How has your opinion of career paths or higher education changed from when you were in high school to now in college or in your profession?
I'm in my final year of high school. College app season is here, stakes feel high with majors, minors, extra-curriculars, future jobs. Looking for a different perspective or some new insight! Much appreciated.
My opinion of career paths or higher education is drastically different than when I was in high school or college. Here's some context:
I didn't do well in high school in terms of extra-curriculars or GPA. Out of high school I did my gen eds at the local community college to save money and figure out what I wanted to do.
After I decided on marketing, I got into an average college and did fine but again no extra-curriculars. After college, I got a job doing sales which I absolutely hated. While working full-time I was also volunteering at non-profits to help with their marketing strategies and that was awesome so I looked into entry level marketing positions but they didn't pay as much. I thought I wanted to be a fundraising consultant in the non-profit space but that requires sales skills so I pivoted away from that.
During the pandemic, I got into day trading like most others and really enjoyed the finance industry. Fast forward 3 years later and I'm getting an MBA and MS in finance and planning to get a fancy job at an investment bank.
The takeaway is you don't need to know where you're going now, you just need to know you're going somewhere. I have a friend who is getting her law degree after being 4 years out of school. I myself am going into investment banking after having no background in finance. A few other friends got their nursing degree after making career pivots.
You can take classes at a community college to get your gen eds done and it won't impact your job prospects. If you volunteer or have part-time jobs or internships that relate to the future job you want, it typically trumps a degree or educational background.
I thought you needed a 4.0 GPA in high school with all honors classes and then a 4.0 GPA in college with a ton of extra-curriculars to get a good job. That's typically the case for people who have a planned out career path but if you aren't sure, you can take a side route.