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Business majors top list of underemployed college grads, report says

June 19, 2013|By Shan Li
  • Chances are, business majors who recently graduated will not get the chance to be hired by someone like Gordon Gekko, the Wall Street heavyweight played by Michael Douglas in the 1987 film "Wall Street" and again in 2010 in "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps".
Chances are, business majors who recently graduated will not get the chance… (Barry Wetcher / Twentieth…)

Business majors top the list of college graduates who are most likely to be underemployed in the current economy, a report says.

The image of business students who march into cushy Wall Street jobs post-graduation has lured so many young people into getting an undergraduate business degree that the marketplace is overflowing with them, according to a report from salary data firm PayScale.

"The business world is saturated with recent grads, many of whom are trying to get their loafers in the door," the report concludes. "There just aren't enough cubicles to go around."

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So instead of dressing up in suits for high-powered corporate gigs, many business majors are finding themselves working as waiters and waitress, assistant managers in retail stores or as credit or collection managers, the report found.

And they're not the only college grads who are working low-wage gigs instead of career-track jobs with benefits. Tied for No. 2 on the list are criminal justice majors and drama and theater art majors.

PayScale attributed the popularity of studying criminal justice to crime and acronym-happy television shows like CSI and NCIS. "Graduates imagine solving crimes and keeping the world safe," the report said. But in reality, many end up working as paralegals and security guards.

Other majors on the list of unlucky graduates include anthropology, liberal arts, history, psychology, biology, English and economics.


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