The paper on over-skilling also reports various forms of job satisfaction by qualification level. Counter-intuitively, though many people do a university degree to get a better job, they are less likely to score highly (9 or 10 on a 10 point scale) on most dimensions of job satisfaction than people with other qualifications.
Even on pay, where objectively graduates earn much more on average than people with other qualifications levels, graduates do not have the greatest levels of high satisfaction.
Are graduate jobs not so good after all? Or do graduates’ expectations increase in ways that the real world can rarely match? The options are not mutually exclusive, but I was reminded of Michael Dockery’s research showing that happiness decreases as people move from school/uni into the workforce. For people who are academically inclined, maybe many are never again so well matched with their circumstances as when they are studying.