North Texas Daily

Going outside of your degree is still promising

Going outside of your degree is still promising

Going outside of your degree is still promising
June 19
14:21 2017

Amanda Lee | Staff Writer

You’ve walked the stage, accepted your degree, celebrated at all your favorite bars and now the dust has settled. It’s time to get a job.

You’ve been an adult since college began, but the reality of being an adult hit a lot harder once you received your diploma. No longer concerned with heading to class or shelling out money for a meal plan, you are now tasked with finding a “real job.”

Rest assured, things are looking up for millennial graduates. According to research published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the unemployment rate for undergraduates between the ages of 22 and 27 fell to 4.5 percent in 2017, compared to 4.9 percent in 2015.

This number varies immensely when broken down to represent different majors. Though some graduates can easily find a job pertaining to their degrees, others have more difficulty. Only 1.9 percent of agriculture majors reported unemployment, compared to 5.7 percent of political science majors experienced unemployment.

Although these numbers can be discouraging for some, it is important to remember your degree does not restrict your job prospects. Most students actually find themselves in jobs that do not strictly align with their academic degree.

It is normally thought a degree equals a profession in that field. “If you earn a psychology degree, you’ll become a psychologist.” “If you major in engineering, you’ll be an engineer.” But now more than ever, graduates are getting jobs that don’t fit within the denotations of their degrees.

In fact, it is more likely your post-graduation job will have little to do with your degree. And that’s OK. Only 27.3 percent of graduates in 2013 found jobs pertaining to their degree. Some students are forced to look elsewhere due to a decline in job availability. They find their anticipated career field declining and don’t wish to enter a dying field. Regardless of your reason, you aren’t doomed to face unemployment.

You don’t have to study business to become a consultant, just as you don’t have to study water resource engineering to become a plumber. Your work ethic and skills matter more than the exact fine print around the name on your degree.

The skills obtained through pursuing certain degrees are what make college graduates invaluable to the workforce. For example, political science majors who have mastered concise language and in-depth research can be precious assets to a newspaper or political publication. Someone who has studied agriculture could hold an essential position in a city government. Even engineers can use their proficiency of STEM research to go into real estate.

A degree is a prerequisite for most jobs, but employers focus heavily on the skills future employees can offer. Excellent communication skills, management experience and a willingness to cooperate are all qualities applicable to a multitude of degrees.

In searching for your first “real job,” don’t pigeonhole yourself by only focusing on jobs fitting your degree. Play up the skills you gain through your studies and use them to market yourself to future employers. Your degree is merely a prerequisite. The real selling point is you.

Featured Image: Employers across the nation are consistently taking calls. National Cancer Institute via Wikimedia Commons.

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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