How Many College Grads Have Jobs Related to Their Major?

atkins-bookshelf-educationAdolescence used to be a time for reveling in a four-year period of feeling all-knowing, invincible, and immortal. Today — not so much. Today’s high school students are being forced to grow up too quickly. It begins in high school when student feel tremendous pressure to figure out “what they want to be when they grow up” amidst the inevitable whirlwind of hormonal and psychological changes that coalesce into the emergence of a self-identity. Students, not yet weaned from over-involved helicopter parents, are forced to confront an harsh reality: apply to a college, pray to get accepted, and then choose a major that will decide their career and the rest of their lives in the “real world.”

Fortunately, there are a number of recent studies that shed some light — and hope — for high school students who are stressed about deciding what career to pursue when they haven’t emerged from puberty. At bottom, many college graduates (50-75%) land jobs that are unrelated to their majors. So parents, take a chill pill.

In 2010 study, Jaison Abel and Richard Dietz of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York used data from the 2010 census to determine that 73% of college graduates had a job that was unrelated to their major. Expressed another way, 27% of college graduates had a job related to their major. Furthermore, the authors found that 38% of U.S. college graduates had a job that did not require a college degree.

In a 2014 study, CareerBuilder found some interesting results: 49% of college graduates had a job that was not related to their major. 51% of employed college graduates were in jobs that did not require a college degree. 60% were either pursuing or planning to earn an advanced degree. Interestingly, 90% of graduates felt that college was a worthwhile investment; however, 40% believe that college did not prepare them for the real world.

The study also shed light on other aspects of the life of college graduates. Parents will be pleased to learn that 71% did not live at home (so you are free to convert that bedroom into the gym you always wanted). 18% of college graduates had a student loans debt of at least $50,000. In order to pay off that debt students have to work. So what do they want in a new job? The five top factors are for pursuing an employment with a particular company are: provides a good work-life balance (65%), is well-established and growing (53%), provides good learning opportunities (51%), is geographical desirable (45%), and gives back to the community (38%).





Read related posts: How College Can Help You to Live a Good Life
Getting the Most Out of College
The Danger of Overparenting
Best Books for Graduates: 2015
The College Admissions Mania
The Mental Health Crisis on College Campuses

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