your own.

I guess this turned into an essay...

Posted by: carrie | Nov 10, 2010 5:15:45 AM

Some great comments here. I agree about finding a trade school or community college and forgoing U education altogether. The vast majority of employers couldn't care less about what kind of degree you have, it's about WORK EXPERIENCE, that's all they care about - how long have you worked in the field you're applying for.
Got my GED years ago, never finished college and I don't plan to now. I plan on finding a good technical school that offers something I'm interested in. I feel sorry for all those people that deride and look down on technical\trade schools and community colleges - their prejudice and petty ignorance will cost them dearly in more ways than one. I'm just glad to be an open minded individual, capable of thinking for myself, not swallowing everything the status quo tells me is superior, good for me, etc. :)

Posted by: Emily | Oct 20, 2010 10:40:51 AM

Meh. The telling stat would be how many are still living with their parents a year after graduation. I graduated in the middle of the recession before the last one and moved back home for 10 months. Three months to find a job, and then another seven months to avoid putting my entire starting out in life expenses on credit cards. Though unpleasant at times, it was the right thing to do financially.

Posted by: TL | Oct 18, 2010 5:07:49 PM

They should force the colleges to give refunds for their lack of training for the tuition they paid.

Posted by: Dan | Oct 18, 2010 12:05:39 PM

This is possibly the worst news evah!

Posted by: bandit | Oct 18, 2010 7:09:32 AM

I do not understand this great fuss in the USA about (not)living with parents after one grows of age. Here in India it is the norm to live with one's parents till one gets married, and the parents love to have their kids with them. Of course, the young man/young lady has to pay for his/her keep and contribute to the household expenses.

Richard D'Souza

Posted by: Richard D'Souza | Oct 18, 2010 12:38:37 AM

Lack of jobs for graduates is across the board now, hitting engineering and science graduates just as much as the philosophy and psychology majors. Universities will eventually become obsolete and many will close as students smarten up and get practical education as plumbers, electricians, mechanics, etc. rather than line up and wait for a job that may never come. Bob Klinck is absolutely right, when everybody or nearly everybody has a degree than a degree isn't all that valuable. It's a numbers game, there are only a finite number of jobs requiring a specific degree, and flooding the market with that degree doesn't create more jobs, just more frustrated graduates.

Posted by: Cubacigars | Oct 17, 2010 8:50:12 PM

I went to college on a journalism scholarship. It was tough getting going in that field so my parents insisted that I go to a technical school and learn a trade. So I became a registered medical laboratory technician and worked in that field while I wrote stories for local papers and magazines for experience. In my early 30s I finally made enough money to live on a journalism job and I worked then only part-time in the lab. By the way, a medical background led the way for my writing about medical problems and questions,etc. I'm 65 now and I would not encourage ANYONE to go to college. Go to community college for 2 years and learn a technical career and take your 'artistic' courses on the side. If you have the ability, you will eventually get into the field. In the meantime, you can pay your bills.

Posted by: Cat Callahan | Oct 17, 2010 3:01:05 PM

Conventional wisdom is, registered nurses will always have jobs.
Well guess what. New grad RNs, even with bachelors degrees, are not getting jobs.

Posted by: janelle | Oct 17, 2010 12:02:46 PM

Unemployment in this age range is 15%... but what is the unemployment for this age for College Grads... right now, the US just isn't producing the kinds of jobs that require sophisticated degrees. If we graduate 10,000 English Lit grads a year, do we really need that many? One recent poll showed the demand Chemical Engineers simply because we don't build new factories/refineries/mills anymore. Why train them if we send the work off-shore? We could send the Grads off-shore, I hear the market for Chemical Engineers is high in China and Saudi... Now if we could just get them to take our English Lit grads...

Posted by: fester | Oct 17, 2010 9:33:17 AM

The only financial planning who gave me the best advice was to take the monies that I would spend on the total of 4 years tuition and spending cost for an addition our house. Use this addition for computers equiped with varies stock market software and then give each of my two college age boys $5 grand and a 8 months to learn how to invest in the market with a profit. My financial planner back in 2004 already realized that employment was going to be sarce due to the outsourcing. Oh my two boys were told the other option was to face tough love "you are not going to live here off of mom and dad." My two boys took advantage of free room and board for the eight months and are making a decent living from the skills that they learned in the school of hard knocks in investing in the market.

Posted by: WILLIAM | Oct 17, 2010 8:26:16 AM

Not to mention that the rise in the cost of tuition is outpacing the inflation rate. Why are schools charging more? Because you were made to believe that you needed to go to college in order to achieve the so-called "American Dream." Poor, poor debtslaves, who borrowed money to go to school. Indentured servitude only works when their are jobs available.

Posted by: Poorighteousteacher | Oct 17, 2010 7:39:42 AM

Well, now, under Obamacare, our health insurer has to let parents keep their kids on their policies until they're 26, so grads moving back home is right in sync with current administration policies, i.e., just another way to "share the wealth" and reduce "poverty" in America. Or at least massage the statistics. At least it's your own kid.

Posted by: Penn | Oct 17, 2010 7:35:34 AM

Has anyone noticed that youth unemployment became common only after the double income family became popular?

Posted by: George | Oct 17, 2010 1:51:13 AM

85% of college students learn that four years studying 'american diatribes in adobe huts' has little employment value

Posted by: ljlkjlkjlk | Oct 17, 2010 12:10:53 AM

I see an interesting trend in comments. There is a strong component of denial in many of the posts. I cannot count the number of people whos knee jerk response is to parrot the status quo. Guess what? The slavish ass kissing that you corp[orate drones have done for the last thirty years has created an amoral monster that will eat everybodies lunch simply because they can. All the so called heros of the twentieth century like Welsh, buffett, soros, gates,jobs,clinton,gore, bush, reagan, are all psychopathic narccisists who hate you.Not personally but what you represent. Get ready for the bottom to fall out. Want to see your future. Look at Detroit.Gods judgment is upon America.Repent and pray.

Posted by: ed edwards | Oct 16, 2010 11:58:27 PM

Some good points, but even with a "legit" degree, there just aren't jobs in some fields or some locations. I have a "useful" degree (as opposed to the fill-in-the-blank studies) from a highly ranked university and have been doing everything I can to get work, including getting further certification, with little success. Sure some grads are lazy or planned poorly, but that doesn't account for those of us who are legitimately hit by the recession and are taking whatever we can.

Posted by: Megan | Oct 16, 2010 11:41:05 PM

I worked hard for a degree but could not find a job in my field and became a truck driver make around 60grand a year what a waste of time/money.

Posted by: Jaloc | Oct 16, 2010 11:40:12 PM

when everybody has a college degree...a college degree will be worth nothing

nowadays, so many kids have been sent to college that getting a bachelors degree is no better and of no more use than having a high school diploma was 30 years ago

every whining little mamma's boy/girl has a bachelors in SOMETHING....and those degrees mean nothing, except for the great load of debt the kids have been placed under...because the huge percentage of job seekers of college age with bachelor's degrees are fighting against 100,000s of other job seekers with bachelor's degrees

a 4 year degree means nothing any's of no more use than a high school diploma was in 1980

here's a hint to all those children living in their mom and dad's basement with their student loans and their bachelors degrees

go get a masters

and in a few years, masters degrees will be worth nothing either

Posted by: stefb | Oct 16, 2010 8:30:47 PM

The situation is much worse than you imagine. To accomplish its patently corrupt hiring objectives, the Canadian House of Commons actually denies the existence of degrees accorded by major Canadian universities. It happened to me when the then Director of Human Resources of that institution told me to my face in a job interview that she was not recognizing my university education, consisting of a B.A. and an M.A. from the U of Alberta and one year toward an LL.B. from the U of Ottawa. If the government can arbitrarily cancel academic qualifications, there would seem to be little point in acquiring them.

Posted by: bob klinck | Oct 16, 2010 8:14:25 PM

Stubbornly high unemployment -- nearly 15% for those ages 20-24 -- has made finding a job nearly impossible.

Are you sure that when 85% of the kids find jobs and 15% don't, it means finding a job is nearly 'impossible'? I don't think you are using that word correctly.

Posted by: Kevin | Oct 16, 2010 7:12:16 PM

See what happens when everybody gets a degree in womens' studies. The competition for those lucrative positions is so tough 85% go home to momma.

Posted by: willis | Oct 16, 2010 5:44:22 PM

Alternate article titles:
85% of college degrees insuficcient to earn rent money

Only 15% of college degrees woth the paper they're printed on

More than 4 out of 5 college grads sold a bridge, unable to cross it

Empty nest? Not so fast!

Posted by: Boomushroom | Oct 16, 2010 1:33:16 PM

To be fair, that number has always been high out of proportion to our myths about the value of college. After all, most people who move away to attend college are living in the middle of Bumblefutz, Nowhere. It makes economic sense to come home, at least for a moment to find an apartment.

However...85%? That's brutal.

Posted by: hitnrun | Oct 16, 2010 1:21:10 PM

If the unemployment rate in the 20-24 demographic is 15%, that only accounts for a similar number having to move back in with the parents. What is the excuse for the ones who are among the 85% who DO have a job?

Posted by: Clyde | Oct 16, 2010 12:08:04 PM

I think a better statistic would be the number of college grads living with parents three (or at most six) months after graduation.

Two reasons. (1)The start date for employment doesn't necessarily coincide well with graduation. (2) Many have "summer plans", but end up moving home in the fall.

Does anyone have those sorts of numbers?

Posted by: CBI | Oct 16, 2010 11:57:45 AM

When the college loan payments are a third of their monthly income, assuming they can get a job let alone a job in the field they studied; it kind of makes it hard to pay rent/mortgage, utilities, food and car expenses. Of course, some of us are willing to make the college loan payments just to get them out of the house. In fact, it's an extortion plot to see how much are you willing to pay to return to your life prior to their graduation?

Posted by: GBS | Oct 16, 2010 11:41:38 AM