Making Your Degree Work For You

Steve Carell graduated college with a degree in history. “Weird Al” Yankovic has his bachelor’s degree in in Architecture. Martha Stewart graduated with a degree in European and architectural history, far from a culinary degree. While these are extreme cases, after graduation there is no requirement to become a historian or architect. You can be whatever you want! If that means searching opportunities as an actor, musician, or a culinary wizard, then so be it.

A degree is a tool that demonstrates a particular set of skills, not a strict path that dictates a specific career. Going into my junior year at Truman, I was perplexed over next step in life. As a marketing major, many options that my classmates were seeking were at marketing firms. As much as I believed I would enjoy that, there had to be more options. Soon enough I began my search into career in film and video production.

That coming school year I began the process of creating a freelance videography service. Using the skills from my major, I decided to market my business as a low cost service to get my foot in the door. Soon enough I gained enough experience and customers were willing to pay more for my services. Fast forward one year and here we are now. I have my freelance videography business complete with a website, a camera, and a portable studio with a 3-point lighting set. My service is still young and who knows where it will go, but I enjoy the work I do. I have turned my passion for video into a career opportunity.

While videography may not be the most realistic career for everyone, it serves as an example. For those who are struggling with life after college, here is a list of tips for considering the next steps:

  • Nobody knows you better than you! Hours upon hours can go into research for careers related to specific majors, but the internet does not know you. The internet assumes we are cookie cutter people whose hobbies and passions perfectly match up with our majors. As we all know, this is not the case. The best way to find the perfect career is to consider your own passions and hobbies, then find a career that matches those with the skills gained from your degree.

  • Get your Master’s degree. Several Master’s programs do not require a specific bachelor degree. While it may be too late for some to change their majors, Master’s degrees are always a possibility. Find your passion and search for Master’s programs that would develop the skills to make the passion a career possible. Personally, I have considered and I am qualified for a Film Production Master’s degree from Florida State University.

  • Create Opportunities. Dream jobs do not just knock on your door. Hard work, networking, and constant learning are necessary to being successful in whatever venture is pursued. Call that CEO and get a cup of coffee with them. Attend networking events and bring your elevator pitch. Do whatever is necessary to achieve your dreams.

#JoshuaHShumate #Marketing #Videography