Here's why it’s OK to get a graduate job that’s not related to your degree

Sally Bracegirdle
Head of Marketing

Whatever your degree, it's perfectly reasonable to expect that you'll one day have a job that's related to it. 

Realistically though, it's also perfectly possible that you won't.

Whether by choice or by circumstance, many graduates enter careers that have little to no relevance to their degree. In a recent survey by graduate careers site GradTouch, 29% of employed graduates said they aren't doing what they expected with their degree, with the majority saying their job only “somewhat” matches their expectations.

Unless you choose a particularly vocational degree, such as Dentistry or Accounting, finding a career that links directly with your studies isn't a straightforward task. And even then, there's no one-size-fits-all career for each and every degree, vocational or otherwise. 

Given how much time and money needs to be invested into getting a degree, it's understandable that graduates often feel pressured to then get a job that's related to it and disappointed if they don't.

But ending up doing something you weren't expecting to do isn't necessarily a bad thing. Here's why:


1.  Your degree has given you loads of transferrable skills.

From developing leadership skills through your participation in group projects to mastering how to manage your time effectively during exam season, your time at university has equipped you with a great number of skills outside of those specific to your degree. These skills can be transferred across various industries, making you an ideal candidate for jobs you've probably never even considered. Plus, just because you won't need to use your subject-specific skills on a daily basis, it doesn't mean you won't ever use them - you never know when they could come in handy.



2. The job you get shouldn't just match your degree, it should match your skills, experiences and personality too.

Bearing in mind all of those transferrable skills you've acquired, there's every chance that you'll enjoy a job that's not related to your degree just as much, if not more, than one that is. Just because you studied History, for example, you won't necessarily be the right kind of person for a job that seems directly linked with a History degree, regardless of your interest in the subject. This is why many graduate jobs and schemes don't require you to have a specific degree to apply; your degree alone isn't proof that a role is right for you. 



3. The jobs that are related to your degree won't always offer you the kind of career that you want.

If you do manage to identify some jobs that are related to your degree, there's no guarantee that, beyond being associated with what you studied, they can offer you what you're actually looking for in a career. While your job preferences might initially be focused on utilising the subject-specific knowledge and skills you gained as part of your degree, you may soon find that they change, incorporating things like scope for career progression, development opportunities and salary expectations. Don't feel pressured to go after a job that doesn't really meet any of your long-term job preferences simply because it's related to your degree.



4. Being open to opportunities is a good thing.

Few degrees supply their graduates with one standard career path, so, as easy as it is to do, it's important not to see certain jobs as more suitable than others. While a job that's relevant to your degree might be right for one of your course mates, it won't necessarily be right for you, so try not to dismiss opportunities based solely on the grounds that they're not directly linked with your studies. Whatever you end up doing, if you enjoy it and it provides you with the start of a great career, then it's the right choice.



5. Frankly, it's not your specific degree that many graduate employers want; it's you.

Unless you have your heart 100% set on one specific career that you can't break into without your specific degree, it's worth bearing in mind that many employers open their doors to graduates with degrees in any discipline. Those employers know that you're made up of so much more than just your degree, welcoming your potential over the subject you studied. 



Aldi is one of those employers.

It's not a degree in a specific subject that you need to secure a place on their graduate programme, but natural leadership skills, endless energy and a willingness to push yourself to achieve new things.

When it comes to getting a job that's not related to your degree, working for a supermarket is arguably the ultimate, unexpected career choice. But, like many graduate opportunities for which you don't need a specific degree to apply, although probably not what you thought you'd be doing with your degree, being a Graduate Area Manager for Aldi can offer you far more than you likely thought you could get, at least for a good few years anyway.



Want to know more about Aldi's graduate opportunities? Click here.