Not using your College Degree? Most people aren’t.

While in college, life is incredible. You can take classes on The Simpsons and its relation to culture. After college, though, life gets a little more complicated because it’s time to make money.

What happens when you’ve got that college degree? The path you think you’ll take might not be the road you actually travel. Only 27% of the workforce works in their college degree.

Thanks to the wide-open possibilities of college, students aren’t required to attain degrees that will help them in the long run, for better or worse. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing is up to you.

What happens when you’ve got that college degree? The path you think you’ll take might not be the road you actually travel. Only 27% of the workforce works in their college degree.

Thanks to the wide-open possibilities of college, students aren’t required to attain degrees that will help them in the long run, for better or worse. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing is up to you.

DOES A DEGREE EVEN MATTER?

Getting a degree you can put to work makes a significant impact in job prospects, because let’s face it: if you’re not willing to move, that Bachelor’s in 17th-century Irish dance isn’t going to open many doors in small-town Iowa. Being realistic about your goals as a student makes all the difference.

FIND A JOB THAT NOT ONLY MAKES YOU HAPPY BUT KEEPS YOU HAPPY, TOO

Another reason for graduates not working in their field: simple economics. When a student starts a major with a goal in mind, that’s at least 4 years. The job market will fluctuate. Every job seeker needs to be ahead of the market trends.

What was hot when a student walked in the door to their dorm room, could have had its moment and be over when they’re walking off the stage. About 1/3 of grads are forced to take a lower paying gig because nothing was available in their desired field. So, those degrees have to go to work in a place not originally intended. This can also work on the flip side, too. Someone who’s gifted in sales may use their psychology degree to better understand their leads and close deals. And in many cases, not using a degree isn’t a bad thing, as plenty of industries grossly underpay in comparison to others.

AND THEN THERE’S PERSONAL EVOLUTION

What about the grads who 20 years ago walked off stage and right into their field? Are they happy still? Maybe some of them decided that career path wasn’t for them. The person you are at 19 vs. the person you are at 36 is vastly different. No one should be beholden to a lifetime of a career that their heart just wasn’t in.

Because student loan debt hovers somewhere around 1.4 Trillion dollars, people are willing to take what they can get. The market has assumed a cutthroat personality thanks to looming payment deadlines or someone not wanting an opportunity pass them by, despite not being exactly what they envisioned. There’s a lot to unpack with the ups and downs of what to do with the job market post-college. Whatever it is, the main thing remains: do what makes you happy.

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