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What can I do when my future career probably has nothing to do with my degree?

I am studying Biological sciences but want to become a recruitment consultant instead. Should I declare a minor? #career #science #college #biology #career-counseling

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Madison’s Answer

Hi Karen!

First thing is don't stress on your major! When I entered college the admissions said on average students change their major 4 times! While that may seem like a lot the purpose of college is to give you the ability to gain further knowledge in career paths that interest you. I agree with Dexter above and would seek out internships in the recruitment consultant field if that's your inclination. I'd absolutely seek mentorship in that field as well because that experience and those connections in the field will weigh more than the minor.

Best of luck! You've got this, you've always got time to change your mind.

Madison
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Lisa’s Answer

There are a wide variety of industries that recruiting consultants can specialize in. For example, there is a sector, commonly known as Life Sciences, that operates across the broad Biotech, Gene Therapy, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, Diagnostics, Clinical Research Outsourcing, Food, Beverage, Consumer Products, and Health and Insurance sectors delivering professional talent through integrated staffing solutions. You might think about finding companies that have this as one of their service lines.
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Kaitlyn’s Answer

Hi there Karen!

On the same page as what most supporters are saying: don't stress.

I can confidently say that the career world isn't as linear as you think. It may seem like studying a particular industry for several years is the only option, just know that it's not. A minor is a great way to pick up some additional skills while in school. In college, I majored in Mass Communications with a concentration in Creative Advertising (copywriting side) and a minor in Psychology (because I love human behavior).

Treat your studies like you would your passions. Don't follow a mold and find resources that can better clarify your path. You'll learn that experiences will weigh heavily when deciding what you do and don't want to do. Take chances and keep an open mind. If you find that biological sciences are no longer your cup of tea, then it's okay to switch majors. Or even double major into something! Two different interests, or multiple, never hurt anyone. It's what sets you apart.

I hope that sheds some insight. All the best in your success.
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Dexter’s Answer

Hi Karen,

I graduated UC Berkeley with a degrees in Electrical Engineering, specializing in Analog Design, but I knew that I absolutely hated it and would not have a career in it. I remember not knowing what I actually wanted to do, but I needed money, so I got a part time job doing tech support. Because of that part time job, after I graduated, I was able to get a job doing desktop support, then after 6 months, I switched roles to become a web developer (a skill I picked up in high school and college). I've been now working in that field for 14 years.

Would it be possible to get an internship or a part time job working in the recruitment field? Is there anyway you can turn your expertise in biological science as an advantage to better recruit than others? Perhaps you'd make a better candidate at a pharmaceutical or medical company as a recruiter because of your background?

Looking at Jr Recuiter positions posted on job boards, it doesn't look like a jr level position does not require any specialized skills besides the basics (good communication, good over the phone, skills in MS Office products). Because I don't see any specialized skills, I'm not sure if a minor would help.

I believe that experience will. I would suggest, if possible, getting a summer job or an intern position to try that job out. If you are right and it's a perfect fit for you, it'd be a great thing to have on your resume when you graduate and apply for the real thing. And if it turns out that recruitment is not a good fit for you, you can always go back to the drawing board, find yourself, and find a job that fits you best.

I wish you the best of luck!
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Shaun’s Answer

Hi Karen,

This is something I also struggled with when getting my degree. I went to school for Animation, but ended up learning on the job (which had nothing to do with Animation) new skills and really figuring out what I was passionate about. Like others have mentioned, don't stress! It can be very scary trying to figure out what exactly your career will look like, but it sounds like you have a pretty good idea to get started.

Here are some things to consider:
• LinkedIn is a really great resource to see how others like yourself got from point A to B after graduating.
• Most of the time internships will give you a chance to connect with like-minded individuals with unique career paths.
• Take a look at recruitment conferences (virtual). You'll be able to connect and hear from some industry leaders.
• Informational interviews can be great experience to connect and get practice at interviewing
• Keep an open mind.

Best of luck with everything!
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Andrea’s Answer

First off, don't panic....this is completely normal and most (meaning more than half) of students end of doing something different than what they study. What I will say is that a science degree is a great foundation for any job as it teaches you critical thinking and that's a skill you will need everywhere! And, as you start working, your work experiences and on the job training will become more important to hiring managers than your degrees.

I started my undergrad in mechanical engineering and switched to exercise physiology. Then I immediately went to grad school for biomechanics and while there realized I had no desire to do research! So I got a job out of grad school in sales. After 3 years I realized that I wanted to stay in business and went back to get my MBA part time. I ended up shifting to management consulting and now work in managment and strategy for a large telecommunications company....something I never thought I'd be doing! All that said, I wouldn't change a thing. I learned a solid foundation of skills in undergrad, I learned problem solving in my masters and I applied my experiences in my MBA....and I use all those skills today even if I'm not a scientist!

Explore your options, and be open to going back to school at some point (after you start working). Try and shadow as many people as possible as that will help expand your thinking about the type of skills you may want to focus on vs a specific degree.
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Reema’s Answer

Hi Karen,

Great question! A minor is not necessary but if you can find a minor that is more relevant to your career goals then it can help you when you're looking for a position. You can look at job postings today and see what degrees they look for. You can also look for perhaps doing this job in the healthcare field so that you can apply your major as well. A minor can be a great addition to your resume to help recruiters see your experience in this area though it is not required. It can also help you learn more about this career path and build the soft skills for this role.

Regardless of if you do a minor or not, I would strongly suggest getting some experience that can help you as a recruitment consultant. You can find a relevant internship or shadow someone that is relevant in your field. Don't be afraid to reach out to your campus career counselors - they can be a great resource to help you meet your career goals.

Often times college students are so focused on classes and getting their degree that they forget to do any outside work like internships and shadowing opportunities. Not only will this outside work help you for your career goals but it can help you learn more about your likes and dislikes. I would strongly make sure that you focus on that regardless of whether or not you decide to pursue a major.

Best of luck!
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Anne’s Answer

Hi Karen - Many of the most successful people are those who pursue careers outside of their formal education. Your knowledge in biology will be very important for a recruiting firm or corporation that is looking to recruit for people in the life sciences and related fields. To supplement your existing college degree, you may want to consider taking classes or attending seminars on the recruiting field. Or, reach out via LinkedIn to professional recruiters and ask them what skills would be most beneficial for you. Networking with students and professionals is key to being a successful recruiter, so start now! It will give you an advantage when you start your career.
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Amber’s Answer

Because recruiting is a 'soft skill' I would encourage you to look into sociology and psychology courses as part of your degree program while also considering certificate options through LinkedIn Learning and other online venues. Never be afraid to reach out to recruiters via LinkedIn to ask how they entered the field and what they found most valuable in preparation. People in talent acquisition love to help others!
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Ryan’s Answer

This is a very common scenario for many professionals. I would recommend supplementing your current studies with gaining experiences or skill sets that would be considered a strength in a career of recruitment. This would bolster your resume and compliment your degree! Good Luck!
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Rebecca’s Answer

Hi, there is always to have the relevant degrees on the career unless the career requires profession qualifications, e.g. medical, legal, etc. Sometimes, it can help to get into the industry easier when you graduate and it gives you the fundamental knowledge.
Understand that you would like to be recruitment agent, you can consider to take the minor on relevant subjects, e.g. human resources, etc.
On the other hand, you can also explore any intern opportunities to work in the recruitment companies or human resources department of corporates. This can also help you to understand how the industry works and establish the network. It can also help you to have the offer to work in the industry after your graduation.
Having said that, I suggest you can consider to take part time post graduate course after working a couple of year after graduation. It can help to you advance your knowledge of the industry and move your career forward.
Help this helps! Good Luck!
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Karen,

Charting Your Career Journey Beyond Your Degree

Stepping into a career that doesn't align with your academic background is a common phenomenon. If you're studying Biological Sciences but have a keen interest in becoming a recruitment consultant, there are several strategies you can employ to make a smooth and successful transition into this new career path.

1. Acquire Applicable Experience: Seek internships, part-time roles, or volunteer work in recruitment or human resources. These experiences will equip you with practical skills and knowledge pertinent to a career as a recruitment consultant.

2. Hone Transferable Skills: Even if your degree doesn't directly relate to recruitment, you've likely developed skills through your studies that can be repurposed. Abilities such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and data analysis are versatile and can be applied in various industries.

3. Build Connections: Participate in industry events, job fairs, and networking sessions to establish relationships with professionals in the recruitment sector. A robust network can pave the way for mentorship, job recommendations, and valuable industry insights.

4. Pursue Further Education: If you believe that additional education or training could enhance your transition into recruitment consulting, consider obtaining a relevant certification or enrolling in courses in human resources or business management.

5. Declare a Minor: Opting for a minor in a related field like psychology, business administration, or communication can arm you with extra knowledge and credentials that could prove beneficial in your chosen career path.

6. Consult a Career Counselor: Meeting with a career counselor can be beneficial in exploring your interests, strengths, and goals. They can offer advice on aligning your academic background with your career ambitions and help you craft a strategic plan to reach your goals.

7. Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter: When applying for roles in recruitment consulting, spotlight the transferable skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate. Highlight any relevant coursework, projects, or extracurricular activities that showcase your interest in the field.

8. Embrace Entry-Level Roles: Starting in an entry-level position within a recruitment agency or HR department can offer valuable practical experience and industry insights. From here, you can gradually climb the career ladder and carve a successful path in recruitment consulting.

Remember, numerous successful professionals have successfully navigated career changes that veer from their initial academic direction. By actively seeking relevant experience, refining transferable skills, networking effectively, and seeking advice from career experts, you can pave your way towards a successful transition into recruitment consulting.

Top 3 Credible Sources Used:

Harvard Business Review: Offers insights on career transitions and strategies for pursuing unconventional career paths.

Forbes: Provides articles on career growth, networking advice, and tips on transitioning into new fields.

The Balance Careers: Shares resources on job hunting, resume crafting tips, and guidance on changing careers successfully.

May God bless you!
James Constantine.
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