How to get a graduate job in a field not related to your academic degree?
July 16, 2019
If you ever find yourself questioning why you majored in the subject that you majored in, and/or worry about finding a job for yourself in the field, know that you are not alone. But it is never too late to actually find a job that might suit your aptitude.
Look for guidance with the Career advisors at your University (link to our career service article) and talk to people who in the past, changed their professional fields.
Most graduate jobs and schemes only have a 2:1 eligibility requirement (a few don’t even ask for that!), and the rest of the recruitment process is the same for all the candidates: psychometric tests, interviews and assessment centres. These tests allow you to draw on your life experience, and that is not bound by a course or a field. If you are able to complete internships or work experience with a company whilst you are at University, you could be offered a graduate role with the organisation too!
Graduate schemes/jobs where all degrees are considered include:
1. Management training schemes in the public sector, consumer goods companies, manufacturing, logistics and supply organisations, utility firms and retail-focused organisations have graduate programmes where they train candidates in different areas of business development and supply chain management.
2. The finance and audit services: Think accountancy firms, financial services and professional services (like audit, accountancy, advisory, consultancy, legal services).
Most students get a sense of what they like only after spending some time studying a discipline, so don’t worry if takes a little long to figure that out for yourself. Opportunities abound.
Remember one thing: Employers aren’t hung up on what you studied for your degree necessarily, and especially for most graduate roles—but they’ll still need some convincing to extend you a job offer. With a standardised process to recruit for graduate roles, you are on the same level as someone who finishes a finance degree. So all you have to focus on is working to crack the tests and ace the interviews. Be ‘you’ and show your keenness and commitment for the prospective job, and you’re all set.
Instead of ditching your major altogether, find a way to work around it. Leverage the skill sets you’ve already acquired. Writing, research, data management- all these skills are still skills, no matter which sector or industry you use them in. For example, if you have a business background, but working in student publications has inclined you towards a job in media, try your hand at financial reporting or business journalism!
Navigate your job search in a way that makes sense to you, and that aligns well with the interests you have identified for yourself. Do not make the mistake of giving in to jobs that aren’t very pleasing but that you feel won’t measure you differently due to the career change. Aim for the best.
The best way to bag a job with no academic background in the discipline is by proving your skills and dedication in action. Network, reach out to alumni, talk to careers services and land yourself an internship and/or work experience where you get a chance to make a good impression and display your excellent work ethic!