Changed Your Mind?  Find Work Beyond Your Major 


Arrows showing two directions

So you’ve realized you don’t want to follow your major’s “career path”? No problem! For example, it may seem natural that if you earn a teaching degree, you’ll become a teacher. However, holding an education (or any other) degree can qualify you for jobs in a variety of industries including business, non-profit work, publishing, government and much more. You have developed skills through your coursework and activities, and there are plenty of positions that you can find outside of the expected career options. Identify your transferrable skills and match them with career fields of interest.

Using teaching as an example, here is what it could look like to match education experiences to transferable skills in other fields:

  • Effective discipline skills = Conflict-resolution skills
  • Engagingand flexible teaching style = Adaptability & problem solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills with parents= Effective communication skills
  • Classroom management skills= Leadership and management qualities

According to the NACE Job Outlook 2016 Employer Survey, teamwork communication skills, initiative, work ethic, analytical skills and flexibility are among the top skills that employers seek in candidates; all of which you can develop throughout on- and off-campus experiences.

Continuing to use Education Majors as an example, here are some ways you could translate your interests into jobs in various industries: 

  • If you are still interested in working with young minds but not in the classroom,consider: Non-profit and social services organizations. Non-profit organizations with a focus on after-school programs and youth organizations have tons of roles to fill. Your skills as an educator could be needed to develop programming, mentor youth, or facilitate group presentations.
  • If youstill enjoy communications, relationship building and outreach, consider: marketing, public communications, development work, account management and more. Companies could appreciate your engaging personality and thorough knowledge of human behavior.

Take into consideration your skills, experience, and most important of all your interests when considering an alternative career. Remember that you acquired skills during your time at UVM, which will make you a qualified candidate in other contexts as well.


–Ana-Cristina Medal, Career Counselor, Career Center

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