7 Jobs You Didn't Know You Could Do with Your Degree
As soon as you go to university, you’re met with the awkward question: “so what jobs can you get with that degree?” Well, the answer is: anything. Your degree opens a lot of doors, not simply limited to your field of study. In this article, we speak to recent graduates who have shared insight on their wacky journey into their current careers. Believe us when we say, it’s not what any of them expected!
Even though you may not have taken an English degree or have graduated in Life Sciences — this doesn’t mean writing is off the table. Naida (24) studied Criminology and Psychology and ended up in an entirely different vocation. She is now a Content Writer at Tutor House, a leading UK e-learning platform.
“Your degree acts like a golden ticket” she says, “it shows employers that you’re dedicated and independent. Those group projects that everyone hates are super important; they demonstrate teamwork, leadership, organisation and communication. These transferable skills are what will help you when you graduate — not the title of your degree.”
Naida also uses the material she learned to write about health and wellbeing, which proves how the degree compliments her job role. “If you told me 10 years ago that I’d be a content writer when I graduate, I never would have believed you!”
In essence, all you need to do is demonstrate how to apply those transferable skills. Employers want to know that you can use your initiative and are open to challenges.
Sales and Business Development
Another interesting career choice is Business Development or more broadly “sales”. Lewis Bray (25) graduated with an Economics Degree, who landed a role as a Business Development and Partnerships Manager at Fixflo.
Lewis applied his knowledge about the modelling of economic systems and econometrics into a completely unexpected role. "It’s excellent to know that my degree was so helpful in getting me a job cold-calling, and eventually running a Business Development team!”
Similarly, Will Arrowsmith (24) studied Ancient History at the University of Birmingham, and is now an Account Executive at Fixflo. “When I was 18 I had no idea what I wanted to do. But looking back, getting a degree was one of the best things I've ever done.”
Will tells us that the company he works for is a prop-tech firm that’s recently partnered with a German Social Housing company. “Has this got anything to do with Ancient History? Hell no! But I remember recounting Homer’s epics to a colleague who studied Classics at Oxford, which definitely got me into his good books. You never know when a degree will come in handy!”
This just goes to show that what you need is knowledge, confidence and drive. These are the most important qualities that employers want — the field of your degree is somewhat irrelevant.
Whilst you may think you have to leap into a nursing degree right away, Jenny (25) is here to tell you otherwise.
Jenny has always been passionate about literature. However, after graduating from Exeter with a degree in English Literature, she felt drawn to pediatric nursing.
With her English degree she was able to jump straight into a postgraduate nursing course and learn on the job at Southampton General Hospital. “Whilst my English degree satiated my passion for literature, a career in nursing appealed to my active and caring personality.” Jenny now works on the ER ward and volunteers with the first responders unit.
If you’re worried about what to study at university, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to choose the course that directly leads to a job. Your interests and preferences will evolve over time and you might find yourself on a totally unexpected career path!
Digital Content Creator and SEO Specialist
Sometimes you have no idea what you’ll end up doing. Elise (25) studied History of Art at St Andrews University — even though she originally applied to study English Literature. “When I was applying for university I literally had no idea what subject to choose. I chose English Lit initially as it was my strongest subject. After starting at St Andrews I had the option to take up other modules; I enjoyed my History of Art module so much I switched degrees!”
Aftering graduating, Elise had no solid career plans and applied to a handful of internships off the back of her interest in writing and artistic hobbies. “Sometimes all it takes is getting your foot in the door in the right place at the right time.”
No matter what role you end up in, there’s always something new you’re going to need to learn. Don’t be put off from applying to roles that require some experience. If you get an interview, make sure you showcase your passion to learn new skills and ability to implement your independent thinking, time management and organisational skills — you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how far your degree can get you!
Computer Software Marketing
Cameron (24) studied Philosophy and Ancient History at St Andrews and had no clue where his degree would take him.
“I was always interested in Philosophy and Ancient History, but knew I was never going to pursue a career in academia. I took those subjects because they were rigorous and required lots of critical thinking, something that I use day to day in the job I have now.”
His current role at Logic Monitor requires him to articulate ideas in a very precise way, which he doubts he would be able to do so well if it wasn't for his degree. Whilst his colleagues all have computer science degrees, he still exceeds his monthly targets and has no regrets about his choice of studying libral arts.
Mergers and Acquisitions Broking
You may think that you need a finance or economics degree in order to become a stock broker. Nope!
Flora Whitmarsh (25) studied Psychology and is now an Associate Broker at Capital and Trust. She left university without a plan. Her main fear was missing out on potential opportunities once she was employed. The reality is, there is more flexibility now than ever before.
"Don't get bogged down thinking that you've "closed the door" or "bottlenecked yourself," she says. “I know someone who studied Chemistry and is now an Estate Agent!”
There are a lot of choices available. The worst-case scenario is that you don’t enjoy your job — that’s fine! Everything is a learning curve. Just find something else you might enjoy. As Flora well said, “we're very lucky to live in a day and age where you can do anything with anything.”
Some of you might be interested in project management, but are worried that you don’t have the necessary qualifications. Fear not!
Ilsa Jones (25) graduated with a BA in Film & English, then proceeded to complete an MA in Producing Film & TV. “I had planned to go to London and pursue a career in production management for TV“, Ilsa tells us. “But Lockdown had other plans — and my priorities shifted!”
Thanks to the practical nature of her course, this gave Ilsa the expertise to apply for a different role. “I realised I could still do what I loved about the production manager role. So, I transferred those skills to a job on another side of the spectrum in the creative industries.” She was recently hired as a Project Manager for DarcStudio (an architecture art studio).
There’s always a worry that you’ve wasted your time doing a degree that you don’t end up using. It can feel like you’ve backtracked or failed yourself if you don’t follow through in your particular field.
Remember that you are the captain of your own ship. Everything you’ve learned and the skills acquired at university are never a waste of time. You can mould them into something that will be useful, in whatever career you choose.
One last thing...
Don't worry if you still have no clear idea about what job you want to end up with in the future. Even those that have their mind set on a career path at the start of their degree end up changing their mind.
Similarly, securing a position or role after university doesn’t mean you need to pigeon hole yourself into that career for life. This is not the 1950s! Luckily, we do have flexibility in our career choices. It’s never too late — or too early — to start something new and unrelated to your degree. If you want it, go get it! Best of luck.
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Written by Tutor House
Tutor House is a top UK tuition company with 15+ years of expert experience. They aim to improve the quality of education through personalised learning, for students of all levels and ages.