The Great Career & Education Mismatch: Why College Planning Is So Important For Today’s Workforce


Employment BOOST survey shows that 64% of workers don't work in a position related to their undergraduate degree choice.

DETROIT, August 31, 2021 – For many American job seekers, undergraduate education is the first set of building blocks in a lifetime of career success. The college to career transition promises additional benefits, increased salaries, and long-term success in a designated field of study, however, a student’s prospects do not always align with their specific educational background. In fact, 64% of the American workforce is in a position that does not match their undergraduate degree.

Only 62% of graduates of bachelor programs report their education as being worth the cost. Of these 62%, a majority were enrolled in degrees associated with specific jobs, with healthcare and engineering ranking at the top of the list for both career and cost value. Students and graduates in other fields, such as Liberal Arts & Sciences, have less tangible career outcomes. These statistics may reinforce the myth of the aimless English major; however, any degree can generate high ROI with the appropriate strategy in place. This is demonstrated by the widespread mismatch in positions and degrees held by undergraduate alumni across the US.

“Life should come with a disclaimer that all things are subject to change. What you want to do now may not be what you want to do at 40. With that in mind, you see so many people come out of college with no plan,  and you realize that so many people take on $50,000 to $100,000 in debt just to check the box of having a degree,” says James Philip, Managing Director at Heavy Hitter Holdings and author of the upcoming book Headwind. “Wouldn’t it make sense then to invest the requisite time and energy into developing a proper college plan? For example, a lot of people get pushed in to communications and psychology by college counselors. But last time I checked, that’s not what corporate America is looking for.”

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This full report is proprietary to Employment BOOST, LLC. Any unattributed use of data within is strictly prohibited. All Rights Reserved.


Employment BOOST analysis of proprietary survey results of professionals spanning a randomly-selected sample of professions and industries. Also included in this report are insights and quotes from internal and external sources, including the following:

James Philip, Managing Director at Heavy Hitter Holdings
Dennis Theodorou, Managing Director at JMJ Phillip Executive Search
Ryan Miller, Client Success Manager at Employment BOOST
Angela Vaz, Founder at
Daniel Kuang, Owner at Dear White
Anna Kagan, Director of Operations at Deleese Stone


Employment BOOST is a full-service resume writing, corporate outplacement, and career services company. With offices across the US and a staff constructed of Certified Professional Resume Writers, Certified Professional Career Coaches, Certified Diversity & Inclusion Recruiters, Executive Search Consultants, and SHRM-CP, Employment BOOST is uniquely positioned to provide best-in-class guidance and consultation to professionals looking to advance in their careers. 


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