Newsflash: you don’t have to go into a career that is related to your degree.
In fact, it is perhaps advisable to consider looking for jobs outside of your degree subject, especially in the current jobs market, which is ghastly at best.
Carrying on from yesterday’s article, which explains how an English graduate ended up as an account executive, comes the news that a History graduate has landed a job as a test consultant with technology services supplier Sogeti.
Jenny Higgins said she would never have thought about a job in the technology industry, assuming positions would require a technical background. Based on her experience, she says that an open mind, and an awareness of the wide variety of roles in industries seen as ‘specialist’ are key:
“Due to a shortage of jobs out there it can be discouraging when you leave university, so you find yourself having to be a little more pragmatic and more open-minded.
"When I heard about the Sogeti [graduate recruitment] programme, I was a little concerned as I didn’t have a technical background. However, when I started the course I realised I had nothing to worry about, as it was very comprehensive and supportive.”
Graduates may go after a first job that is unrelated to their degree for a number of reasons. Some may have found that they have subsequently lost interest in their degree subject at some point during their course, while others may simply have other interests that they wish to pursue in their career.
Some go off to university unsure of the career path they want to head down in the future. Which can make typical fresher conversations slightly awkward (‘So what do you want to do in the future?’ ‘Haven’t the foggiest. You?’ ‘Not a clue’. ‘Cool...’) – but nothing a beer can’t fix. But how to bag yourself a job completely mismatched to your degree?
Supplement the ‘wrong’ degree with the right experience – A degree in mathematics may not land you a job in PR, but by doing a few internships and boosting your experience in the sector, you could find your bad luck makes a bit of a U-turn.
Do a conversion course – Post graduate qualifications can help you gain skills in and become well acquainted with a new sector, and help you to stand out from the crowd.
Big up your transferable skills on your CV – If you’d always thought you would end up a journalist but are now interested in marketing, for example, you will find your writing skills are equally valued in the latter career.