KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A national survey of 2006-2010 college graduates has found that just over half are working full-time.

The survey, released last month by Rutgers University's John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, said 53 percent of the graduates are working in full-time jobs.

Twenty-one percent are in graduate or professional schools.

Seven percent are unemployed, and seven percent are working part-time and looking for full-time work.

Among those working, up to one-third of the recent graduates said they accepted a job that paid less than they expected or was below their level of education or was not in their field of interest.

Eighteen percent took a job without health benefits.

The median starting pay for 2009 and 2010 graduates was 10 percent lower than the salary received by those who entered the workforce in 2006 and 2007, the researchers said.

Half the graduates said they'd taken jobs that didn't require a bachelor's degree.

The survey found male graduates were making more than the women. "There is more than a $5,000 difference in starting salaries, with a median for men of $33,150 compared to just $28,000 for women," the report said.

Nearly one-third of the graduates had quit a job since graduation. Twelve percent said they'd been laid off. Twenty-three percent worked for temporary agencies or done seasonal work.

Despite the less-than-rosy job market they encountered, nearly three-fourths of the graduates surveyed said they had no second thoughts about the value of their college education.

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