Cengage, the largest US-based provider of teaching and learning materials for higher education, partnered with Wakefield Research to create the Cengage Student Opportunity Index. The Index provides an annual, in-depth look at the startling contrast between current students’ and recent graduates’ career expectations and the reality of the job market. The research was done through the combined efforts of our leading PR Polling and Market Intelligence research divisions.

This data captured the attention of top-tier media, including CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report and more.

Both CNBC and US News & World Report highlighted the fact that near-graduates think it will take just 6 years to pay back their student loans, when in reality it will take around 20 years.

CNBC examined this stat through a lens of financial wellbeing, further citing that 51% of recent and soon-to-be college graduates have student loan debt, but 82% of recent and near-graduates are nevertheless hopeful about their future.

US News & World Report, meanwhile, examined whether or not college is worth the cost.

An article in The Wall Street Journal emphasized the disparity between students’ idealism surrounding their choice of major and the stark reality for entry-level job seekers. Relying heavily on the survey data, the article emphasizes that while 93% of grads are confident that they will land a job relating to their degree, only 60% of recent graduates have managed to do so. This article, too, highlights the fact that roughly a third of American students are going into debt to pursue a career in a field they won’t have the opportunity of working in.

For more details, please access the Cengage Career Readiness Page. To find out how survey data can help drive top-tier earned media for your brand or organization, visit Wakefield Research’s website to learn about our PR Polling Division and Market Intelligence capabilities.