Ideally, most students want to put their college degrees to use in the working world once they graduate. Job availability and financial realities can sometimes make that difficult and many may settle for job security over the the job they really had in mind. Studies suggest that this isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon, with many adults having as many as five careers in their lifetime. Yet, unemployment levels that are at the highest levels in decades are driving more and more students into work outside of their degrees. As cliche as it might sound, it isn’t the end of the world and there are a variety of reasons students may find this work just as rewarding as what they had intended to do in the first place.
Employers are often willing to hire college grads without a degree in the field because getting the degree itself takes a good deal of determination and perseverance in the first place. Due to that, it’s fairly common to see people working in jobs that don’t really reflect their initial educational goals and interests. Not to mention that some fields require students to get advanced degrees to even be considered for positions within the field which is not a commitment all are willing to make.
Yet, sometimes working outside of your major can be a blessing in disguise. Students will get to learn new skills and explore other career paths that they might not have otherwise considered in their college careers. While not all will find a passion for the work they take on, some will and will find that they are better suited to that work than what they initially thought they wanted to do.
Even if you don’t end up loving the field you wind up working in, it’s not all bad. As you search for a job in your college major, you’ll get valuable work experience, develop connections, learn to work with others and even gain some personal and professional management skills that could help you down the line when applying for other positions.
And if nothing else, having a job in a different field can help you become more confident that you chose the right major in the first place, increasing your passion for the work and helping motivate you to work harder and do more than you might have done without having a job outside of your college major.
Remember, you’re not alone if you have to take a job that isn’t related to your college major and it isn’t always the death knell for the career you originally thought you’d have. Whether you go on to find work in your original area of interest or find yourself attracted to another, real world work experience is always an asset in any career you choose to pursue.