One-Third of Workers in Survey Imply College Studies Are a Waste of Time

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Are U.S. colleges and universities doing a lousy job preparing graduates for the real world?

Maybe so.

An eye-opening University of Phoenix study says that only 35% of college graduates believe what they learned in college is applicable to their current jobs. That means about two-thirds of college grads have presumably spent tens of thousands of dollars (or more) on college training that's doing them little good.

Recent grads already face an uphill climb in the working world — 36% of this year's crop are expected to work in professions that don't require a degree.

But to realize that maybe, just maybe, you were poorly trained to handle the job you paid a college to train you for — that's tough to take.

"As the skills gap and challenging economy continue to affect the abilities of employers to fill jobs and workers to find suitable employment, emphasis has been placed on more closely aligning college education with the needs of employers," the survey says.

But that emphasis isn't hitting the mark.

According to the survey, only 25% of respondents say a college education is a an appropriate training program for "employment in the workforce." Only 10% say that colleges are "very effective" at training their graduates for the working world.

Then there's those 35% of recent college grads who believe that all or most of what they learned at school is applicable to their jobs today. A little more than half — 51% —┬ásay some of what they learned on campus comes in handy in the workplace, while 13% say "none" of what they learned in college is applicable in their daily jobs.

The online survey of more than 1,600 U.S. employed adults was conducted in April by Harris Interactive on behalf of the for-profit university.

Back to Top