When prospective students are considering education options, there is a tendency to focus solely on the careers and jobs that degrees can lead to. While there is nothing wrong with this outlook, education is much more than vocational training. Seeking a well-rounded education provides an all-encompassing outlook on life that can help graduates succeed in ways beyond the jobs they were trained for. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average employee will switch careers seven to eight times during the course of their lifetime. Many of these career changes will likely involve an industry change; this can render specialized training irrelevant. However, by pursuing a well-rounded education, you will be prepared for both career changes and business fluctuations. Your well-rounded education may serve you in ways that cannot be planned for.
Choose a Less Focused Degree
Most education pathways begin with a bachelorâ€™s degree. Select a path that encompasses your passions and interests. While a Bachelors in Business or Bachelors in Political Science may be ideal for gaining employment, a Bachelorâ€™s in Sociology may hold your interest better. Less focused majors, surprisingly, open you up to more career opportunities. For example, a sociology bachelorâ€™scan lead to becoming a counselor, a professor or an office manager.
Once you have earned your undergraduate degree, there are countless options to consider. You can continue your formal education by pursuing a masterâ€™s degree. These degrees focus in on one area and prepare you more for a real world careers. A Masters in Psychology will prepare you to enter the field of counseling. Beyond this direct career path, it will also impart a high level of understanding about the human mind. Understanding the way people think and act will serve you well in any career you choose. This degree is a perfect example of a major that can help prepare you for a wide range of opportunities.
Work Experience as Education
Merriam-Webster defines education as, â€œthe action or process of receiving instruction.â€ After receiving your degrees, your education doesnâ€™t end. Even though you may be done with professors and exams, your education is only just beginning. Every job that you pursue will continue to impart knowledge and instruction. You will further develop who you are as a person and receive a well-rounded outlook on the world in which we live.
Allison Ford, writer for the advice publication Divine Caroline, states that throughout her life she has worked over fourteen different jobs. Ford reports that each job taught her crucial elements of life that helped her finally choose a life-long career. She recommends working in some of the below jobs to help receive a truly well-rounded education and refine your career interests:
- Service â€“ Any job that requires you to provide a service to others will impart patience, compassion and conflict resolution.
- Cleaning â€“ Find a job that requires you to clean up messes other people created. This will impart a healthy respect for clean environments and prevent you from creating messy ones.
- PhysicalLaborâ€“ Having to physically move your body all day will develop a tremendous amount of respect for the millions of manual laborers that have chosen a lifelong career in this field.
Seeking temporary employment in the above types of jobs will impart lessons and knowledge that cannot be found in a university setting. They may even open you up to new passions and interests you never knew you had. When it comes to future job seeking, having a varied background will show employers you have a cornucopia of experience to bring to the job.
Specialize When Ready
Youâ€™ve attended college and held a number of temporary jobs. You are likely ready to decide on a lifelong career now that you have a well-rounded worldview. By now, you probably have a clear goal and focus for what you would like to do for the rest of your life. Pursue any additional education options that may be required to begin your career in your vocation of choice. If you strive to be a nurse manager, find a quality RN to MSN program. If your goal is to become a corporate executive, then find an excellent MBA school.
After receiving collegiate and real world education, you can proudly state that you have a well-rounded view of the world. This will help ensure success in any career that you choose.
About the Author:Paul Oâ€™Brien is currently working toward his degree in organizational leadership. He freelances when he finds the time and opportunity.