In college, you’ll meet people who have planned out everything after graduation. They’ll tell you the details of all their next steps until they’re 30.
And you’ll also meet people who have no idea what career they want to pursue after college. Some students might not even be sure of what they want their major to be yet.
The good thing is that success isn’t dependent on how well you know your future. In fact, both types of people are already successful – they’re in college!
Realistically, though, many people fall somewhere in the middle. We have a rough idea of what we can do with our careers once we graduate, but we know that plans change.
For instance, I’m pursuing a creative writing major with a minor in marketing. There are several different career fields I could go into with that combination. However, for all I know, I could end up in a job that has nothing to do with either field of study.
Matthew Duarte is a recent Eastern Michigan graduate who earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology last December with a minor in criminology. He now works as a Campus Talent Acquisition Specialist, or Campus Recruiter, with United Shore – a mortgage company.
“My job includes scouting for campus talent in Michigan,” Matthew explained, “I also manage the company’s summer internship program.”
This may seem like a step from psychology and criminology, but the job you land after college is determined by a ton of different factors. For Matthew and a lot of others, it’s all about prior experience and the job search itself.
According to another article by Miriam Caldwell, the average length of the job search after graduation takes about 6 months (The Balance).
It took Matthew about half that time, but as you can imagine, he was hungry to jump into a working environment. His drive and some previous recruiting experience, while he was in the military, led to his job with United Shore.
At this point, you might be thinking, “If I might not end up in a career that goes with my major, why bother getting the degree in the first place?”
First of all, degrees are invaluable when it comes to getting a job. Even if it’s in a different field, companies love to see that you have earned a degree. In many cases, it’s even a requirement. But also, you learn way more in college than what’s included on the exams, and those bonus lessons can go along way in getting and keeping a job.
“I learned a lot of leadership and group collaboration skills,” Matthew explained, “I also learned how to use computer programs that I now have to use on a daily basis, like Microsoft.”
Your coursework right now is offering a ton of really valuable experience that you might not even know about until you get into the working world, no matter what career you end up having. And if you’re one of the many people who land a job in a different career from your major, make the most of it and always keep your focus on growth!
At his job now, Matthew is very happy because he’s paid well and treated well. He feels engaged and challenged in his work, and he feels as though the environment is one he can thrive in.
And when I asked if he would ever consider furthering his degree in psychology to become a therapist, he said, “No, but I have thought about going back to get an MBA (Master’s in Business Administration).”
So don’t sweat what type of career you’ll get after graduation. You’re going to find something somewhere, and it might even be related to your major.
However, if it’s not, just remember that if you’re positive and focused on growth, you may find a great job that you love and a new path to pursue.
Reilly McGovern is a current EMU senior studying Creative Writing and Marketing. She works at the University Writing Center during the fall and winter semesters and works on her novels over the summer.