Choosing Your College Degree Wisely – Will that Foreign Literature Degree Get You a Job?

 Choosing Your College Degree Wisely- Will that Foreign Literature Degree Get You a Job? 


Recent surveys  show that nearly one-half of college graduates are not working in fields related to their degree. However, most students when surveyed stated they weren’t really concerned by the probability of unemployment after graduation.

Several students made the statement that they saw college as a way to pursue studies in something they enjoyed doing or felt they were good at instead of as a pathway to a career.  Most felt that by being a well-rounded individual with a good resume and articulation, then potential employers would find them interesting and be impressed enough to hire them.

The recent report examined U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data and concluded that approximately 48% of recent college graduates are employed in a manner that required a bachelor’s degree.  One of the report’s authors stated that the report suggests college students need to be cautious in their expectations as to how their choice of study fields will relate to a career.

The report also found that over 30% of recent college graduates are employed in positions that only require a high school diploma. In other words, about 17% of the telemarketers and bartenders in the U. S. today have a bachelor’s degree in a field of study that they can’t translate into a career. The reason why? So many students go to college and choose what an ideal field of study to major in seems to them but don’t bother to match up career expectations to their chosen majors.

Unfortunately a growing trend in vocations that are business or technologically based far outweigh the need for such careers as those students who choose fine arts, social work or education.  Also, the fields that involve science, business, technology and engineering are more likely to be higher paying as well.

One other fact that the study found is that many times students from private institutions seem to far better in finding a career that matches their chosen major. The reason why? Most private institutions are far more selective with their admissions. There has always been a trend of employers choosing potential employee candidates that graduate from a highly-selective institution over those from a public university. Why? Simply because that diploma just looks far more prestigious on the wall.

Despite these apparently gloomy findings, educational and business experts still say that pursing a college degree of some sort is very much worthwhile. When a student is careful to choose their college studies to match a field of employment where there are realistic expectations for a post-graduate career, then a college degree is a definite investment. Long time statistics show that someone with a college degree is more likely to have a long term career and a much higher income than those without one.

Most students still in college do remain optimistic about finding a job that is related to their chosen major upon graduation. They see college as a way to not only further their education but prepare them for dealing with the world of employment as well.



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One Comment

  1. As a former college president, I cringe when I hear the conventional wisdom repeated. College isn’t necessarily worthwhile. It’s a general statement that unintentionally misleads some kids. College is great for many young people, but many others would be happier and better served by pursuing a vocational or technical track at a high-quality technical school and community college.

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