The future is bleak for college graduates entering the workforce, according to analysis of government data by the Associated Press.
Half of all college graduates are either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their degree or skills, the study reported.
The data shows a great disparity between employment rates of certain types of degrees. There is a strong demand for graduates in science, education and health fields, but not in arts or humanity fields.
Most of those underemployed with bachelor's degrees work at lower-wage jobs as waiters or waitresses, bartenders, receptionists or retail clerks, earning less than graduates from prior years. This disparity in take-home pay compared with what they expected to earn causes those with student loans to repay the debits at slower rates thus extending the duration of the long-term loan obligation.
For Lauryn Partain, this data holds true. Partain graduated in December 2009 from Georgia Southern University with a bachelor's degree in Child and Family Development with an emphasis in child life - a human science degree.
Partain said there are two reasons she has had a hard time finding a job in her field. First, budget cuts resulting from the lagging economy have narrowed down openings. Budget cuts prevented Partain from getting a job at the Shriner's Hospital for Children in Tampa after serving as an intern there.
"I didn't get offered a job from my internship because they cut the budget," said Partain.
Second, Partain says that employers in her field are not looking for those with bachelor's degrees. "Also, they are hiring people with associate degrees because they can pay them less," said Partain.
Today, Partain works at for Transcorr, a trucking company, as customer service representative and dispatcher. Partain said that the most disappointing thing about not having a job in her field was not having the opportunity to do what she loves.
"I was very passionate about working with children and families and making a difference in the world," said Partain. "So, it is disappointing to not have a chance to do that as well as the fact that I've had to take a job in another field to pay the $60,000 in student loans for a degree that I'm not even getting to use."
Like Partain, Sheena Roetman, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in Journalism in December 2011 from Georgia State University, says it is disappointing not getting to do what you love.
"The most disappointing thing is that I truly love journalism...," said Roetman. "I have a passion and a talent for it and I am genuinely eager to do it." Roetman has been babysitting since graduation while picking up any freelance writing jobs that she can.
However, Roetman says that it the lack of jobs isn't all bad. "The good thing is that the lack of jobs is just pushing me to carve out my own paths and solutions," said Roetman.