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Why do people go to college and never find a job in their field?

Many people finish college and never find a job in the field of study. I am not talking about someone that hasn't actively searched. Do you think college was worth it after having to accept a job that wasn't your field of study? I ask this because there wasan interesting story on Dateline about this. I wanted to know your opinion.

Answer Question

Asked by Godswk at 4:14 PM on Jan. 25, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 9 (282 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • My husband hasn't been able to find a job in 4 years. He has a political science degree-aroudn 30,000+ in debt from loans and we live on 20,000 a year. I think it will be worth it in the future but right now I know that it gets him down.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:17 PM on Jan. 25, 2009

  • Mostly because we are 17-18 yrs old when we are forced to pick a career of study in college. And at 22-24 our desires and needs are greatly changed. I would have never gone into medical records at 45, but I did at 18 cause momma made me get a job and go to school no if's and's or but's.

    Answer by akinbottom2 at 4:18 PM on Jan. 25, 2009

  • Sometimes there just aren't any jobs in the field. I feel sorry for the many communications/journalism students who are about to graduate, because the trend has been to cut cut cut.

    College is still always worth it because it teaches you to think. And someone with any kind of degree statistically speaking will get better pay than somene with only a high school diploma.

    What I DON'T feel is worthwhile is racking up tens of thousands of dollars in student loans unless you're going to law or med school. At least in my field of journalism, we really don't care where your degree comes from as long as you had a hands-on internship.

    Answer by gdiamante at 4:19 PM on Jan. 25, 2009

  • This is something I worry about. My husband is working on his PhD in Biology and there was just a report recently about colleges and universities hiring people from out of the country as professors. It said that those who get PhD's in science from here can only expect to make between $35K and $40K a year, but the ones they are bringing in from around the world are starting at around $55K a year. I'll have to ask my husband about it though, he has the information. To bad he's out birding right now or I'd ask him right now.

    Answer by momof3inTN at 4:19 PM on Jan. 25, 2009

  • It depends on your field of study and your ability to understand even THOUGH you have a degree doesnt MEAN you are going to make money right away. Im a psych major and understand I wont make any oney in my field of study until I complete my masters. So until then Ill work for social services or United way and pay my dues.

    Answer by gemgem at 4:27 PM on Jan. 25, 2009

  • That's why when you select a field of study, you really need to think about what you will actually do with that degree, and what the average pay is for an entry level position in that field! What does one do with a degree in Political Science versus an undergraduate degree in a medical field? Granted, not everyone can become a doctor, but there are far too many "fluffy" degrees out there that look and sound nice, but don't actually net you anything.

    Degrees that will land you in a "people service" field...hotel/restaurant management, business, teaching, medicine, physical/occupational therapy (and related health sciences), law/legal, social work/psychology, etc., are pretty much guaranteed fields in which you will be able to secure a job, because they are NEEDED.



    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:38 PM on Jan. 25, 2009

  • My BS degrees are in Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology, and I hold a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy. I used my BS right away as a health club manager and fitness director establishing fitness programs for adults with degenerative illnesses, injuries and post surgical patients. I earned my Master's while being a SAHM, but for a few years will work as a Substitute Teacher, until my children are old enough and capable of taking care of themselves after school for a few hours. However, it is BECAUSE of my 4 year degree that I CAN work in just about any field that requires that as a minimum.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:38 PM on Jan. 25, 2009

  • I think too many people pick a degree but do absolutely no research on what kind of jobs are available with that degree or what the job market is like in their area for the profession. I did job market research when I was looking at going to college. I also knew that I could do not what I wanted without having to go on and earn a Masters degree.

    I have been doing the same with my oldest son as he starts to figure out what he wants to major in. Whenever he shares an idea we get online and see what type of education he would need for the job, what the pay is and what the national trend is for the position. He wants to stay where we live so we also look at the job market where we live and what wages he can expect. We research the companies that hire for the position that he is interested in.

    Answer by Magpie75 at 5:07 PM on Jan. 25, 2009

  • Another huge problem - too many people think that a degree will teach them everything they need to know to do a job. It's not even close to the truth. At my old job, we quit even bothering to hire new grads for paralegals, because they all came in thinking they knew everything, with a huge chip on their shoulders, and bristled at the slightest criticism. They had a degree, therefore, they knew it all. Except it wasn't even close. School teaches theory, not practicality, and it's not a guaranteed jump to middle of the pack. After employers deal with enough stupid know it alls, they insist on experience and a degree to save themselves the time and trouble.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 5:41 PM on Jan. 25, 2009

  • i have a family studies/child development degree w/ a psychology minor. when i picked that (after changing 3 times) i was lied to about the jobs i could get. i wanted to be a guidance counselor, but every place i looked you need a PhD & a license, but i was told i could get it w/ just a BS. the jobs i could get but dont want are DHS social worker, day care provider , or working w/ mentally handicapped adults or mentally-ill children...all of which pay less than the job i found outside of my field.


    Answer by okmanders at 5:46 PM on Jan. 25, 2009

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