There are many people out there who are fortunate enough to go to school with a few career paths in mind.
However, there are also many people who aren't sure which path is best, and spend four or more years trying to make sense of the best route to a satisfying career.
Years pass, and you either graduate with a college degree you're proud of, or you graduate with a degree you have doubts about.
Whether you're happy with your undergraduate studies and experiences or you need more clarification, there's always room to grow and make sense of your first degree. Here are a few things you can do when you're doubting your college degree.
Research Degree Outcomes
This may seem obvious, but a little research could be the inspiration you need to help you sift through your career aspirations and goals.
It's normal to experience anxiety after receiving your college degree, especially when that degree seems very open-ended. These degrees usually include: marketing, criminal justice, education, English, computer science, or business administration.
The one thing they fail to mention in school is that there's no cookie-cutter outline for your life or career trajectory. Just because you major in advertising doesn't mean you have to seek out a highly competitive ad agency to feel happy or to be successful. You could use your knowledge to build campaigns for hospitals or non-profits, or you could start your own business.
You might even desire to switch careers entirely at some point to a field not even remotely connected to your first degree. Having a degree in one field or industry doesn't limit you to that one field. The world is your oyster, and you're free to use your degree however you see fit!
Tap Into The Potential Of General Studies
Sometimes there isn't a degree option available that perfectly aligns with a student's goals and passions. The most common degree awarded in this situation is general studies—which you'll find at most liberal arts colleges and universities.
Contrary to popular belief, you can do a whole lot with a general studies degree as you would've spent a few years testing the waters in many different subject areas. Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics to learn what careers await you!
Go Back To School
This may not be easy if you've already lined up a job after school or started a family, but going back to school isn't impossible. In fact, it's actually easier to do today than it was a decade ago.
Tap into resources like Coursera or Udemy if you'd like to try your hand at new subjects or improve skills gained during your undergraduate education. Who knows, you could stumble upon something you're really passionate about or re-ignite a dull flame by pursuing additional education.
Stop Overthinking It
If you let the perplexities that follow graduation get to you, they can stifle your job search or lead you to miss out on a great career opportunity. So, stop overthinking your degree and start getting your foot in the door.
Network , seek out post-graduate internship opportunities, and create new ways to generate work experience . It's okay to be confused or feel like you may have wasted time during your undergraduate studies, but don't dwell on those feelings.
A degree is as useful as you make it out to be, and you have to remember that you are ultimately more than your education. It's okay to doubt your college degree's potential, but never doubt YOUR potential!
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This post was originally published at an earlier date.