Does Your Degree Determine Your Career Path for the Rest of Your Life?

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Amp up on Your Soft Skills, and It Doesn’t Have To!

It is impossible to predict what the job market will be like by the time you graduate, which makes choosing a university degree only that much harder. As you’re trying to figure out the best undergraduate degree that will “futureproof” you, it is also equally important to develop the right skill set to navigate the unprecedented economic climate.


Future university graduates are encouraged to be able to adapt to new changes quickly and acquire new skills as they go, in order to prosper. Of course, it is important to have job-specific technical skills, but securing a job goes beyond just that- your ability to demonstrate your soft skills or transferable skills can make you a feasible candidate across jobs and industries.



What are Transferable Skills?

Transferable skills are the skills you acquire and perfect throughout your life of education, training and employment. But it is not just limited to formal training, you will learn these skills when volunteering, or playing basketball, or through your interactions with friends, family, strangers, and colleagues. These skills are achieved through work and life experiences and are further horned thorough day-to-day activities. They can translate across jobs and industries, and help you get through a lifetime of jobs and enjoy a fruitful career.  


Understand your strengths, and take the time to actually work on them and perfect them. Having transferable skills actually helps increase your chances of employability. No matter how unmatched you think your skills are, and whether or not you have the right educational foundation and training for the job, the transferable skills you have can help you secure jobs regardless.



Important Transferable Skills You Should Develop

Communication Skills

Exceptional communication skills are one of the most basic employability skills. The ability to effectively articulate your thoughts and ideas to others, and the ability to understand the perspectives of your colleagues will save you the trouble of so many complex issues.


People Skills

You don’t only need people skills to work customer service or sales jobs. Whatever career path you are on, you will be required to collaborate with all kinds of people and work together at one point or the other. It is important that you know how to build and maintain healthy relationships. Building rapport with different people requires the establishment of effective communication channels. 


Problem Solving Skills

When you’re out and about in the real world, so many instances call for you to think outside the box and display your creativity. You will often be required to dig deep and come up with resourceful solutions to difficult problems. 


Time Management & Organisation Skills

The ability to take charge of your workload and, knowing which tasks to prioritize and getting them done in a timely manner would allow you to execute your full potential and excel in any role.


Flexibility & Adaptability

You should never stop wanting to learn and better yourself. This means you should be open to new ideas, new technology, new responsibilities and new expectations. Your ability to adapt and respond quickly to the ever-changing processes at work and the external environment is so important.


A University Degree Does Not Have to Dictate the Trajectory of Your Career

Our university degree and major are based on a choice that most of us make during our teenage years or just barely entering into adulthood. It does not necessarily have to dictate the rest of our lives. It could, if that’s what you want. But you’re also allowed to change your mind. 


It is one thing to acquire a set of skills that you can use to adapt in the real world. Now let’s talk about university majors that offer you the most career flexibility.


5 Popular University Degrees/Majors That Offer You Flexible Careers

1. Computer Science

Technological aspects are essentially woven into every aspect of our life today. The way we learn, the way we live and the way we work are influenced by machine learning and artificial intelligence. 


Computer science majors often learn facets of programming languages, coding, networking, algorithm design, software and so much more. What lies beneath these technical skills is analytical thinking, problem solving abilities, and conscientious attention to detail- all of which are highly transferable and valuable anywhere!


While many computer science graduates go on to work for technological companies, the knowledge and skills they learn can pretty much be applied to any industry. Thanks to the digital age we live in, every single business or organisation is required to have an online presence.



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2. Communications

Communications is a degree that specialises in cultivating soft skills in their students and offering an overall well-rounded education. 


These majors train their students in areas such as writing, public speaking, critical thinking, research skills, and specialised majors prepare students for roles such as advertising, marketing, social media management, public relations, journalism, event planning, content writing and so much more.


With communication majors such as marketing and public relations, you are actually able to take on roles from the other respective fields. For example; one of the most popular ways to get into public relations is with a marketing degree. 



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3. Maths

As data and analytics continue to lay its roots into all industries, the possibilities for math majors continue to grow exponentially. Math is no longer reserved for the geeks. With a math degree, you can now pretty much do anything.


Similar to a computer science degree, math majors are also constantly required to use their analytical things, to get to the core of the problems and ponder deeply. Math majors are required to look at the bigger picture and come up with creative solutions to problems. All of these skills are invaluable in any field or aspects of life.


A strong background in maths prepares one for other quantitative fields such as economics, science and even engineering.



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4. Business

Business degrees are often as generic as it sounds. A degree in business administration might mean that you are studying components such as accounting, management, human resources, marketing, or entrepreneurial endeavours. 


Having a varied set of business skills can position you in almost every profession, and opens your doors wide open into the corporate world.  Afterall, knowing how organisations work and how to turn ideas into profit are all fundamental to success.



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5. Psychology

Psychology is a liberal arts degree that teaches its students a wide variety of skills. 

A bachelor’s degree in psychology is not enough to get you anywhere in the actual field of psychology. But it acts as a stepping stone that allows students to take their knowledge of human behaviour, their writing skills, communication skills, critical analytical thinking and step into fields such as marketing, education, statistics, data and so much more.  The possibilities are endless. 



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No matter where your career takes you, or where you want to take your career, transferable skills are the most valuable notch in your belt. Even if you’re seeking dramatic career changes, perhaps to a different field that isn’t in line with your qualifications, your ability to take your existing skills and apply it to new challenges will demonstrate how versatile and adaptable you are in the  ever-changing world. 


The Covid-19 Pandemic has left millions of people unemployed, and so many of them have had to seek employment outside of their respective specialities. The need to hone on your transferable skills are more important now, than it ever has been.

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About the Author

Rifqa Abdulla

angsty pisces

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