University courses poor predictor for careers: survey

By Chen Yi-ching and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Fri, Aug 30, 2013 - Page 5

Most people pursue a career other than what they studied for, a recent survey has suggested.

The survey of office workers by online job bank yes123 found that 70 percent of respondents said their field of study was unrelated to their current job.

More than 1,000 respondents aged between 20 and 29 were questioned, with 54 percent saying they felt their field of study in school was not helpful in their current job.

When asked what was most helpful to their present workplace needs after school education, 67 percent said experience from temporary jobs, followed by apprentice work at 44.4 percent and experience of social club activities at 30.4 percent.

Majors cited as most unrelated to current work were humanities and sports and leisure management.

Sixty-four percent said they regret their choice of study, and 30 percent said they began to have regrets when they started looking for a job, the survey showed.

Many people realized their deficiencies when they started working, as the survey showed 62.1 percent said they regretted not learning foreign languages while at school, 58.8 percent regret not having built up a secondary specialization, 42 percent regret not picking up a trade skill, and more than 30 percent regret not having a trade certification or not having a second study major.

Yang Tsung-pin (楊宗斌), yes123’s deputy manager for public relations, advised parents to guide their children to find career goals and job interests during high school and to help them gauge future economic and industrial trends.

“Students should not just target high marks for getting into university and a field of study based solely on scores,” he said. “If students already feel they have bleak job prospects in university, then they should hone a second specialization, so that their interests and abilities can develop together with their field of study.”