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We’ve all seen at least one episode of Married at First Sight by now. It’s car crash television, but we can’t look away. Why? Because we know that this is never going to work out, and we just can’t resist the fallout.
The fact is that, for all kinds of logical reasons, getting married to someone you’ve just met is a significant gamble. Yet, if we consider how most of us enter our chosen careers, it tends to have a worrying, if unexpected, correlation with the mistakes that those couples make on-screen. Only, instead of rushing down the aisle with a career that we can’t be sure of, we spend years studying for this unknown.
This is an issue, especially when we consider that modern-day students face escalating debts of around $32,731, while courses take anywhere between three to four years to complete. That’s a lot of time and money to dedicate to something that, in all honesty, could turn out to be entirely ill-suited to your lifestyle.
This is an unfortunate position that an astounding amount of
1. Find flexible study options
If we go to
For obvious reasons, this makes the education-career transition incredibly difficult to handle and may well lead to the realization that your career of choice couldn’t be a worse fit. To avoid this rather worrying eventuality, it may instead be worth your while to choose from the many flexible learning opportunities that are now available, especially across online platforms. That way, whether you’re learning how to run an office, how to become a construction manager, or some other specialist subject, you’ll have the time to get general workplace experience under your belt and perhaps even accept non-degree positions in your chosen career. This way, you get a tantalizing taste of what’s to come and whether it’s the lifestyle fit you always imagined.
2. Always make the most of work experience where you can
You could also benefit greatly from making the most of your work experience. Again, flexible or part-time study is a preferable option for this, ensuring that you have the time you need to pick up internships or other such roles that put you on the floor for first-hand understanding.
3. Be aware of specialist options
The simple fact is that a career is not a marriage contract, and a degree doesn’t bind you to a specialist subsect within your industry of choice. Of course, this is more relevant in some areas than others. For instance, a degree in working with children will often translate from the classroom or nursery into childminding, nanny positions and beyond. Several other fields also share this benefit, especially if you recognize a desire to change specialization in plenty of time before graduation.
With this in mind, it’s always worth considering options on the table either before or during your studies. Specifically, you want to know that if you do find yourself in an ill-suited role, your degree will still serve you by helping you to settle on something better suited to your requirements/tastes. Even better, this knowledge could see you embarking on work experience in each of these different areas and ultimately tailoring your education as you work towards a career that you’ve built on a far stronger foundation than you ever could have otherwise.
4. Know how your degree applies elsewhere
In extreme cases, it may be that it’s the industry rather than your specialization within it that doesn’t suit your needs. Luckily this is rare, but it does happen, and it helps to acknowledge that. After all, even if you’re passionate about a subject or undertaking, working within that field can be an incredibly different beast and not always a well-suited one.
That said, even this doesn’t need to see you divorcing your degree when you consider that, often, even a reasonably specialist degree tends to be applicable elsewhere. An IT degree, for instance, could be helpful for any office jobs that require software handling, while even an English degree could help you to secure a job in a business that requires a lot of written content. Failing all else, note that many positions, especially those in office environments, often simply stipulate the requirement for ‘degree level education,’ ensuring that your degree at least gets your foot in the door.
A final word
Falling in love with a career is one thing, but a degree is a commitment that requires a little more than that first lustful feeling. Ensure that your career, or the further opportunities your degree offers, have the staying power necessary to reach their ruby anniversary by considering these stipulations sooner rather than later.
Using step-by-step, easy-to-follow techniques, The Complete Job Search Book for College Students, shows you all the essential aspects of a successful job-search campaign