Survey: Half of college grads in jobs that don’t require degree

56% of graduates expect to make less than $30,000 their first year out of school

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Students spend tens of thousands of dollars on a college degree in hopes it leads to a good job, but a new survey shows that’s not always the case.

The job market is tough enough for those with experience, but as a study by shows – the jobs available don’t require a college degree. For those with student loans to pay off – that’s a hard pill to swallow.

Adelyn Maldonado got a full-time job after she graduated from college with a degree in media studies, but unfortunately it’s not the job she wanted. She waits tables at night and during the day applies for media jobs, but so far nothing has come through.

“A lot of resumes, a lot of replying online, and hearing nothing back – very discouraging after a while,” she said.

The survey looked at recent college graduates who have jobs. Like Maldonado, half are working in a field that does not require a degree.

“Four in ten college students say college didn’t prepare them for the real world,” said Senior Career Adviser Michael Erwin.

Erwin believes colleges need to do more to help students prepare for a career.

“Academia has to work with businesses to figure out what the curriculum should be, so when they do come out, they can be placed in jobs that met their skills,” he explained.

The survey found that graduates who majored in healthcare, science, or technology were more likely to find work. Students who applied for a job well before graduation were also more successful, and internships also gave new grads a leg up in the job market.

“I paid a lot of money for a degree, and I want to put it to use,” said Maldonado, who hopes to find a job in her field to help pay nearly $40,000 in student loans.

The survey also found that 56% of college graduates expect to make less than $30,000 their first year out of school.

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