Investments in higher education may not be paying off for a majority of college graduates. New research has found that just 35 percent of working adults with at least a bachelor's degree say that most of what they learned in school is applicable to their current career choice.
Despite those feelings, workers do see value in a college education for the most part. Fifty-one percent of workers say they have been able to apply at least some of the things they learned in college to their job. Just 13 percent of workers say none of what they learned is applicable to their job, while 7 percent say that all of what they learned is applicable to their job.
Respondents may feel that way because they have a number of regrets about their education as well. Almost three-quarters of adults say they have regrets, the biggest of which is not pursuing additional schooling. Workers also regret not applying themselves, not focusing on academics and not picking a different college major.
A smaller percentage of college graduates say they regret not pursuing internships while in school and not applying the information they learned in school to real-world situations.
"The survey suggests the need for higher education to adapt to the needs of the market and prepare students for specific jobs and careers," said Sam Sanders, college chairman for the University of Phoenix School of Business, which conducted the research. "There is significant progress being made in America to tie curriculum to careers earlier in a student’s education, but there is still a lot of work to be done to prepare college graduates for specific careers and grow a more competitive work force."
The research was based on the responses of more than 1,600 full-time, part-time and self-employed workers.