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Education and Careers Work of any kind can get stressful at times. Ask in this forum if you need help with coursework, applications, and more.

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BreathingIn Offline
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Career change in my early 20s - June 17th 2016, 05:57 PM

I graduated college just over one year ago, and I'm already going to make a career change. I have a Bachelor's in Business Management, but I'm finding out that I'm not happy with it. It's hard for me to find a job, but I'm very reluctant to work in the positions I'm qualified for. Like, I just don't want to. I had a couple internships that were good, but I can't imagine doing work like that the rest of my life.

So I've made the decision to get my Master's degree in Elementary Education and get certified!

Is a career change so early in my life crazy? Have any of you done it, or know someone who's done it? I'm scared if I'm making the right choice or not, since I changed majors in college. I'm scared I'll be changing my mind my whole life. But if I get my Master's and get certified, I feel like I'll have a steady job in teaching.
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Re: Career change in my early 20s - June 17th 2016, 07:11 PM

Hey there, as someone who is having to explore other careers, I feel your pain. If you hate the jobs you can get with what you have then a career change isn't the worst idea. It's actually better (I think) to do it earlier rather than later because you won't suffer in a career/jobs you hate for years, and you'll have more time to settle into the career you like better.

If you're still scared or seriously unsure, you don't have to do anything right away. It's okay to be worried about it to an extent, but, If you aren't completely sure that education is the right field for you, don't jump into a masters program. A steady job can give you a sense of security, but if you end up not liking it, you can end up stuck with an advanced degree that only qualifies you for jobs you don't want. So, you'd essentially be in the same position you're in now only with more time, energy, money etc. invested and less time and resources to find something that would be better and that's the last thing you'll want.

Here's my suggestions (I have no idea what you've done or haven't done)

Contact the career services at the college you graduated from: As a professor who offered me help told me, it's good for your alma mater if you succeed, so they want you to do well and will be willing to help, at least to help their own reputation. They can give you career and interest assessments and basic guidance into whether this is the right choice for you before you make the leap.

Do your research: Find out what the requirements are to get into a program for early education, especially with an unrelated degree, what the requirements, how long it takes etc. Talk to teachers that you know (or contact some of your old ones) or even professors who teach elementary education. Teachers and professors often love to hear from their former students and to talk about themselves. Find out what they like and don't like about their jobs, if they got their masters and why/why not, etc. This will give you an unbiased view of the profession

Get some experience, if you don't already have it, working with kids. Formal settings like schools and daycares will probably want a degree, but consider being an aide at a school or being a daycamp counselor even. The experience will tell you whether you like working with kids and can help you get into a degree if you choose to do it since your degree is unrelated.

I've heard the average person changes careers 7 times in their lifetime, just make sure you know what you're getting into before running with an idea.

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Re: Career change in my early 20s - June 17th 2016, 08:12 PM

It's not crazy to change minds about careers. A few of my friends have done that, and one of my friends got a degree but decided not to use it and go back to college to study something different and do a different career path.

I do agree with Kate about talking to someone about your change of mind- perhaps a previous career tutor as some universities allow you to use their career service for some time after you graduate.

I also really agree with Kate about getting some work experience in schools, even just volunteering one day a week. It can help you not only confirm whether teaching is for you, but also getting on to teacher training often entails interviews asking about classroom experience (I want to be a teacher too )

But otherwise, it's completely fine to change careers, just take your time

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Re: Career change in my early 20s - June 19th 2016, 11:24 PM

About 50% of my class were people over 40 for nursing school. Most had families. I was on the younger end of the class and actually I was over 21 when I started nursing school. A lot of people have career changes.
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Re: Career change in my early 20s - June 20th 2016, 12:17 PM

I wanted to be a social worker during most of my undergrad while I studied sociology, but now I am working in marketing, which I also went to school for afterwards. My point is that it is super common for people to change their minds about what they want to do. Personally, I think it is very useful to at least see current degrees / programs through - like I can still validly get many entry level social work jobs an some jobs that are a weird communications / social work combo. Although, if your currently studying art and want to study get a masters in science, you might want to make that switch sooner rather than later. These days, people aren't even necessarily working in traditional fields. I mean, look at all the people who are making money from being on YouTube (and like, really good money in some cases). So it's totally ok to rethink your options because who knows where you'll end up

Feel free to PM me if you ever need to chat or have questions
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