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One-third in jobs outside college major, survey finds

November 15 2013

A career path is not necessarily defined by a college major, according to a study by CareerBuilder. Forty-seven percent of college-educated workers said their first job after college was not related to their college major, and 32 percent of college-educated workers reported that they never found a job related to their college major. Among respondents ages 35 and older, 31 percent said they never found a job related to their college major.

“A college education will give you a significant advantage in the job market,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “In a tough economic climate, college graduates must be flexible and open to taking positions outside their area of study. Taking the knowledge gained in college and branching out with it in unexpected directions is common after graduating.”

While 13 percent of college graduates said the demand for their degree increased between the time they entered college and the time they graduated, 28 percent said the market for their degree got worse and 59 percent said the market for their degree was unchanged. Thirty-six percent of all college-educated workers said they wished they chose a different major.

The nationwide study was conducted online by Harris Interactive from Aug. 13 to Sept. 6, 2013, among 2,134 U.S. workers who graduated from college.

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