4 answers

Is it possible for students adapt to new career paths that are unrelated to their major? And if so, what steps should they take?

Asked Silver Spring, Maryland

A lot of times, people end up having a new passion that is unrelated to their degree. I have seen many professionals gain high profile jobs even though they had a degree that was unrelated to their career. I was curious to see how a student could gain experience in a different field and dive into a career that they did not study in college. #business #graduate #majors #recruiting #consulting #development

4 answers

Jeremy’s Answer

Updated Nashville, Tennessee

I see a lot of people go to school just for the sake of going to school. They constantly change their major and take way more than 4 years to graduate. After they do graduate, they have a degree that does nothing to help their career.

School can be very expensive and it's important to know your passions, or at least have an idea of them, before you start school. That way, you can get the education that helps you be successful.

Speaking from personal experience, education is only one part of the formula that helps you get a job. It's a big part, but you can still get a good job even though the education was from a different area then where you're trying to work.

You should develop a good work ethic, a network of friends in the field that you want to work in and take the time to understand the skills required to be successful in that field. If you don't already posses those skills, then start to develop them either through formal education or other means.

If you're unsure what skills are required, i recommend browsing for job postings in that career field and see what skills are required. Once you know that you can work to develop them.

Beng Mey’s Answer

Updated Malaysia

I strongly believe in two things - One is learning is a lifelong journey, you might find a career path that is totally different from your major or education but you can always learn and grow with it. Prioritize the things or new skills that you need to learn in the job and focus on ensuring that you build that core knowledge of it. It can be done via self-learning, online research, learning on the job or through your relationship with others. Second is to never forget to utilize your strengths and to find passion in the job you do which requires you to contribute with your strengths.

Donald’s Answer

Updated Paoli, Pennsylvania

It is not only possible but increasingly probable that this will be the case. Your college education allows you to develop the methods you use most effectively to be productive, to learn new material and to interact effectively with fellow students and faculty in a non threatening environment. The ways you find that are particularly effective are the one's that will probably serve you well throughout your life.

In most fields, the best you will get is a historical perspective and past knowledge. Technology is moving ahead so rapidly, that much of the content you learn, other than core principles will be obsolete by the time you graduate.

To gain experience in a new field of interest might be enhanced by volunteering in the industry, joining trade groups of that area of interest, attending webinars, talks, new product presentations, and joining professional groups on various social media.

When you decide on your new area of interest, do the research ( evaluate your skills, identify areas you'll need to improve/develop, create a plan to fill the gaps so to speak). If you've done the preliminary work, you should have a good idea of the requirements, availability of jobs and opportunities for advancement.

Good luck,

Updated
This answer is spot on! I would add that whatever you choose to study, you need to build a toolkit of quantitative and analytical skills ... I can't overemphasize how important this is. I would also add that you reach out to alumni to learn about their roles and career paths. You can start doing this today ... ask for 15 minutes of their time and prepare some specific questions you'd like them to address. A great way to build a network.

Felipe’s Answer

Updated

Hi there Yes it is possible, when you study a major sometimes you don't know if that is really what you want to do in your life, maybe at school you are a little confused and normally your passions are different than when you grow and become adult. No matter if you have years or days of experience in one field, you can always change your path of career to a different one, however this means some sacrifice to do, maybe restart with a lower salary, maybe working for a company that is not that aligned to your personality or expectations, maybe having to work extra time, etc, but is always possible, if you are willing to change and you found that your passion is in a different type of job, go ahead, don't waste your time doing something you don't want, "Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." Confucius.

Felipe