Use Your Major to Find the Best Career

6820565620 aac34f2787 z Use Your Major to Find the Best Career

This is a guest post by Josh Weiss-Roessler, co-owner of Weiss-Roessler Writing. Enjoy!

So you went to college, chose a major based on your personality and interests, and now you’re wondering how to use it to find the best career.

There’s nothing wrong with doing something you love in college – even if it’s one of those majors that always seems to make the list of the Worst Majors for Finding a Job. You just have to figure out how to leverage what you learned to find the best career fit for you. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Get creative and be flexible

Remember, the field you majored in doesn’t have to exactly line up with the field you go into. Just because you majored in sociology doesn’t mean you have to become a sociology professor or researcher. You’ll have more options in your job search if you focus on all of the skills you acquired in college, not just in your major. And with that being said…

Look for overlapping skill sets in different fields

Think about what you liked best about your major (and what part you were best at) and think about how to apply those skills to other fields. For example, let’s say you majored in English, and what you liked best about your English classes was being able to research a topic and then write persuasively about it. Consider a career in marketing, where you can use your research and communication skills to tell a compelling story.

You can also use sites like CareerQA to get an overview of what specific careers are like, then talk to someone at your career center for more specific advice on how to find the best career based on your interests and skills.

Network with people who share your major or interests

Trying to find the best career but not sure what you’d like? Talk to other people who share your major and find out what kind of jobs they have (and like). If you’re still in college, find a professor that you know well and ask if they can put you in touch with any successful alum.

If you’re out of college, see if your school has a careers listserv that you can join, or start talking to friends, current co-workers, and family members to see if anyone knows people who shared your major and interests and can put you in touch with them. Also, don’t forget LinkedIn, which can be an invaluable resource when researching career options.

Gain experience to find the best career

We’ve all got to start somewhere, and chances are that right out of college, you’ll be looking for entry-level jobs in your field of interest. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though; entry-level jobs can give you a chance to try out the skills you learned in your major in the real world and see if your chosen field is a good fit for you.

Same goes for sales positions – they can teach you a lot and, pro tip, selling is might be the most transferable skill. Temp jobs can also be a great way to test the waters at a bunch of different places.

If it turns out you don’t enjoy your first job, it’s not the end of the world – you can always search for a job in another field, and now you can leverage both your major and your work experience.


Josh Weiss-Roessler is a freelance writer with professional resume writing experience who is also co-owner of Weiss-Roessler Writing. He loves to share what he’s learned about searching for jobs and choosing the right career. Along with his wife, his one-year-old son, and his two tiny-but-ferocious dogs, he lives in Austin, Texas.

Photo: VinothChandar


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Tim Murphy is the founder of ApplyMate.com - the first free web app to help you track school and job applications.

  • Dan

    so many people go to school for all the wrong reasons. School is to help you learn how to learn, not to get a better job.

    • applymate

      Hi Dan – I partially agree, partially disagree. It really comes down to what area of study we are talking about. A bio chemistry major is probably going to school to learn bio chemistry, become a better bio chemist, and get a better job working as a bio chemist. That person is going for a very specialized field, so school is absolutely to help that person get a better job.

      But where I agree with you is that most people worry about grades and GPA more than they focus on become a functioning adult. So they learn how to be good at SCHOOL, but not how to handle everyday situations.

      Ideally, school helps us learn how to learn, and that in turn helps us get a better job. Shouldn’t have to be one or the other, right?

      Tim

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