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Would it be hard to pursue a career that you did not major in in college? Can they do it?

Hi, I was just wondering if someone were to change their career path to a whole new field and did not figure it out until after they graduated, can they still get a great job and they would love? #college #career #major


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Mike’s Answer

The most successful people I've encountered in my life are in fields they didn't major in! Steve Jobs once said of Apple, "It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”


The same applies to individuals -- some of the best software engineers I've hired grew up on farms and didn't major in Computer Science. Many of the best problem solvers I've known were multi-lingual or great musicians.


Think about college as giving you the basic skills you'll need to get into a field -- beyond that, much of your success will come from all of the other things (life experiences, empathy, hobbies, interests, passions, etc.) that make you you!


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Patrice’s Answer

Hi Josephine!


You most certainly can start a new career after graduation! Many professionals start out in one career and while engaged discover that they have a passion for something else.
I started out my career as an executive level admin and branched out to marketing. My passion was Information Technology so although I wasn't specifically working in a IT department I was endowed with learning new technology daily. Automating reports and system processes was the driving force behind gaining experience while in a completely different career. I began to network with professionals in the industry that I desire to transition to within my organization as well as outside of my working hours. This helped me define my transition path.


Ultimately, you must be strategic when it comes to developing your career path. It doesn't matter if you start out on that career path or another. Once you make a decision began to network and focus on a transition path. With a plan in place everything is attainable.


Best of luck!


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Ken’s Answer

Hi Josephine!


Yes it is possible. I set up and ran a re-employment program for people who had lost their jobs. Many times they had pursued a career area for some other reason than personal choice or they were locked into it for many reasons. Losing that job in that career area gave them an opportunity to start anew. The first thing that I did was to administer an interest and aptitude test to help them to discover themselves and see how they could put their life's experiences into a more fulfilling mode. Many times, this was the first opportunity that they had to do so. After learning more about themselves, I taught them networking.


Best of luck! Be true to yourself. The feeling and concept of success is yours - and is very personal. Let me know if this is of help.


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Erin’s Answer

Absolutely!!! I wanted to go into advertising and studied communications and writing and I have been in the technology field for over 20 years. Everything boils down to passion and willingness to learn, if you have the drive to learn, ask questions and listen anything is possible. I have been a product manager - defining and driving technology products in the marketplace and I have run technology teams with Project Managers, Technical Consultants and very smart technical people and I am not very technical but I ask lots of questions and and genuinely interested in learning new things.


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Curtis’s Answer

Absolutely. I did this in fact. I knew that I wanted to study business administration in college but I wasn't sure what I would do with the degree after graduating. My undergrad degree led me to an interesting opportunity in Sports Marketing and I decided to continue directly into grad school to pursue my MBA with a focus on Sports Marketing. This was an emerging and exciting field at the time and it was even more interesting to me as an athlete. After getting my MBA I rolled right into an internship with Anaheim Sports having direct experience with the Anaheim Angels and Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Both were owned by Disney at the time so I thought this would be a great opportunity and it was however I quickly learned that there are few high ranking positions and those that have them tend to have long careers. I'm originally from San Francisco and decided to go back home and expose myself to the tech industry that was booming at the time. I took a front office group sales position with the San Francisco Giants given my experience in sports and desire to get back to the bay area which was a great experience as the Giants were moving into a new stadium that year. After doing this for less than a year I landed an entry level sales position in technology. With the desire to learn and work hard I had what turned out to be a great start in technology. That company ultimately went out of business but that had little impact on me as I was in the industry and there was plenty of opportunity elsewhere. I landed another entry level technology sales position and this turned into a 10 year run. I gradually moved up in the company, gained a lot of experience, a great reputation and established a career. I've been in technology sales for 18 years now and its proven to be satisfying.


So yes it is certainly possible to change your career path and find a job that is fulfilling. It starts with a desire and willingness to work hard. You may have to start with an entry level position but you should expect this as there is too much competition in business to think you can start any career at a high ranked position. Work hard, be patient and good things will happen.


Best


Curtis


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Matt’s Answer

Absolutely! I got degrees in Russian, International Business, and Finance. While I was in college, I spent a couple summers in Russia because I wanted to be a Russian Stockbroker. While I was there, I realized that staying in the US, among friends, would be a lot more fun. So I started learning how to program and ended up being a programmer by trade. I'm completely self-taught, but I did audit some computer science classes my (2nd) senior year. I had to go to college for 5 years to complete my three degrees, but none of them had much to do with programming.


I did have to study a lot to learn how to program. I started out by getting certifications in Microsoft and Java technologies, then I applied for and found jobs where I was able to use those skills. Then I started contributing to open source projects and talking about them at conferences. I even wrote one of the first books on Spring way back in 2004. Contributing and writing about open source really put my career in high gear and I haven't looked back since!


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Kajal’s Answer

Hi Josephine,


Lets's just say that it isn't easy to do so :)


I majored in engineering(electrical + telecommunications) and worked in an engineering role for 2 years. Towards, the end of that stint, i realized that i was very interested and curious about how we market and sell things. As an engineer i always though why are we doing this or why are we creating such a product and not something else. That curiosity made me sought out people in sales and marketing and i networked with almost everyone in my company and 6 months later, when there was a marketing position open, i applied for it. Even though i didn't have an MBA back then, my persistence got me the an opportunity to try out that role to see if i was a fit. I loved the role and in a month secured a full time position!


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Amy’s Answer

Hello!
Whilst I live in the UK I am sure it'll be similar in the US. Very often people graduate with a degree in a subject which doesn't end up being a dorect match to the career they pursue. For example, someone may have studied history but could end up working for a charity. It is all about the skills you develop which are transferable. It may be that whilst studying/working you consider getting some work experience or volunteering. Or it may be that you begin a postgraduate course. It is definitely doable!


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