Talent Disrupted

College Graduates, Underemployment, and the Way Forward


Read time

Most people enroll in college because they believe it will help them secure a good job and open the door to economic opportunity. In “Talent Disrupted,” a new and updated version of the 2018 report, “The Permanent Detour,” Strada Institute for the Future of Work and The Burning Glass Institute show that a college degree is not always a guarantee of labor market success.

Using a combination of online career histories of tens of millions of graduates, as well as census microdata for millions of graduates, the report offers a comprehensive picture of how college graduates fare in the job market over their first decade of employment after college.

The report defines a “college-level job” as employment in occupations that typically require a four-year college degree, and “underemployment” refers to the experience of four-year college graduates who are employed in jobs that don’t typically require a bachelor’s degree. The prevalence and severity of underemployment and the cost in lost earnings were measured and analyzed as to how they are associated with a range of factors, including degree field, student demographics such as race, ethnicity, and gender, and whether students participated in internships.

The report shows that only about half of bachelor’s degree graduates secure employment in a college-level job within a year of graduation.


Talent Disrupted: Exploring Underemployment in a Changing World of Work

Watch the report’s authors and a panel of experts discuss what factors affect underemployment and the implications for postsecondary education.

Watch Webinar

Talent Disrupted: An Interview With Stephen Moret

Learn more about what education leaders, policymakers, and the business community can do to help better prepare students for the critical transition from college to employment.

Read More

Talent Disrupted: FAQs

Stephen Moret and Andrew Hanson provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Talent Disrupted.

Read More

In the news from Strada