About one-third of jobs outside college majors, survey finds

CareerBuilder survey says grads’ majors don’t align with their jobs. Meanwhile, hiring experts say it doesn’t matter; that college majors are largely unimportant.
by Paula Burkes Modified: July 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm •  Published: July 20, 2014

“We have many clients who no longer look for specific college degrees, or degrees at all; instead they look for experience that is helpful,” he said. One construction/remodeling company looks for employees experienced in dealing with people and making them feel comfortable, he said.

“Some of their best employees have come from restaurant/retail management and have no college degrees,” Crandall said.

After consultation with Sandler, another client in the technical services industry now looks for people who are customer-service oriented and trains them in the technical skills they once required. “They’ve seen client retention and satisfaction skyrocket by not hiring to specific degrees,” Crandall said.

With the exception of directly-transferable degrees such as engineering or accounting, college majors aren’t important, Oklahoma City human resources expert Jim Farris said.

“Most companies would just as soon hire an English or French major, as a business major,” Farris said. What most want is someone who’s proven they know how to learn, he said, noting the importance of good grades.

“At the same time, I’d rather hire a graduate with a 2.5 grade point average, who paid his way through college stocking groceries from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., versus a nerd who has a 3.95 grade point average, but lacks people skills,” Farris said.

“Four or five years following graduation, no one cares what your major, or GPA, was,” Farris said. “They want to know what you’ve been doing over those years to be successful,” he said.

by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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