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I Don’t Want to Study My Field Anymore! What Do I Do After Graduation?

By Lizz Panchyk

College is a place to find the classes you like and give yourself the opportunity to experience new things. Sometimes majors get changed, sometimes they stay the same. What’s great about college is that you do have that freedom to change your major or concentration or add on a minor to expand your field of study. You’re not just tied down to one thing.

If you’re a first- year student, you have plenty of time to figure things out. You may want to start out by taking all your general education classes first and seeing if there’s a specific class subject that you’re drawn to. The best piece of advice to keep in your back pocket would be: Don’t study something just because you know you’re good at it. We can be good at many different things in life; that doesn’t always mean we enjoy it or that it’s how we want to spend the rest of our lives. You may be really good at science, but don’t pressure yourself into becoming a chemistry major just because you know you can do it. Find what you enjoy, and that will help be a proper guide to your future career path. Just because you commit to one field of study doesn’t mean it can’t change.

If you’re in the middle of college, you may be overwhelmed with responsibilities, work and the thought of your future. Perhaps there are multiple things you want to do and you want to keep your options open. You have time to add on a second major or a minor. This gives you that variety you may crave to study more and expand your knowledge. This will end up benefiting you, because your resume will say that you studied a multitude of subjects, making you more marketable and desirable for a future job.

“I would recommend that students think about what transferable skills they have, skills that they can leverage no matter the setting they are in,” said Maria Casey, associate director of alumni and graduate student career services for the Center of Career and Professional Development. “This way, a potential employer can see beyond a student's major and picture how the student can contribute to that particular team/industry.”

Seniors may have a harder time with this because graduation is right around the corner, and perhaps they only discovered they want to do something else far too late. Do not fret! You didn’t learn all those skills for nothing. Many people end up changing their path of career later on in life. Even if you feel lost right now, you can find numerous ways to make up for it. You could even try a couple of jobs and then go back to school for your master’s. There are also online schools that allow you to receive a master’s degree through online courses that you may have not gotten a chance to take before. Your early twenties are all about searching for the right things that make you most happy and content. This may involve activities outside of school, side hobbies and even jobs. And sometimes you don’t even have to search, sometimes the right things will find you. 

You could be a nursing major and end up in business. You could be a business major and end up working in film. There’s no limit to what you can do, and if it’s something you enjoy doing, you will find a way to make it work for yourself. 

“Students can prepare for their careers by seeking the advice of mentors, professors and the team at the Center for Career and Professional Development,” Casey said. “Our goal is to provide students with the tools needed to plan the path, talk through the bumps along the way, and cheer you on as you go.”

Don’t be afraid to make an appointment with a career counselor to discuss your concerns  or hesitations. That’s what they’re there for!

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