When you first go to college, deciding what your major should be seems like a hugely important decision. But the fact is that many people end up in careers that are only very loosely related to their major, and sometimes don’t have anything to do with it at all. If you find yourself doing a job that doesn’t have much to do with your degree, you might find that you miss it. Perhaps you’re thinking about getting back to your academic background and making use of those years that you spent at college. But how can you start making use of your degree again?

Find Opportunities to Use Your Degree in Your Current Role

For some people, there could be ways to use your degree in your current role. Maybe there are opportunities for you to apply the skills and knowledge that you learned at college to your job, even if it’s not strictly under your job description. Maybe you’re a manager with a background in psychology who could apply the knowledge you gained from your degree to help your team. You might know things about keeping up morale or how to be more productive or have the skills to read and understand the latest research.

Refresh or Expand Your Knowledge

Your college years could feel like they’re long behind you. If you have a useful degree, but you feel like it needs to be updated, you could refresh your knowledge or add to it using a number of means. Perhaps you could just do some reading to refresh your memory or get up to date. Or you might decide to go back to school to gain a new qualification. If you studied pre-law before, maybe you’re interested in getting a paralegal degree or certificate to begin a new career, or even in going back to law school to become an attorney. It will help you to show potential employers that your knowledge is more up to date.

Look for a New Role

Whether or not you decide to go back to school, you might be interested in looking for a new job. When your current role doesn’t offer you any opportunities to use the skills from your degree, there could be better jobs out there for you. You might want to think about how you have used and built on the skills and knowledge from your degree so far, especially if you graduated many years ago. It will demonstrate to employers that you still know your stuff.

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Use Your Skills on a Volunteer Basis

If you’re not interested in a new job, you could think about using the skills you gained from your degree on a volunteer basis instead. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities that require professional skills and specialist knowledge. If you’re finding it hard to find something suitable, try reaching out to charities and nonprofits to see if they might be able to offer a volunteer role for you somewhere in their organization.

You might not be using your degree currently, but it’s never too late to put it into practice.

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