Don’t let your field of study limit your career

Many college students feel bound by their major once they graduate. Because they spent so much time dedicated to one particular field of study, college students might believe that they only have a future in careers focused on that one subject. A chemistry major could only be a chemist, an engineering major only an engineer, an English major only a professor or a schoolteacher, and so on. It’s the kind of belief that can cause major anxiety in a college student when they’re looking for that critical first job in the months before and after graduation.

Your college education doesn’t have to predetermine the rest of your life, no matter how much your parents and academic advisors might tell you otherwise. To be fair, most college degree programs are designed to set students up for a career closely related to their field of study, and it’s perfectly normal to follow a vocation inspired by what you learned in college. After all, that’s the basic premise behind a college education.

Choose whatever career holds the most appeal

There’s nothing wrong with the typical college success story; it’s all well and good if a student learns geosciences, for example, and goes on to become a satisfied and well respected geologist. The problem arises when a different student devotes four years of their life to studying geosciences only to figure out upon graduation that they can’t see themselves devoting their life to the subject. And that’s a situation that occurs quite often—it’s completely feasible that a student could complete their college major and remain unsure about their professional career.

If you find yourself dissatisfied with the degree that you graduated with in college, don’t panic. Armed with an undergraduate degree, you can still foster a great and worthwhile career. The skills you learn in one discipline may very well carry over into related professional fields. For instance, students who studied world history in college might despair over the lack of jobs specific to their major, but they can easily translate their reading, writing, and analytical skills into other vocations. Nonprofit organizations, advertising and marketing agencies, publishing industries, and a host of other businesses could use the skills of a capable history major in their offices. The important thing is that you understand your own value as an educated person, and choose the career that stimulates your mind and motivates you to do great work.

You can change careers if need be

There’s no “right” path towards a full and satisfying career in any profession. If you graduate from college only to discover that your professional ambitions lie in a completely different career than the one set in front of you, then by all means try the one that tugs at your heartstrings. If you ignore your “true” calling from the onset, you’ll only prolong the time it takes for you to realize your potential as a young professional. Sometimes that means dropping a lucrative job that brings you neither happiness nor intellectual stimulation in order to pursue a path that may prove much more difficult. It’s up to you to decide what career suits you, and that’s not necessarily a decision determined by the classes you took in college.

About the Author:

This guest contribution was submitted by Samantha Gray, who specializes in writing about online bachelor degree. Questions and comments can be sent to: