Millennial Who Quit Job for College Can’t Find Work as Employers Cut Degree Requirements – Declares Degree is ‘Worthless’

By: Georgia | Published: May 13, 2024

Dan Colflesh, at 34, left his job to chase the college dream, only to find himself jobless and calling his degrees ‘worthless’. 

He pursued a physics associate degree and a bachelor’s in political science, but three years post-graduation, the job offers aren’t rolling in.

A Tough Job Market

Despite his qualifications, Colflesh has hit a wall. “No one will hire me. My bachelor’s degree is pretty much worthless,” he lamented in an interview with Business Insider

Graduation caps thrown into the air in front of a brick building, symbolizing celebration and achievement

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The quest for a better career seems to have left him with nothing but debt and disappointment.

Overqualified and Overlooked

After applying to over 100 jobs without success, Colflesh’s frustration is palpable. 

A professional man in a blue suit carrying a brown leather briefcase, walking on a city street

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He reflects on the changing job market dynamics, noting, “Once you could have a bachelor’s degree in just about anything and get some kind of good-paying job.”

The Experience Paradox

“Now you have to have an insane amount of experience,” Colflesh stated, highlighting the shift in employer expectations.

A corporate meeting room with a presenter and attendees, laptops open and corporate gifts on the table

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Even with a solid educational background, the lack of extensive experience is a major roadblock.

Desperate to Work

Amid common employer complaints about a lack of willing workers, Colflesh’s story stands out.

A road sign by Chatham County stating 'Now Hiring' inviting people to join their workforce

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“I keep hearing employers talk about no one wanting to work, and I desperately want to work,” he explained, emphasizing his eagerness to find employment.

The Challenge of Being Different

Colflesh also faces unique challenges due to being autistic.

A casual team meeting with several individuals seated around a long wooden table, writing in notebooks

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“I’m always going to seem off to most non-autistics,” he shared, pointing out how this affects his job prospects and networking opportunities.


Navigating Social Hurdles

The social aspects of job hunting are particularly tough for Colflesh.

Two men shaking hands in a corporate setting

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“The general lack of acceptance of autistic people makes social networking challenging,” he noted, underlining another barrier in his quest for employment.


Unwavering Determination

Despite the setbacks, Colflesh remains determined. “I’ll keep looking no matter how bleak it gets, because I have to,” he declared.

Two men conducting an interview, the man's torso can be seen whilst another hand is visible writing

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His resilience shines as he continues to seek opportunities.


The Evolving Job Landscape

Colflesh’s struggles come at a time when major companies like Walmart, Accenture, and IBM are dropping degree requirements.

An image of the Walmart website on a laptop

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This industry shift asks: what’s the real value of a college degree today?


Education's Diminishing Returns

Reflecting on his journey and the broader trends, Colflesh’s experience suggests a disconnect between educational achievements and job market realities.

A full screen image of a graduation ceremony. The screen is filled with students in caps and gowns seen from behind

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The value of a college degree is increasingly questioned.


Broader Economic Trends

The unemployment rate for American men is relatively low historically, yet issues persist.

A red and white sign that reads 'NOW HIRING' on a green lawn

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With fewer men in the workforce now compared to decades ago, the employment landscape is undoubtedly shifting.


What's Next for Millennials?

As millennials like Colflesh grapple with the challenges of a shifting job market, the value of higher education is under scrutiny.

Two Millennial men wearing business attire are shaking hands. On the table in front of them are documents

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With degrees becoming less of a guaranteed ticket to employment, what lies ahead for the next generation of job seekers? Will the trend of disregarding degrees continue, reshaping career paths forever?