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$100,000 College Debt to get a $37,000 a Year Job as a File Clerk

Written by Gary North on February 20, 2013

So, you send your kid off to college. You pay. She borrows $100,000. Then she graduates.

She gets a $37,000 a year job as a file clerk.

It happens. Across the nation, it happens.

The New York Times ran a story on this. It told the story of such a young woman.

To get a job as a file clerk these days takes a B.A. degree.

Is it better to take on $100,000 in debt that legally cannot be escaped by bankruptcy in order to earn a B.A. degree or to work at McDonald’s part time and pay a total of $15,000, with zero debt?

Most parents take the first approach. I don’t recommend it.

Here is what the Times reports.

“When you get 800 résumés for every job ad, you need to weed them out somehow,” said Suzanne Manzagol, executive recruiter at Cardinal Recruiting Group, which does headhunting for administrative positions at Busch, Slipakoff & Schuh and other firms in the Atlanta area.

Of all the metropolitan areas in the United States, Atlanta has had one of the largest inflows of college graduates in the last five years, according to an analysis of census data by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. In 2012, 39 percent of job postings for secretaries and administrative assistants in the Atlanta metro area requested a bachelor’s degree, up from 28 percent in 2007, according to Burning Glass.

Go to a search engine. Type in “college,” “$11,” and “youtube.” See what you find.

Continue Reading on www.nytimes.com

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18 thoughts on “$100,000 College Debt to get a $37,000 a Year Job as a File Clerk

  1. Groundzero says:

    Where is the story on the TAXPAYER paying MOST of these COLLEGE tuitions & giving financial aid for them to live while in college? I know of a girl whom parents were not the greatest! Mom re-marriaged on welfare, but the Dad,college grad, had a very GOOD job. When she graduated, the counseling dept made her looking on the application as independent living b/c the Dad nor Mom would not give their Soc Sec # to fill out college applications. She got FREE TUITION + $3,ooo. per seminster to live off. The girl moved in with her RICH grandparents as she receives everything FREE to go to college. Lot more stories, simular to this. When did it happen that I support EVERYONES KIDS, while I bearly can support my own? My kids are not going to college-couldn't afford & we DO NOT take hand outs from the Gov't NOR do we want to! Just like OTHERS 2 stop taking the hand outs from MY MONEY, it's not the GOV'T making the money it's me!

    • dskancer19 says:

      I am almost 60, am disabled and having to return to school for a degree in something that I can do at a desk (to support myself when social security goes belly up). I have worked for 40+ years, until I could no longer. Now, I have signed on with an online college, and each course is billed as 1680.00 per. I have a tiny grant (800) and the rest is by loans. I am not allowed expenses like others that get so much a month for living cost. They tell me it is not "allowed" for a woman my age, race, and disability or state (Alabama). When I complete my degree, I will owe an upwards amount of 70,000 – payments begin several months after graduation. I received one payment of "extra funds" – but they made me pay it back – with interest. It was originally 880. I would like to know how all these people receive living expense funds, when I am surviving on one meal a day – and can barely make it through a month on the SS/d income of less that 600. (Do not qualify for free rent or food stamps either). Where is the "magic"??? =)

      • Have you thought of going to a junior college? It's a lot more reasonable cost.

      • I hear you. I've been going about 3 years and haven't even been able to get any scholarship other than a small one from my college. I have doubts about the free money some of these guys talk about. Some of them just like to think they are paying everybody's way.

    • Maximum you can get is like $5500 that doesn't have to be paid back. Get over yourself.

  2. Gray2Hairs says:

    So what? You think a degree allows you to jump in at the high pay grades? All a degree means is that you are now ready to start learning how to work. If you learned how to learn you should be able to increase you pay faster than a person without a degree but no promises. College grads are often far more difficult to train on a job because they believe they are "supposed" to get paid more and have a bad attitude. I heard one kid say he and his friends have worked hard for 4 years and deserve to start at high paying jobs…ROFL! He never worked a day in his life. College is not work. College is where you receive not produce. When you start producing something of value to others you are working. Personally, I will take a high-school dropout over most college grads because the high-school drop out has learned a few lessons about life and is willing to work. College grads often no nothing about life, work or have a clue as to what a work ethic is.

  3. CollegeForeverDude says:

    Maybe people should try to put a little more thought into what they are studying? Get a summer job intheir field of interest Fresh/Soph years. Find out something about what really is available, or if they even actually like the field. Too many "career counselors" do not actually know what they are counseling for. If they did, we would not see such a low college grad employment situation.

  4. Right on Gray2Hairs. you said it all.

  5. Gray2Hairs says:

    The more I think about this article the more irritated I am. Some new college grad gets a job for $37,000 a year as a file clerk? That must be a government job she landed. A file clerk making over $24,000 a year is theft so it must be government. She gets a job and complains when millions of family people are unemployed.

  6. If the political leader were not so power hungry and would adopt the FairTax, the extra compeditiveness would change story. It is only in an Obama, democratic economy where the luxury of colleged educated file clerks can exist.

  7. Just throwing this out there, McDonalds workers in North Dakota are making $20 an hour…..tough to beat that earning potential in an entry-level BA job!

  8. Public_Citizen says:

    Look up the definition of "indentured servitude".
    This is what the majority of those who pay huge sums of money for unmarketable degrees are agreeing to when they make the series of poor decisions that ends with them in this predicament.
    The days of landing a high paying job straight out of college with a slacker liberal arts degree are gone. The suckers haven't gotten the memo yet so high price tag institutions with gold plate reputations continue the [legal] con of cranking out more overeducated morons year after year.
    Those with real degrees that take hard work and skull-sweat are still in high demand at wages commensurate with their hard won skills.

  9. I have no children myself, but I do have brothers and sisters with both male and female children, and every one of them HAS to go th college? I think it has something to do with society, and the need to be with friends, (more parties) and the need to not grow up? when a couple of them should have gone into a trade school, I have a friend whos child went to school to be an electrician, and after a yrs in school, and then a few yrs as an apprentice will be able to make the 35K in no time, and when fully lic. will be able to name his price, maybe not now in this economy, but when things do turn around? you bet! he will be making a very good living, while his friends, ut af college looking for a job? with 4000others? no chance, and then you have their debt! forgetaboutit! the only debt they will have is a mortgage, and they will have a life! with a skill! I keep trying to tell the kids today to learn a skill, but none of them wants to get their hands durty? and I guess it is "fun" being a college student!

  10. bull_rider says:

    I think it is necessary for people to choose their college majors wisely, with an eye towards future employment. Being an art director for a museum or teaching music history may be wonderfully fulfilling but there's not much market for people with educations meant for that. My wife's niece studied ocean biology and the closes she has been to an ocean since, is a fish tank. People who study math, science, engineering, and other fields will be much more likely to find a good job.

  11. How about spending millions of dollars or even billions to get a job that pays 197,000.00 a year? This is why our country is all screwed up!!

  12. BlueViolets says:

    So she needed a degree to become a file clerk and the company required a BA for her to do the job. Are they now teaching the alphabet in college? I worked as a file clerk part time when I was 16 and I wish I could have gotten that kind of money. Reminds me of my dad who went for a job as milk man during the depression. He didn't get the job even though he could drive and could add and subtract and knew his way around the city. The only thing he lacked was a Phd.

  13. Great resource. I like the Fiverr idea as well as the top tags on Instragram but I've only scraped the surface. Thanks for the great list!

  14. Flora R. Malone says:

    I've sent my two kids at a prestigious electrician school in Texas and they graduated with honors. They're now working on big industries and they're earning ample salaries.

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