Career Advice

Tips for Getting a Job That’s Not Related to Your Degree

Even though it helps to have a degree in the field where you want to work, there are other ways to gain skills and experience to find new jobs. Learn more here.

Leila Le
Published: (Updated: ) - 5 min read
As an Operations Lead, Leila oversees Simplify's blog & newsletter, reaching 100K job-seekers monthly, where she brings experience curating resources for candidates to help them land their dream job.

Photo by Lewis Keegan / Unsplash

If you're considering pursuing a career in a field that's completely different from your degree, it can feel like an intimidating challenge. Although having a degree can be an advantage in the job market, it's not the only path to success. There are numerous ways to secure a job that's unrelated to your degree. In this blog post, we'll provide essential guidance and insights to help you navigate your job search with confidence. These tips will increase your chances of landing a job that's not related to your degree, allowing you to pursue your desired career path.

1. Do Industry Research

To pursue a career outside of your educational background, it's important to conduct thorough research on the industry you're interested in. Educational attainment plays a role in job requirements, but it's not always the only factor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that some jobs require a four-year or professional degree, while others require only a high school diploma or an associate's degree. Hiring managers may also look for prior experience and evidence of talent during the interview process. It's essential to review job postings and requirements to understand the qualifications and skills required for different roles and identify any gaps you may need to fill.

Community colleges and vocational schools can be excellent resources to gain the skills and experience required for many middle-skills jobs. Starting at an entry-level position can be an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience and establish a professional network in your desired industry. This can help you prove your commitment and passion for the field, even if you don't have a degree in the field. Experts use data from reports and surveys to identify shifts in the job market over the years, including salary and growth opportunities. However, race, age, and family background can also play a role in job prospects, and it's crucial to be aware of any potential biases in the industry.

2. Learn New Skills

When exploring job opportunities that do not align with your educational background, it is important to evaluate the necessary skills and qualifications for the role. If you find that you are lacking in some areas, it is crucial to take steps to acquire them. This may require enrolling in courses, attending workshops, or leveraging online resources to teach yourself. Not only will this enhance your credentials, but it will also demonstrate to potential employers your eagerness to learn and adapt to new roles.

In addition, acquiring new skills can unlock new career paths that you may not have previously considered. By expanding your skill set, you can explore various industries and job possibilities that align with your interests and passions. It is crucial to remain open to new opportunities and to take advantage of every chance to learn and develop professionally. Keep in mind that every new skill you acquire can set you apart from other job candidates and become a valuable asset to your professional profile.

3. Get an Internship

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is responsible for tracking employment data and reporting on job trends, occupations, and middle-skills jobs. The BLS has found that certain jobs require a bachelor's or master's degree, while others only require a high school diploma or an associate's degree. During the interview process, hiring managers often look for prior experience, educational credentials, and evidence of talent. In some cases, job applicants may be required to provide college credits or a transcript of their studies.

The report and survey conducted by the BLS aims to study the job market and workforce trends, and experts use this data to identify shifts in the job market over time. Although workers with higher levels of educational attainment and more experience tend to earn higher salaries and enjoy more benefits, race, age, and family background can also impact job prospects. However, no matter what their educational background, individuals seeking to break into a new field can benefit from internships. Internships provide a valuable opportunity to gain experience, make connections in the industry, and potentially lead to full-time job opportunities.

Looking for internships that fit you? Fill out this short quiz and get matched with positions that fit your skills and interests!

4. Volunteer Your Time

Engaging in volunteer work is an excellent method for acquiring fresh skills and forging connections in a new area of expertise. Seek out organizations that are in line with your interests and provide opportunities to broaden your skill set. Volunteering with non-profit organizations, community groups, and political campaigns can all add value to your resume.

Moreover, volunteering can showcase your dedication and enthusiasm for the field, apart from enhancing your skills and network. When submitting job applications, highlight any voluntary work you have performed and its relevance to the job requirement. Employers are often impressed by job seekers who demonstrate a willingness to contribute to their communities and create a positive impact.

5. Start Networking

Networking can prove to be a powerful tool in landing a job that doesn't require a college education or specific degree requirement. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that some jobs mandate only a high school diploma or an associate's degree. However, hiring managers may look for prior experience, educational credentials, and talent during the interview process, including college credits or a transcript of their studies.

To begin networking, explore attending industry events, job fairs, and other networking events that cater to your field or interests. Don't forget to bring your resume and business cards, and practice your elevator pitch to introduce yourself to others concisely. It's also wise to reach out to people in your personal and professional networks, like former colleagues or classmates, and inform them that you're seeking job opportunities.

It's crucial to keep in mind that networking is a two-way street. Cultivating authentic relationships with others can prove valuable during your job search and beyond. While educational attainment and experience typically influence job prospects, it's worth noting that factors like race, age, and family background may also play a role. Be professional and respectful when networking, attentively listen to others, ask insightful questions, and offer to lend a hand when possible.

Looking to start networking online? Check out our blog post on how to use LinkedIn for networking here!

Find Your Dream Job With Simplify Today

Looking to pivot your career to a field that is completely unrelated to your degree can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, it's achievable. Many people have successfully transitioned into new careers, even without a relevant degree. With research, hard work, and a willingness to learn, you can land a job that aligns with your passions and skills.

So if you're ready to take the next step in your career, sign up for Simplify today and start exploring all the opportunities available to you. Whether you're just starting out or looking to make a career change, Simplify can help you achieve your goals and find the job of your dreams.

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