UW-Madison graduation

Gradates react as UW-Madison alum and producer Steve Levitan speaks during the UW-Madison spring commencement ceremony at Camp Randall Stadium on May 13, 2017. 

Life can take us down many career paths, many of which deviate from the plans that we set in college.

Researchers Jaison Abel and Richard Deitz of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have explored the likelihood of a person working in a job that corresponds to that person’s undergraduate studies.

So the question is: Excluding people with graduate degrees, what percentage of workers are employed in a job that is directly related to their college major?

A. 7 percent

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B. 27 percent

C. 47 percent

D. 67 percent

Answer: B. Only 27 percent of workers are employed in a field directly related to their college major, according to Abel and Deitz. However, big cities provide college graduates with more job openings and variety, providing a higher likelihood of landing a job aligned with undergraduate studies.

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— Bill Ryan, UW-Extension; bill.ryan@uwex.edu