Worried about unemployment? Get a degree.

This post contains some raw data and not a lot of flashy pictures. But we think this is good data to know, and that it speaks for itself.


hose of you who have been following the presidential election have probably heard one or both major candidates talk about education, and the future of our country. And if you haven’t, now you know that it’s a huge issue for this election.

One of the big issues about education is that “college graduates aren’t finding a job in this economy.” While it’s true that the world economy is not that great right now (unemployment has climbed almost everywhere in the world), there are some things you can do to protect yourself from unemployment.

The very first thing on that list of things? Get a college degree. We mean it. Hey, don’t take our word for it. Check out this unbiased report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)—go to page 121 and look at the table. Or, just check out the raw data they used.

Let’s be clear for a second, because you probably see a lot of statistics thrown your way, when colleges and parents and teachers try to push you into college. This is unbiased, international data. This data just shows it like it is. We’re not going to hold your hand and walk you through it, because that’s wasting your time. Just check the numbers:

2010 Unemployment rate based on highest education

  • Lower than 11th or 12th grade: 16.820%
  • 11th or 12th grade: 11.229%
  • College degree: 5.334%

Most people say that a “fully-employed economy” has a 4% unemployment rate, which means that even in this injured world economy, those with college degrees are almost fully employed.

Of course, there are other things you can do to protect yourself from unemployment, such as working on writing a good résumé, learning interviewing skills, and (of course) applying to work at lots of places.

One of our favorites is learning to network, which is basically making professional friends wherever you can (having “connections”) and talking to them about your professional plans. If you say you’re trying to become a programmer, they just might say they know someone in the business whose company is hiring. Bam: connection made! And all you have to do in return is do the same thing right back. Networking is an essential tool for finding great jobs.

These skills are all great, but always remember #1 on this list: get a college degree. Get a college degree. Get a college degree. Say it with me now. Get a college degree.

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