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A Tougher Job Market
A majority of Americans (78 percent) say it's harder for today's college graduates to find employment that allows for financial independence than past generations. This could be attributed to a "skills gap" as Americans are more likely to say finding a job comparable to their skills, or not having the skills to match what employers need, are the biggest obstacles for today's college graduates (44 percent).
Despite a tough job market, a majority of Americans (54 percent) only anticipate it to take six months or less for a graduate to find a job after college. Another 58 percent say if they were a new graduate, they would rather take a lower paying job right away than wait to find a position that matches their skills.
But, college students and recent graduates (ages 18-29) beg to differ. This group is the least likely of any age group (49 percent) to expect it to take six months or less to find a job and the most likely (31 percent) to say they'll wait for a position that matches their skills.
"Unemployment is down, but job prospects are still not what they used to be. So it's understandable that there's some hesitation when it comes to higher education and finding a career," says
The average annual starting salary for a 2014 college graduate is just over
"Despite Americans' pessimism when it comes to college and post-graduate prospects, it's important to take a step back to find perspective," continues Buhrmann. "While the perception of the value of higher education may be declining because of rising costs, a college education is still worth it. Over a lifetime, a graduate can earn nearly
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*According to the
**According to the Federal Reserve Bank of
The COUNTRY Financial Security Index®
Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index® has measured Americans' sentiments of their personal financial security. The COUNTRY Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data, videos and analysis are available at www.countryfinancialsecurityblog.com and on Twitter at @FinanceSecure.
The COUNTRY Index was created by COUNTRY Financial and is compiled by
The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
About COUNTRY Financial
COUNTRY Financial (www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home, life and business insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.
SOURCE COUNTRY Financial