One-seventh of workers surveyed said they learned the wrong profession entirely, according to the survey by US personnel services firm Kelly Services.
Kelly included 2,000 Germans in a survey of 115,000 people seeking jobs in 33 countries.
About 31 percent of Germans surveyed admitted to wishing they had continued their education – at university or an apprenticeship – for longer. Some 38 percent said they wish now they had chosen a different subject to study in the first place.
Some 43 percent felt that school had not prepared them properly for the work world.
The survey also found a gender difference, with women less satisfied with their job-related education than were men.
Both men and women said finances, time considerations and family pressures were driving their desire for new careers.