Having a Professional Career Across College Major is a New Normal

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

I know that deciding a future career is not an easy thing to do. I have been there. Many things must be seriously considered. There is no exaggeration about this because your future job will be your future life.

Just merely following others on getting a first paid job is not wisely taken. Although that option might work, drawing a clear career plan from the beginning will surely produce a better outcome.

If you are an undergraduate student who is preparing for your future career after graduation, this essay might suit your reading material.

You might think that getting a job in a field that is related to your university major will ease your life. I understand that owning basic skills to get the job done is one of your points. You can focus on sharping your skills or learn the new ones to advance it. Easy choice. However, you don’t need to always follow that common rule. Taking a job across your university program can be a good choice, too.

I have followed that journey. Graduating as a Bachelor of Science (BSc.) degree in Oceanography, I decided to pursue a career in the logistics and transportation industry instead.

When I graduated from university six years ago, this choice was rarely taken by my colleges — at least in the university where I studied. From the university’s alumni figure, I learn that most of them have a career in the same major field as a researcher, consultant, or lecturer.

Because of personal interest that I found later during college, those kinds of occupants are not my things. So I decided to look for the way out.

A study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reveals that only 27% of college graduates who work in a field related to their university major. From this study, you can deduce that 63% of college graduates work across their degree major –pretty huge, right?

Honestly, I am not quite surprised by this stat.

Go look at your surroundings. I think you will not also deny it. I believe many factors are triggering this fact, one of it is the industrial needs. You can easily find the job requirements for a vacant role by only mentioning a Bachelor graduate instead of stating a specific major. The different cases might apply for several niche roles that require specific majors, such as pharmaceutical, accounting, or supply chain-related jobs.

Graduate with an engineering background owns a privilege to enter the professional working field outside their majors. You can find an engineering graduate work as a banker, sales, marketer, or even business development.

How would it happen?

That is because the university degree is not merely a single factor to knock the opportunity. You might be able to join a company as their supply chain specialist although you hold a degree as an economics graduate. Your additional training or course that resulted in a green belt lean six sigma certificate can be considered by the hiring people. Not to mention your excellent performance during interviews on providing valuable knowledge and insights on that field as you already prepared in advance. Those things make you qualified for the role despite your degree.

Finally, the message here is in order to compete for your dream job, you have to become a flexible, adaptable, and knowledgeable individual. You like it or not –pursuing a career across different major has become a new normal.

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