Did it take you some years of studying to figure out you didn’t like your major? Or did you find a subject which fascinated you so much that it’s become your dream job now? Whatever be the case, there are tons of people like you who aren’t sure about the field they’ve studied in, and are looking for a ticket to switch their career paths. In fact, most people don’t end up working in the exact field of their bachelor’s degree at all.
Most of our major life decisions are made way too early, like which college to go to, and what degree to pick. While this is a great path for those who are certain about what they want to do in the future, it’s often counterproductive for those that are even the slightest bit confused. And an even bigger problem is that you might end up at an unsatisfying job for the rest of your life. Let’s face it, you spend one third of your life at work, and being stuck in a field that doesn’t give you any happiness isn’t a great way to live. So, if you can relate to this dilemma, it’s better to switch fields sooner rather than later.
Now, how do you go about this? Well, the first step is to figure out where your area of interest lies. There are many ways to do this, for example, you can take a variety of electives in college, experiment with various hobbies, do internships at different places or consider taking a personality test. And, once you’ve got your dream career field locked down, it’s go time.
- Switching fields for graduate school
- Master’s degrees that don’t require a specific bachelor’s
- Going back to university for a second degree
- Other ways
Ask yourself, does your area of interest relate to your bachelor’s degree? For example, if you studied electrical engineering and found one particular subject, say embedded systems or digital electronics cool, you can find a career that fits you. But if you don’t, another option is to pursue a specialized master’s degree in your chosen field. It’s not new for related majors like electrical, electronics, telecommunications, embedded systems and digital technologies to band together, and most universities accept students who want to pursue related degrees without a second glance.
Switching fields is also possible if your domain is the same but major is different, except you’ll have to work a little harder for it. Say you are a mechanical engineer who’s interested in coding, an option for you is to take up a masters in computer science. For this, you’ll have to demonstrate your coding capability to the universities you’re applying to, through your projects and accomplishments.
An MBA is one of the best master’s degrees for a career change. Whatever be your industry, management is an indispensable part of it. You can go into the business side of things and study sales, marketing, human resource, finance, operations and many more specializations that are required by almost every company that exists today. Some master’s degrees in the Liberal arts fields or the creative arts don’t require specific undergrad degrees either.
Although this a less popular route if you’re looking to switch industries, it’s ideal if your dream field is completely different from your present degree. Say, you’ve studied medicine but didn’t like it and decided to become a lawyer instead. You can go back to school and get a bachelors law degree, and if you’re really interested in it, you can further go for a postgrad law program too. However, going back to college for another degree requires considerable time and monetary investment, so keep that in mind, and try to figure out your long-term goals and career prospects first.
Not all professions require 3 or 4 years of dedicated official education. For example, to become a chartered accountant, a teacher, a graphic designer, a writer and many more, you don’t need a degree in it. Most of these fields only require formal certifications. So, look for alternate ways to get to your dream job. You can take an online certification course, or enroll at an institute that offers classes and career support in your chosen field.
Work Experience is a great way to switch careers. Say you’re an engineer that has worked in the finance and banking industry for a while now. Since you know the ins and outs of the finance industry and how it works, you can switch to other careers in this field like financial analytics or investment banking.
Apart from a full-time job, there are other ways to gain work experience too. You can do internships, or volunteer in your dream field, this will open up careers and help in enhancing your profile. You can also take part in competitions and do projects to show recruiters that you are serious about making your career in that particular industry and you have the knowledge needed.
If you’re considering a career change after graduating college, know that there are many people out there just like you. You should be glad that you’ve realized your passion sooner than most and can avoid wasting time, or worse, an entire lifetime at an unfulfilling career. So be assured that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with changing career paths after college, it’s better late than never. And if you need some advice, reach out to our career counsellors, because we’ve helped thousands of students get to their dream careers.
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