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College Grads Struggling to Follow Degree, Study Says [AUDIO]

Thousands of students are graduating from colleges across New Jersey this month, but a new survey shows they could struggle significantly in landing a job that connects to their major or career choice.

College Graduation
Christopher Furlong, Getty Images

According to a study from consulting firm Accenture, which surveyed students who graduated in 2011 and 2012, 41 percent of college graduates have jobs that don’t even require a degree.

Dr. Gayle Porter, a professor of management at the Rutgers School of Business-Camden, insists students have not learned to temper their expectations based on the current economic climate.

“There are just fewer jobs out there,” Porter said. “People are just hesitant to expand and beef up their staffing.”

However, she noted college graduates have a better employment rate than those who do not graduate.

Work Experience in Field a Deciding Factor

As conditions improve, according to Porter, graduates who have their foot in the door of the real world will have a better shot at advancing and making a true career for themselves. For that reason, she suggests grads take any full-time work that’s available at the start, even if it’s for a fraction of the salary they hoped for, or in a different field.

Porter said graduate school could be a mistake for some students, unless it’s an absolute must for the career they are pursuing.

“People are very, very leery of somebody that has a graduate degree and still has no work experience,” she said. “The work experience is a huge factor. Students should be looking more at internships and even going out and doing volunteer work.”

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