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Ask an Expert: What If I Changed My Mind?

Ask an Expert: What If I Changed My Mind?

Expert advice on changing your major.

By Peter Vogt

October 04, 2010

I will be graduating next year with an education degree. However, I’ve realized that I’m not interested in teaching in a classroom, and I’m more interested in the corporate world. If I want a job other than teaching, do I have to go back and get a different degree, or can I work with what I have?

Answer:

You can do much more with your education degree than teach in a K-12 school district classroom.

Do you enjoy the skill of teaching — that is, do you get a kick out of teaching new things to people? If so, you can consider putting that skill to use in a setting other than a classroom. For example, many organizations have “trainers” on staff who teach employees various tasks. In fact, there’s a professional organization for this large field – the American Society for Training and Development.

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You can also use your education degree to work for nonprofit organizations, as well as for-profit companies whose customers are teachers or children. You could even explore working in some sort of “outreach” type of position — for instance, planning educational activities at zoos or museums.

In short, there are lots of possibilities without you having to go back for another degree. Be sure to talk with your school’s career counselor, who has most likely helped other students in similar situations.

I’m graduating with a degree in anthropology. However, I’m thinking about going back to school to focus on hotel management. My concern is that I do not have a background in business. Would a graduate school accept me into their business program with my major? Should I take some business courses at a local college before I apply?

Answer:

Different graduate programs have different admissions requirements. You need to start checking into specific graduate programs – for example, a program in hotel/motel management or administration.

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Ask your question of each of the graduate programs you are considering. Only they — meaning the chair of each particular department at each particular school — will be able to tell you for certain whether your academic background and experience will be sufficient to get you into their particular program.

Another possibility is to continue working in the field for a while to gain more experience. You can still explore graduate school at the same time.


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