QoD: What percent of college graduates end up working in the field of their major?

Sep 15, 2019
Question of the Day, Career

 Answer: 27%


  1. Which majors do you think are more likely to lead to a job in that field?
  2. What steps can you take to prepare yourself for employment, regardless of which major you choose?
  3. Given that almost 3/4 of college grads end up in fields that are not related to their major, do you think it's a good idea to consider multiple majors while in college? 

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (Inside Higher Ed):

A New York Federal Reserve Bank study came up with this 27% statistic. The Inside Higher Ed article goes into the details coming from a report based on a huge database of 125 million professional profiles compiled by Emsi. The Emsi report looks at six broad categories of study: languages and philosophy, the social sciences, business, communications, engineering, and IT.

Not surprisingly, the typical path is more of a swirl than a straight line.

The report found that just over half of all jobs tracked in the database were in a business function, one-third in STEM, and one fifth in “soft skills” jobs.


What's the value of a college degree? Check out this Data Crunch to answer the question. 


Looking for more resources for your college going students? Check out the Paying for College Unit Page

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.