Does your degree dictate your career?

The simple answer is No.

Your career is what you make out of it and your degree does not and should not dictate your future. There are many cases of students who graduated in one field and worked in another, no way does your degree mean you must pursue a career in that one field. Of course, this is not the case for those who studied, for example, Photography and want to become a Dentist. Finding a career that suits you is about common sense, and being able to utilise the skills and knowledge you have gained from your course, work experience, extracurricular studying/activities and being able to persuade why that career is best suited for you.

Do not let fear or doubt stop your from pursuing your dreams. You might feel your degree is not suited for the career of your dreams, however this is not correct. More often than not, employees look at your experience, what you have learnt and why you want to pursue this particular career. It is about how you sell yourself rather than what you have studied for your degree. Having said that, for some employees it might matter what you have studied as it can give you an advantage in that field, but they need a well-rounded person not just someone with the right degree. Therefore, even though you might not have an Economics degree for that Investment Banking role, you could have the extracurricular activities, passion, drive, experience and knowledge that sets you apart from everyone else.

A real life example is myself. I studied Accounting and Finance at university however as I completed my degree I came to realise that I had no passion for Accounting. Instead I found myself being drawn to the Technology and IT sector. I applied to a Consulting role in the IT sector, and whilst at my assessment centre it became apparent I had no background in IT, Technology or Computing. All the other interviewees were from such backgrounds so I already felt like I had more to prove. During my interview with one of the managers, instead of focusing on my degree, he wanted to know more about me as a person. It was through this question I was able to express my passion for technology and IT, why I wanted to work in this sector, why I would be successful in consulting and so on forth. I did various other activities in my assessment centre and I can’t tell you how nervous I was to find out the outcome. When I got my feedback, I was ecstatic. I got the job and one of the most prevalent sentences was ‘It was apparent you didn’t have a technical background or knowledge, however the interviewer liked you and your passion’. They had chosen me over some of the IT graduates because I was able to show my passion and willingness to learn. I had proven to them that I had the personality, drive and energy to work in the IT consulting world. My story is just one of the few, where if you put in hard work and can demonstrate passion for something, someone will trust you and give you a chance. Do not doubt yourself and don’t let your degree hold you back.

We understand it can be extremely difficult to not pursue a career that follows your degree and it is not easy to find an alternative role. We are in no way undermining or romanticising this idea, we are just making our readers aware that if you wanted to, you can pursue something completely different to your degree and it is not impossible. As I mentioned before, it can be difficult to chase a career in Medicine if you have a degree in subjects like, for example, Art or English, we are in no way dismissing this. If you do want to pursue something like Medicine, but have no background in it, the best route to take is going back to university to study Medicine.

Hope this proved helpful, if you have any questions please leave them in the comments section below.

Good Luck.

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