Building A Career Not Related To Your Degree

Let me first tell you about my story and from there, I can provide my opinion on the subject matter.

So I am a graduate of the Class of 2019 (early 2019), and like anybody, I started looking for a job, but knowing the conditions that I am faced with, I did start applying to companies in September 2018. Because of my nationality, it was difficult to get a job especially in my own major, Electrical & Electronics Engineering, but then that is what I thought in the beginning that it was because of my nationality, then I noticed a big number of graduates from my class had the same issue.

Take note I did not only apply in Malaysia, I applied mostly in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, but with no luck and no job offers or even most of the time no replies to the email application that I sent.

So by certain connections and help, I landed my first job after 8 months of job-hunting, and sadly I could not even land my own first job. But what matters, in the end, is that I got a job and the job position was “Test Analyst”. While waiting for the visa process to be done, I started learning on my own what this job see and started doing practical exercises and even watching youtube videos just to get a hint of the job I am doing.

And now I have been working as a QA Engineer for the last 3+ years, and what interests me the most is that I never got bored of what I am doing. Because since the pandemic, I got to learn that the IT industry is booming and growing rapidly unlike other industries that are sky-rocketing downwards.

If you notice, that in our time now, a lot of recruiters looking for mostly IT personnel or medical personnel. Even high school graduates mostly shifted to IT majors, Business majors, or Med.

So now, talking about building a career in an area different from your University degree, those who have been working for a long time would understand, that it’s not our wish from the beginning, it either we are forced that way, or life just picks your route in it due to circumstances.

The most important in building your career with only work experience is that now you are an equal to that IT personnel who graduated with an IT major and have the same work experience durations as yours. Please take note that this applies to any industry not only in IT.

And to build your career, you just need to have the following aspects to strive for:

  1. Be patient in terms of the difficulties you face and always learn to get the handle of it through your own research
  2. Always be one step ahead of others, always explore and learn from your mistakes
  3. Always follow the latest technologies, and learn them
  4. Learning new things is good but always have a few things that you are very good at
  5. Certifications are good but not a priority

Having to build a career is something interesting, a life-long goal which means it is set as a big goal and you should also have small goals to reach that one big goal. Setting small goals like working in multiple industries to have a complete resume, get promoted, or even learn a new way to do the job.

Never listen to the negative people who tell you “You lost a lot of money on your education, why don’t you look for a job that fits your degree?”, these kinds of people are usually living in their own dreams or trying to force their dream unto to you. Building a career that is not similar to your degree is not something bad if what matters to you is that in the end, you have a job instead of staying jobless.

From my experience, I can assure you that what matters is that you like the job you are doing not if it’s related to your education or not. If you like what you do then you can achieve greatness in that area.

These days a lot of companies will ask, no matter the job you are applying for, they would ask for example “Why work as a QA? and What motivates you to do the job?” if you can answer these 2 questions then you yourself answer your question if you can build a career in that certain area of the job or not.

I am posting this article knowing for sure, there will be a lot of people against it, but then I am not focusing on those against but more on those who are on the same path as me, and for future graduates and generations that might find hope instead of staying hopeless or being depressed because they did not find a job that relates to their degree.

“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.” — Napoleon Hill.



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Hussein Baashen

Hussein Baashen

Cypress Ambassador | QA Automation Engineer | Writer @DevGenius