"Overeducated" people at higher risk of depression
People who are ‘overeducated’ or overqualified for their jobs may have an increased risk of mental health problems, according to new research from Ghent University in Belgium. Researchers found that these people often had jobs with less status and prestige, and relied on others for more support than they can provide.
The study looked at more than 16,600 employed people age 25 to 60 in 21 countries in Europe, and measured their level of depression based on a survey they answered. They found that countries with many highly educated people can have detrimental mental health effects on everyone with a college degree. In countries where more education did not provide significantly more job security or salary, even those with jobs that matched their skill had declines in mental health.
Though the researchers say the rapid increase of higher education isn’t a bad thing, in western countries, labor markets are slow to catch up with the number of highly educated people, which leads to a lack of challenging jobs. People may start out early in their career being overqualified for their job, and if they don’t move up within a few years, it can lead to depression.