There are many reasons to choose a different career from your major in college. The fact that you chose a certain career path when joining college doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stick with it after graduation.

Maybe your passions, interests and priorities have changed from the time you chose a college major and now you want to do something totally different. It’s okay; there is no need in stick with a career path that doesn’t inspire joy or passion in you.

Maybe it’s because of limited job opportunities and the low earning potential of your field of study. Whatever your reason is, here is what you need to know about choosing a different career from your academic qualifications.

Be willing to learn

You’ll obviously need to learn a whole new set of skills to be able to excel in your new career. It is therefore important to be open-minded and be willing to learn from experts in the field you are venturing into.

Sometimes this may require you to enrol for formal classes, professional development courses or an advanced qualification like a master’s degree. Chances are that you will also have to start at an entry-level position and build your career from there even if you had progressed in your previous role.


Networking is important regardless of your career path but you will have to be more aggressive when you make a change to a career that is different from your education.

You need to create a network with the professionals in the career you want to join. This will help you know the skills required to excel in the profession and help you access opportunities in the field.

Attend networking event but don’t limit yourself to physical meet-ups; the internet is rich with sites like LinkedIn and which can give you the career guidance you need.

Lower salary

Unless you have transferrable skills that you can use in your new career, chances are that a prospective employer will have to train you so that you can master the necessary skills needed to do your job.

Some employers factor in the cost of training in your compensation package and you will end up with a much lower salary than you would have if you went to a career that matched your academic qualifications.

You should therefore prepare to live on a low salary for a period of time until your next competency evaluation.

Be proactive and have a positive attitude

Leave your ego at your doorstep when leaving the house for work. You may have the most advanced academic qualifications but they count for little if they are not applicable at your workplace.

Be receptive and polite when you are taken through the ropes of your new job by some with less qualifications. They are more experienced on the job than you are and have far more superior skills that might take you a couple of months or years to acquire.

More importantly, apply yourself so you can learn about as much as you can within the shortest time to enable you perform well in your role.