The Daily Illini

Getting a job outside your major could introduce you to new skills, opportunities

By Kelsie Travers

Two years of college and six majors later, I am finally on a path to… somewhere. Deciding your major is not an easy task, and, at least for me, deciding what I want to do with my life at the ripe age of 20 is an even harder task.

But what college has taught me is that your major doesn’t decide your career.

I think something people forget to emphasize about college is that you can get a job outside of your major.

Part of the benefit of getting a college degree is to show employers that you have the work ethic, determination and intelligence to not only get through college, but get through it with a topic of study you are passionate about.

But you can branch out beyond your chosen major and gain even more knowledge in other areas and topics. Your degree does not set limits on what you can do; rather, it is a starting point and can lead to opportunities to delve into other areas.

I began college in an architecture program not at this University – I’m a transfer student. I soon switched to a sort of business double major. Then, when I transferred, I entered the University as an engineering major, thinking only of the successful career I would one day have as a female engineer.

That plan quickly vanished.

When I realized that engineering wasn’t for me, and I hadn’t liked business, I moved into general studies for the time being. I took an interest in global studies and soon declared it as my major.

Then, I wanted more – to study, to learn, to discover more of what this University has to offer. I added on a communication degree, which brings me to where I am now: the design editor at The Daily Illini.

Yes, I know it makes no sense, but it was something I was interested in.

I never considered graphic design as a degree, but I’m now considering it as a career.

I definitely don’t feel like I need a graphic design degree to do what I want because I am developing that skill set on my own. I have taken the time and dedicated myself to becoming a designer, and I think that will stand strong by itself in the eyes of a potential employer.

I spent my first two years of college worrying about what I wanted to do with my life instead of worrying about what I wanted to participate in and what I wanted to study at the time. One day, after hearing the advice countless times from my parents, I realized that my career would find me. And in some ways, it already has.

I do work that I love every day, and that’s all I really ask for in a career. Yes, money is nice, but that comes to anyone who works hard and is passionate about their work. I would never be where I am today without accepting the unknown of my future.

By doing things you are interested in, no matter how different they may be from your major, it will lead you to a career you are passionate about and make you a more well-rounded person. You will gain unique skill sets you wouldn’t have acquired otherwise. Those factors will set you up to be an even better candidate for that unknown future career.

Explore your options. Try new things. And most importantly, work hard and expand your knowledge. These combined practices will undoubtedly lead you to a career that you will love.

ktraver2@illinimedia.com

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