pie chartAccording to the Accenture 2013 College Graduate Employment Survey, 41 percent of workers who graduated from college in the past two years are underemployed and working in jobs that don’t require their college degrees. The research also showed that, despite their degrees, nearly two-thirds (63 percent) reported they will need more training in order to get their desired job.

The survey polled 1,010 students who will be graduating from college in 2013, and 1,005 students who graduated from college in 2011 and 2012, to compare the views of those students preparing to enter the job market with the experiences of recent grads in the workforce.

“A solution is sorely needed to bridge the disconnect between employers that are concerned about college graduates being unprepared for available jobs and the graduates who feel overqualified for them,” David Smith, senior managing director of Accenture’s Talent Organization practice, said. “Hiring someone with a higher-level degree than is necessary for a given job does not typically result in a higher-performing employee, and does not reduce the need to invest in training specialized skills.”

Other survey findings include:

  • 42 percent of 2011 and 2012 graduates expect they will need to obtain a graduate level degree to further their career, yet only 18 percent of 2013 pending grads who expect to do so.
  • 16 percent of students who will graduate in 2013 had already secured employment.
  • Of the survey respondents who graduated in 2011 and 2012, 68 percent are currently employed full time and 16 percent are working part time.
  • Among the 2011 and 2012 grads who are unemployed, 48 percent said they would have fared better in the job market with a different major and 57 percent expect to go back to school within the next five years.
  • The study found that the top three industries that 2011, 2012 and 2013 graduates want to work in are education, media entertainment and healthcare.

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