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What to Do When Your Degree Doesn’t Fit in With the Career You Want

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What to Do When Your Degree Doesn’t Fit in With the Career You Want

It happens often. Students declare a major two years before graduation, and by the time they receive their diploma, they realize they’re no longer interested in pursuing a career within that major. They know what they want to do. They just don’t have the right degree to pursue it.

Sound familiar? If it does, it’s not nearly as bad as you might think. Many employers will hire you simply because you have a college degree and aren’t overly concerned with your major. Several factors will go into the decision to offer you a job, and what you majored in is only one of them.

Once you have your diploma, you’ll need to convince a potential employer to hire you. Here are a few suggestions to get you started in the right direction.

Decide What You’re Qualified to Do

Unless you’re hoping to work in a specialized industry, you probably won’t need extra college courses. You’ll qualify for most occupations with your four-year degree. But if it is one of those specialized industries you’ve chosen (nursing, for example), be prepared for extra coursework and internships. Depending on the type of work you want, volunteering can be helpful for picking up some of the necessary skills.

Build a Network

It’s likely you already have the beginnings of a network through your college contacts. You can add to it by joining professional networking associations, attending industry events, and talking to anyone you know who is in that industry, preferably those who are currently working and have at least five years of experience. After you talk to someone, be sure to ask them if they can recommend others you could speak with.

Highlight Your Transferable Skills

While you may have majored in a different area from the one you’re now interested in, you did take some classes that prepared you for writing, communication, organization, and gave you problem-solving skills. Look at the requirements in the job description and see how well you match up. Focus on these matches and add any other relevant skills (leadership, for instance) to your cover letter and highlight them in your interview.

Educate Yourself on the Industry

You need to be knowledgeable about the industry in which you’re interested. Do as much research as possible to make up for your lack of education in that field. Look at prospective employers’ websites, subscribe to company newsletters, follow them on social media, and read industry media outlets. You’ll be walking into the interviews with enough ammunition to convince them you’re a good fit.

Are you ready to look for work, but your degree doesn’t quite fit?

We would love to help you. Contact Pro Resources for the light industrial or technical/professional position you’re hoping to find. We’ve been in business for over 30 years, so let us use our expertise to direct you to your next job.