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A third of graduates work in unrelated fields

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Nearly half (47%) of employees said their first job after graduation from college was not related to what they majored in.

According to a study from CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive, 32% of American workers never found a job related to their college major. Additionally, 31% of those working in an unrelated career were seasoned workers aged 35 and older.

Despite this, the report, which surveyed 2,134 workers across various industries and companies, revealed 64% of respondents were happy with their degree, while 61% said they could still have their dream job.

“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,” she said.

While a majority (59%) of respondents felt the demand for their degree remained unchanged between the time they had entered college and had graduated, 28% of them said the market for their qualification had decreased.

Up to 33% of those who felt their degree decreased in demand said they had to settle for a lower paying job outside their field of study. However, 47% of them found a related job, with 58% of them finding employment within two years.

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