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Is it ever too late to decide what career path you'd like to take?

I've always been interested in studying Business but I don't really know what I would follow up with a Business Major. #business


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M. Cristina’s Answer

It's only too late if you're on your deathbed. As a young, college-age student? Absolutely not. It's not uncommon at all for someone to change their mind while taking classes; it's better to know that now than after you're in the working world, right? If you feel like Business is your calling, and you're still in college, by all means, switch your major and shift your focus!

As for your other question about what comes next: Do you have a career services department on campus? I would recommend meeting with an advisor and asking if there are any resources they can use with you that can help you narrow down your career options. Once you have an idea of what you'd like to do after college, planning for it is straightforward! You'll know what skills you'll need to be able to demonstrate, so you can plan your summer/part-time jobs or internships (and yes, please find internships! Work experience is so critical!) that will help you build those necessary skills.

Speak to your faculty advisor, or any other faculty member on campus that has experience doing what you may be interested in. They can give you a lot of really great insight and tips for how to identify and achieve your goals. The more people you talk to, the more information you have that will help you narrow down your options.

My final piece of advice is: Don't stress yourself out too much. At the end of the day, how important is the specific degree you have to your dream job? Not every doctor has gone through a pre-med program or got a degree in Biology. If you were to ask people in certain business roles what their undergrad degree was, you may be surprised at the variety of BA/BS degrees these folks have earned. It's more about your skills and experience at this point in your career path. (Graduate and professional studies are a different story, but that's for Future Joanne to figure out later on, maybe!)

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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Joanne,
Excellent question! I don't think it's ever too late to switch up your major or career path. Many students go into or are currently in college and don't know exactly what they want to do career wise. When I first applied to college I was in-between majoring in accounting or biology, two completely different majors. I applied as a biology major but ultimately switched into accounting because I found I had an interest in forensic accounting. The best advice I have for you is to research majors you might be interested in business wise and even outside of business just incase. From there weigh the pros and cons, it's important to also ask yourself if you can see yourself working in this profession for the rest of your life. I'd also recommend taking general education courses/foundational courses to see if any of those subjects interest you. Additionally reach out to professionals in the field to gain their first hand experience on what it's like to work in the industry. You can even look into job-shadowing opportunities and talk to the university career center for more guidance as well.

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Rebekah’s Answer

Hi Joanne!

First, you are not alone! And it's never too late to change paths. I personally got a degree in Psychology thinking that I wanted to become a Counselor and ended up in sales for a few years. I then decided I didn't care for sales and decided to go back and get my MBA and now work in Marketing and GTM. It's okay to not be sure of what you want next. Keep leaning into the things you like and hone those skills.

A great thing about getting a Business degree is that it is so versatile. Not only are there several different routes within the business school (ie Marketing, Sales, Management, Finance), you can also get pretty much any job with a business degree. My advice is to take several different types of business classes and see which ones pique your interest or sound like a fascinating career path for you.

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Rawan’s Answer

Hi Joanne, the world of business is limitless! You would be surprised by the number of career choices you have and the opportunities available for business graduates. It is completely fine to be lost at first. You will get to take a general idea on all areas of business in your first year or so, I suggest you find the areas that interest you the most and start researching the many possible career paths of those areas so that you have a plan and knowledge on where to got next. Remember not to put pressure on yourself, you are never stuck with a degree or a career, remember that!

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Angela’s Answer

No, it is never too late. People change careers often, but I do suggest to do more preliminary research, attend panel discussion, join groups to obtain more info for you to make decision. I would look for internships, volunteer, interview mentors in the industry you are interested to see if it would be a fit for you, take a bunch of temporary jobs or permanent job if given to obtain experience. Business is broad and can take into various channels, one can be an entrepreneur. Take some business courses at Coursera to learn what it involves and it can help you guide your decision making.

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Helana’s Answer

Hi Joanne,
While in school, I recommend you take as many classes as you can that seem interesting so you can see what you enjoy. There are so many avenues in business for you to explore including accounting, finance, marketing, and operations. It is important to get a basic knowledge of accounting and/or finance as any business that is successful needs to eventually understand its cash flow. You should also consider speaking with professors, other students, friends, co-workers (if you are working) and family about how they got into their careers. The more you hear about others paths, it may provide you some insight in what you may like. I am currently working in a field that a friend suggested to me. He thought I would enjoy it and he was right.

Good luck!

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Lindsay’s Answer

No, it's never too late to decide what career path you'd like to take. If you truly want something, you will end up doing what you can to achieve it. I've seen people go to pharmacy school in their 40s because they didn't enjoy what they were doing before!
As for business, there are a lot of majors within business schools that you can look into as well as a TON of job opportunities. You should look online and look into what kinds of jobs would be available to you as a business major and see if you're interested in any of them. You can also talk to a college counselor when you're in college to see if they can help you narrow down business into a small subject like finance, HR, accounting, etc.

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Rosalind’s Answer

Hello, it is fine that you don't know yet what career path you want to take. I think as you continue to explore and get into the work force you will start to find what direction you may want to go. I have been with the same company for nearly 21 years and have had the opportunity to be in several different positions in different areas of the business that has increased my skills. I have been on the front line, leadership and support roles. You will eventually find what you are passionate about. When you find your passion, go for it..

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Anne’s Answer

In short, NO! It's never too late to re-invent your career! I am fortunate enough to have started with my company part-time while I was in college. Now, 28 years later, I am still with the company and have evolved my career along with my interests, the company's growth, and its direction. I began in a Customer Service role, which allowed me to learn so much about the company, its services, and how it did business. With that baseline of knowledge, it's much easier to move around into different departments, different job responsibilities, and to build your brand within the company to go where you want to go, so don't rule out entry positions while you're in school that can take you further from having on-the-job knowledge and experience.

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Thomas’s Answer

Don't worry, many students feel the same way too. The first few years your will take some general business classes this will help you to explore and see what area you are most interested in. You can also look into getting a general business management major that will give you a board overview of business.

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