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One-Third Of Workers Do Not Work In Occupations Related To Their College Major

CHICAGO, Nov. 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Choosing your college major is a significant life decision, but a new study from CareerBuilder suggests it may not necessarily define your career path.  Nearly half (47 percent) of college-educated workers said their first job after college was not related to their college major.  Thirty-two percent of college-educated workers reported that they never found a job related to their college major.  Among more seasoned workers – those ages 35 and older – that number is 31 percent. 

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive© from August 13 to September 6, 2013, and included a representative sample of 2,134 workers across industries and company sizes who graduated from college.

"A college education will give you a significant advantage in the job market. 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."

While finding employment unrelated to a college might seem like a let-down, 64 percent of employees say they're happy with the degree they chose to achieve, and 61 percent of respondents believe they can still have their dream job.

Graduating in a Difficult Job Market

While thirteen 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.

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