Over a Third of Workers Wish They Had Majored in Something Different in College
Does that headline sound like it was ripped straight from The Onion to anyone else?
Sadly (or perhaps somewhat comforting to know, if you’re among this group), it’s no joke: Findings from CareerBuilder’s most recent survey suggest that 36 percent of workers with college degrees said they wish they had chosen a different major in college.
The survey of over 2,000 workers with college degrees nationwide also found that:
- 26 percent of workers said the market for jobs in their chosen field worsened from the time they entered college to when they graduated.
- 19 percent of all workers with a college degree still have not found a job in their desired field.
- 27 percent of workers who graduated from college at least 10 years ago still haven’t found a job related to their college major.
- 21 percent spent at least three years finding an opportunity in their desired career path, and 12 percent spent at least 5.
Not that these findings should come as a surprise to anyone who’s read anything about the job market in the past few years…but what do they mean for employers?
Well, one thing these findings indicate is that future candidates may soon display more diverse skill sets, as workers start to take the initiative to round out their skills: According to the survey, 13 percent of workers plan to go back to school to make themselves more marketable.
Also, it highlights the need to consider workers’ transferable skills. As employers struggle to fill open positions, they may need to be more open to candidates they might not usually consider. Not to say that you maybereallyshouldafterall consider that history major for the engineering job…but certainly there are a lot of majors that cater to many different jobs. Not to mention that, based on a recent poll of The Hiring Site readers, it seems that many of you feel that soft skills like good communication skills and a solid work ethic trump all other job candidate must-haves.
What do you think? Do you find that you’re seeing more candidates whose degrees are in an area other than the ones you traditionally require for certain positions? As you struggle to fill your open positions, are you more open to considering these candidates?
About Mary Lorenz
Mary is a copywriter for CareerBuilder, specializing in B2B marketing and corporate recruiting best practices and social media. In addition to creating copy for corporate advertising and marketing campaigns, she researches and writes about employee attraction, engagement and retention. Whenever possible, she makes references to pop culture. Sometimes, those references are even relevant. A New Orleans native, Mary now lives in Chicago, right down the street from the best sushi place in the city. It's awesome.