Making a Career Change Without a Degree: Is it Possible?
It’s important to remember that no paying job comes without a required training program or at least a high school diploma.
There are obviously some high-paying jobs that require a four- year degree or more, but when changing to a new career path don’t discount ones that expect a degree, because you can make a career change without one.
Whilst it is possible to get a new job without a degree, it does not mean you can suddenly jump from your previous area of work into a completely new area. Having plenty of work experience, transferable skills, basic knowledge and even a diverse network will help make the transition easier.
Before you start considering a new career path, it is important to assess where you are now and be able to make realistic life plans surrounding the change.
Preparing yourself for a Career Change? To help you get started on making a minor or major career change consider some of the following ways in which you can prepare yourself for it:
Set up an informational interview
An informational interview allows you to meet hiring managers or someone in the current job and ask questions about the required skill set, job opportunities, average salary etc. This can be conducted through job openings, colleagues, or even requested via LinkedIn. Many career changers will often set an interview up as a way to understand the field and gauge whether or not it’s right for them.
Get experience in any way you can
Work experience is something hiring managers are always looking for in job descriptions and it can make the job search very difficult if you don’t meet the requirements. However, this does not mean it’s impossible to get the job! Your transferrable skills and current skill set matter and so does any work experience you can find. Consider opportunities such as self- employment, freelancing or contract work, maybe even consider volunteering. The point is to show you have put in the time and effort to learn about the new career field and can present as evidence in the job market.
Fill any personality gaps or skills
Potential employers will understand that it is a different career for you in terms of your skill set, but will still expect some level of understanding of the job requirements. If this career change is your dream job then consider going back to school and doing a bachelors degree or associates degree part time if you have no previous history.
How to Move into a Completely New Career Path
Moving into a completely new career path can be a scary concept that many people refuse to risk. However, it is still possible to be successful within a different career and without the required bachelors degree or work experience.
Change jobs within your current organisation
Whilst this option to make a career change seems easier for someone only looking for a minor change it is still the best way to make a new job.
Being surrounded by people who understand your current skill set and work behaviour will allow them to easily consider moving you to a different role or completely different department within the organisation.
Moving to a paid community service job
Many community service and development jobs accept people from all backgrounds and are willing to offer on-the-job training if needed.
These types of careers aren’t considered to be the highest paying jobs, but are extremely fulfilling. Careers in paid community service jobs include fire fighting, support workers, services assistant, crew member etc.
Using your connections to get a job
People often say ‘build your network because you never know when you’ll need it’ because it’s actually true! Keep in touch and connect with people in all sorts of careers as they may offer to be a reference or can give advice in the specific field.
Making a career change without a degree is possible, whilst it will take hard work, planning, time and dedication to make the change, never forget how useful your current skill set and transferable skills can be when applying in a different field.
Make use of the opportunities and people around you, the more you connect with others and the industry you will be able to figure out your potential career path.