4 answers

What should I do if I graduate from college with a degree I no longer desire?

Asked Las Vegas, Nevada

One of my greatest fears is to go to college for the wrong reason. I don't want to waste anyone's money, time, and efforts helping me only to end up with me being unhappy and no longer passionate at what I do. What should I do if I graduate college with a degree I thought I wanted, but ended up disliking in the future?

#college #college-advice
#degrees #happiness

4 answers

Jacqueline’s Answer


You would be surprised at how many students graduate from college with a degree they are no longer interested in. This is very common, especially among students who enter college immediately after graduating from high school. With this said, don't feel like a loser, believe it or not, you really did learn and what you learned is transferable to many, many jobs. In pursuing your degree, you learned to read and understand what you were reading, that in itself expanded your vocabulary, which allows you to express yourself at a higher level both verbally and in writing. I'm sure at least one of your professors decided it was a good idea to have you do group projects and in those group projects you learned teamwork, delegating, and conflict management. You probably also had that professor which you did not see eye to eye with and there you learned people skills, very important! Then there is the fact that you actually graduated! Well that means you learned time management, you also learned how to work well under pressure, can handle stress and obviously meet deadlines. Now that we have covered that, you can take a breather, get a job and hone in on those skills you wish to strengthen. After you've done this you can pursue your Master's degree in what you are interested in! Hope this helps!

Jacob’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

Hi, Maria Victoria,

I agree with what Jacqueline said - your concern is very common and college will likely be a valuable learning experience regardless of the degree you attain.

The simple fact of the matter is that our interests change as we get older. I think it is important to get a degree in a discipline that is applicable broadly. In other words, pursue a program that will enable you to be successful in a variety of career fields. It is terrific that you're thinking about this issue early. I wish I would have been more thoughtful in my approach to determining the field in which I majored. The important thing to remember is that, even if you do start to lose interest in the subject matter that applies most strictly to your degree, you can still pursue opportunities that are more in line with your interests. For example, if you majored in accounting and started working at one of the Big Four Accounting Firms but, after a year or two, felt that your passion was working with non-profit organizations, there are steps you can take to get to that goal. You could try to get on engagements with clients who do a lot of charitable work and find a local organization you are passionate about and begin volunteering for them. As you gain experience and build career capital, you will become a more attractive employee for that nonprofit and, if that organization is familiar with your personality and work ethic through your volunteering efforts, they are more likely to hire you (FYI, this approach is basically the one I am currently pursuing).

Finding your dream job may not happen overnight. Thinking that you will have everything figured out when you graduate college is unrealistic. If you work hard and pursue meaningful activities that interest you, then I think you will figure it out eventually. I linked a career guide below that I think is extremely beneficial. Read one section a day and you will be finished in no time.

Good luck - I hope this helps. Don't hesitate to reach out if you need to.

Jacob recommends the following next steps:

  • https://80000hours.org/career-guide/job-satisfaction/

Thomas’s Answer

Updated Orlando, Florida

No one know what the future holds for them and college is not for everyone. It is just one of the many sources of knowledge that we have access too. Other tools include, but are not limited to, Internships, On the Job Training, Self Teachings through the internet or library/bookstore, and Occupational Training schools. There are many options for all of us out there. Personally, I have used many of these to better myself. First thing though, is to find something you are passionate about and figure the best approach to make it a career.

Julio’s Answer


First, congratulations for being motivated to attend college and obtain your degree. It's extremely important for your future. If you feel you don't desire that degree you can always go back to school and complete another. Most companies just require a degree regardless of the field. You can always keep that degree and work in a field that makes you happy! Stay positive throughout the whole process.