Study: Many Professionals Forced to Choose Careers Outside College Major

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A new study from CareerBuilder finally co-signs the notion that a college major may have nothing to do with your future career path. Nearly half (47%) of college-educated workers who participated indicated that their first job after college was not related to their major. Thirty-two percent of college-educated workers reported that they never found a job related to their college major, and for seasoned seasoned workers—ages 35 and older — it’s 31%.

“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,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “In most cases, workers who went into a new field ended up liking the new industry. Odds are you won’t get that dream job right out of school, but it’s important to remember that there are many different paths.”

Other interesting findings:

64 percent: College-educated workers happy with the degree they chose to achieve

61 percent: Believe they can still have their dream job

59 percent: Said the market for their degree was unchanged

36 percent: Said they wished they chose a different major

28 percent: Said the market for their degree got worse

33 percent: Said they were forced to take a lower paying job outside their field

32 percent: Said the lack of demand meant they couldn’t find work after graduation.

46 percent of respondents said the demand for their major decreased while they were in college also reported that they were able to find a job in their desired career path within a year, and 58 percent had within two years after graduation.

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