How Many Recent College Grads Are in Jobs That Correspond to Their Major?

Only an estimated 27% of recent college graduates are in jobs that correspond to their major, according to 2013 research compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. In addition, 38% of college graduates in the US work in jobs that do not even require a college education. The probability of US college graduates finding jobs related to their majors increases by close to 10% if they live in major metropolitan areas. Having a college degree has been found to significantly improve the likelihood of having a job--the unemployment rate for recent college graduates in 2013 was 3.3%, compared to 12% for those with just high school diplomas.

More about recent college graduates:

  • Engineering majors and computer science majors make the highest average starting annual salaries, at nearly $70,000 US Dollars (USD), while education majors bring in closer to $30,000 USD on average.
  • Healthcare related majors typically have the lowest unemployment rate for recent graduates, at an estimated 2% in 2012.
  • Less than half of freshman who enrolled in college in 2006 had graduated by 2012.

Discussion Comments


I agree that college grads can find what they want to pursue if they live closer to the city. If you live in a rural area, the problem is that there aren't a lot of big businesses nearby. Either that, or they could be too far away, especially if you don't have transportation. However, in a metropolitan area (such as Chicago or New York), they are the embodiment of our working industry, and even if you don't have a car, transportation is always available with subways and taxis.


In relation to the third bullet point, that's quite unfortunate. However, there are many reasons why freshman don't finish college. Sometimes, it's because they don't have the expenses. Other times, it's because they don't know what they want to do with their life. On other occasions, freshmen might not take their first year of college seriously, getting kicked out as a result.


The funny this is that this article pertains to me as well. During my college years, I had a major in communications with a concentration in media studies. It's been over a year since I graduated, and though I currently have a job, it's not one that pertains to my major. For most students, this may be because it's difficult to find a position if your field has many high qualifications. For example, a lot of jobs for my media concentration are in California. However, I don't live there, and that's quite a problem.

Post your comments
Forgot password?