Title Card - Feeling Locked In

Feeling “Locked In”: Life After Your Degree

In the FOCUS Inspired blog, I have previously talked about how I switched paths a few times before coming up with my eventual degree. I had to do some considerable soul searching while in school to determine what I wanted out of it, and I am certainly not the only one who has had to do this. A large number of people enter university on the path towards a very different degree than the one they eventually end up with, and that’s perfectly okay! It is often hard choosing your future at the age most people start university, and your growth during your studies will alter your opinions and make you want different things.

The misconception is that this flexibility ends after you complete your degree. There’s the thought that once you finish your degree, your career has to be directly related to what you came out of school with. Sure, it might feel like you have to put that law degree towards a career in becoming a lawyer, or your degree in accounting towards becoming an accountant, but it is never a requirement. Especially if you have a much more general degree, your flexibility is even greater. But why are you not locked into a specific set of career paths if you have a degree in a particular subject?

Contrary to popular belief, the specific job or field that is listed on your diploma is not what defines the extent of your education. The accounting degree is not just good for accounting, but the SKILLS that are required to complete the job of accounting apply to many different positions. A degree like this indicates you are good at math and statistics, have a very high attention to detail, and take pride in the work that you do so that it is perfect with no mistakes. These skills are extremely marketable across the board, and although a degree like this is specifically tailored for a particular position, it is by no means the only position it is good for.

A general degree can be even better, considering the fact that it now reaches a broader spectrum of skills. Your majors and minors can make a difference too, considering that you could have a major in one subject and a minor in something completely different, broadening your list of skills that much more. Thinking in terms of skills opens your world of possibilities immensely, rather than limiting yourself to the job description listed on the front of your diploma. Think about what you accomplished in school and all of the assignments and tasks you had to complete, and try to list the skills that you needed to exercise to complete your work. Add in all the skills you might have earned in part time work, and you have a potentially large pool of skills and assets that workplaces can make use of.

It can be easy to feel “locked in” when it feels like your degree is only good for one thing. All it takes is a small shift in perspective to realize that you have a huge amount of marketable skills for the job market.