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I'm Asking: Did Your College Major Dictate Your Career Path?

I'm Asking: Did Your College Major Dictate Your Career Path?

I recently joined fellow alumni and current students for a career and networking reception thrown by my alma mater. It's hard to believe so much time has passed between my college days and now — I certainly don't feel that much older. Still, I found myself on the answer end of the question-and-answer session between soon-to-be college graduates and alumni giving career advice.

The problem was that I don't have a real "this is how I got here" story. I suppose my career is the result of hard work, sheer luck, and an unusual career path combination of writing and banking. Still, I had to pursue a couple of different careers before I found a good fit, and here I am! How about you — how did your education shape your career choices?

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DrAzucar DrAzucar 6 years
Major: Spanish Minor: Portuguese and Latin American Studies Occupation: Emergency Medicine Doctor Most reactions: huh?
xxstardust xxstardust 6 years
I'm working towards an undergrad degree in anthropology, and since you really need a Ph.D to do much in the field, and getting an advanced degree in anth takes an average of (ulp!) 9 years (meaning 50% of people working on it taken even LONGER!!), that's definitely not going to happen. I'm planning on grad school for social studies education.
ShaynaLeah ShaynaLeah 6 years
My undergrad was in economics and finance when I realized I really liked Accounting - a major not offered at my liberal arts college. I opted to graduate a year early (yes, I really did hustle together all those AP credits and a couple 20 credit semesters to make the required credit count and distribution), and go to grad school for a Master's in Accounting, and am now an accountant :-)
animatedpunk animatedpunk 6 years
I majored in Animation and am now an Animator :)
ladylove004 ladylove004 6 years
Unfortunately, I have not started my career yet. But I'm working on a BA in English Education and plan to teach high school and/or college students.
runswimmerrun runswimmerrun 6 years
Major: Civil Engineering Occupation: Civil Engineer Answer: Yes.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
My degree is in Political Science and Communication and I work in the political field now, so I do work in the field in which I have my degree, but it didn't really dictate my career path. I feel that my degree is general enough that I could get in to another field if I wanted to.
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 6 years
Both my bachelor degree and MBA are in business/finance and that is the field I'm in but no sure which came first; the idea I wanted to work in business or the degrees.
skigurl skigurl 6 years
my bachelor's degree didn;t dictate it at all, but it was so general that i knew i would be going on to a graduate program my master's degree is right in line with what i do now
cschoen cschoen 6 years
As odd as it may seem, I've wanted to be a librarian since I was in fourth grade. So I have both my undergraduate and Master's degree in library and information science. for the most part, except for working in a family business, I've worked in some sort of library, public, academic or corporate. I still love it, after nearly (urk!) 40 years (since I started school for my Bachelor's. Learning to help provide people with information - what could be cooler?
esmerb esmerb 6 years
For the most part! I got a BA in Psychology. I knew I wanted to work with people and do some counseling. But, it's my grad degree (Student Affairs in Higher Ed) that is the best reflection of my career path.
Spectra Spectra 6 years
Kind of. I majored in biochemistry and now work as a microbiologist. My parents encouraged us to go to college for the experience of it and told us to just study what we loved and not worry about whether or not your career would directly relate to it. If I could do it over again, I would have majored in something very career-specific, like nursing or engineering. My husband majored in mechanical engineering and got a job right away after college, but things were a little tougher for me.
CarrieLyn CarrieLyn 6 years
What an interesting question & I'm sure it's crossed the minds of many as they enter into college and have to choose a major. One of my biggest hurdles in going back to college was, "what do I want to do?" What I realized during my MBA education is that it doesn't matter what your major is in, you can do anything you want! My undergraduate degree is in business with a minor in marketing and then I topped that off with a Masters in Business just so I could be taken seriously in the business world. What I realized 1/2 way through my education is that I didn't want to work for someone else so I created my own home business that has almost nothing to do with either of my degrees. Now I help people create extra income in their spare time while also teaching them how to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle...2 things I'm passionate about. Your degree can certainly help guide you towards a certain path but what is really going to make the difference is whether or not you're following your passion. The only way to wake up every day and love what you're doing is to follow your heart and I don't know too many 18 year-olds that truly know what that is yet. Don't fret, go to college and get your degree. Even if it doesn't lead you to your dream job it will expand your knowledge and experiences which in turn may lead you to doing something that you find truly fulfilling and then Bingo, you know the path you're going to take. The old saying is true, "Find out what you love doing and then you'll never work a day in your life."
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