Graduation 2015


“It’s the best of times for college graduates”
“The world is what you make it”
“The job market is calling”

This is just a sampling of the majority of themes that college graduates had to endure during their recent commencement exercises. With cap, tassel and speech in hand a US Senator, Corporate Baron and even a Hollywood Centerpiece took to the podium to impart words of wisdom to the Class of 2015.

The speaker was usually awarded an honorary degree and small stipend (honorarium not fee) for making the effort.

The pomp & circumstance, degree awarding and “go get ‘em” speech was the final exclamation point in a world of illusion. Unless the graduate was continuing on for an advanced degree within 24 hours reality would set in.

The Anthropology, Political Science, English Studies or Music Theory degree, just to name a few, that was so lauded the past four years, became just another worthless piece of paper to be framed and collect dust.

Encumbered by overwhelming debt most will find their competitors, for non-existent jobs, the seniors who graduated when they were freshmen or even the alumni who were thought to have died several years ago.

This graduation season over a million and a half will leave the hallowed halls. Gone will be the Friday night fraternity party, the droning English History professor, the prepaid daily meals and, most important, the security of the ivory tower. Many will convince themselves and their parents that if they only had a little more education, a more advanced degree or even the opportunity for additional contacts, all will be well. Then it’s back to school for a few more years. Unfortunately the inevitable is simply postponed.

It has been reported that of the past five year graduating classes over 50% are either unemployed or working in a job that doesn’t require a Bachelors degree. Living accommodations in the basement of a parent’s home not included.

Quoting the Associated Press “Recent graduates are now more likely to work as waitresses, waiters, bartenders or food service helpers than as Engineers, Physicists, Chemists and Mathematicians combined.

Given the reality of the situation how can anyone look forward to graduation in 2016, ’17, ’18 or ’19?

Other than those giving the commencement address. Who, of course, will say:

“It’s the best of times for college graduates”
“The world is what you make it”
“The job market is calling”

Written by
With his passion for economics Bill Tatro has been entertaining audiences on the radio and in seminars for decades. Bill is an economist that provides weekly paid content to subscribers, and offers a free daily "lite" version as well.