The idea of the knowledge society is becoming increasingly dominant in various public and scholarly writings. Several governments have reacted by advocating a further expansion of higher education in order to provide a highly skilled workforce. This seems at odds with views regarding the underutilisation of skills of employed graduates. This paper sketches some major characteristics of the emergent knowledge society from sociological, epistemological and economic viewpoints. Next, it discusses current research on the incidence of overeducation. It is pointed out that measures on overeducation are inaccurate and do not take into account changes in the emergent knowledge societies. The paper concludes with implications for future research on the nature and change of knowledge-based occupations.