A new poll shows that college graduates’ realities are out-of-line with their expectations.

Paired with a recent survey showing almost half of today’s graduates are underemployed, it paints a grim picture of the job market for young Americans. (Hat-tip, Instapundit).

A new poll by consulting firm Accenture shows some striking gaps between the expectations of graduating seniors about the world of work and the experiences of recent grads who are already in the workforce. Only 18% of pending 2013 grads plan to get a graduate degree to get ahead in their career. By contrast, 42% of grads who are already working say they plan to get a graduate degree. There is also a gap when it comes to salary expectations. Just 15% of this year’s graduating seniors expect to earn less than $25,000 a year. But a third of recent grads report that they are making that amount or less.

There is also a big gap when it comes to the training new grads expect they’ll get on the job. More than three quarters, or 77%, of seniors graduating this year say that they expect their employer will train them to advance in their careers. But less than half, or 48%, of recent grads say they got training in their first year on the job.

Accenture polled 1,000 grads who finished school in 2011 and 2012 and 1,000 who are graduating this year.

One other gap between expectations and reality: Despite numerous studies showing that there is a high demand for graduates with engineering and computer science degrees, new grads most want to work in education, media and entertainment, and healthcare.

Yet another gap: Only a third, 32%, of 2013 grads, say they plan to live at home after graduation, while among 2011/2012 grads, 44% are living at home.

How tough was it for recent grads to find a job? More than half of the 2011 and 2012 classes say it was difficult. Only 39% say they had a job lined up when they graduated, though 68% report that they are now working full time. Sixteen percent have part-time jobs and 7% say they aren’t working at all. At least that’s a lower rate than the national employment rate of 7.6%.

Also despite the perception that internships lead to jobs, among 2011/2012 graduates, 72% had internships while they were in school, but only 42% say those internships led to jobs.

For 2013 grads, the outlook isn’t looking great at this point. Only 16% of graduating seniors say they have a job waiting for them. Many 2013 grads, 34%, say they are willing to take the first job they are offered.