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Only 27 percent of college graduates have jobs closely related to their majors

Unemployed college graduates "Hire Me"Turns out that all those jokes about college graduates taking jobs as bartenders or baristas actually have some truth behind them.

A study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reveals that in 2010 just 62 percent of employed U.S. college graduates had jobs that required a college degree, showing that a large portion of grads are underemployed. It also revealed that only 27 percent had jobs that were closely related to their fields of study.

While the study didn’t include graduates who got higher degrees, those stats are disconcerting news for all of the recent graduates heading out into the workforce with their $100,000+ educations.

So what’s a recent graduate’s best bet? If they don’t want to be pouring coffee or working in a field outside their degree, it might be relocation.

The good news in the study is that the likelihood of finding a job related to a graduate’s degree is more likely in bigger cities like New York, Boston and Chicago. The “larger and thicker local labor markets of big cities” can give college grads increase “the  likelihood and the quality of a job match.”

For those heading off to college, it’s also important to choose a major with its usefulness in mind. Some degrees are more practical than others in today’s marketplace. Paying $100,000 for a philosophy degree might not be the best path when it comes to being employed in one’s field of study.

But with 48 percent of Americans believing that college graduates do not have the necessary skills to get a job post-graduation, perhaps college students need to focus more on learning real-world skills and making the most of their education as a whole, regardless of their degrees.


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