It’s an unfortunate reality that most university graduates today don’t practice what they studied.
Selecting a career path is among life’s most challenging decisions. It’s effortless to declare ambitions of becoming lawyers or doctors inspired by the alluring lives depicted on television. However, life doesn’t mirror a TV series. Choosing an academic course is far simpler than charting a career journey.
Here, we explore the reasons why:
1. Job Availability
The university doesn’t say “no” to anyone. As long as you’ve got the brains and pockets to go through school, you will be accepted to study that dream course of yours. It doesn’t matter if the number of persons being admitted exceeds the number of available job offers for that field of study.
So, we have a large number of graduates in a field of study chasing after very few job openings. One doesn’t need a soothsayer to tell them that a change of career is necessary.
2. Economic Factors
Money makes the world go round. No matter how much we love a particular profession or career, if it isn’t generating enough money to feed our families and pay bills, it is only a matter of time before we change our career path. Inflation in Nigeria has made a lot of people change jobs and professions just to keep up. As the value of the naira falls every day, people will have to find a way to earn more even if it means changing career paths.
3. Parental Influence
A lot of young people are influenced by parents to study courses that do not appeal to them. They get into the university to study medicine when deep down they’re born artists. When these young people complete their studies, they might find being a doctor unfulfilling and might eventually pursue their passion.
4. Peer Pressure
Peer pressure is another major factor. Some people go along with whatever a friend says or does. These people are easily influenced to change career paths once a friend changes. Some change careers just because a friend is making a lot of money in their chosen field. So, they decide to do whatever their friend is doing to be able to make lots and lots of money.
Marriage changes people. A person’s spouse can influence his or her career path. The responsibilities of raising children and running a home can disrupt one’s career and cause them to change career path.
6. Lack of Fulfilment
Lack of fulfilment in a person’s chosen field can lead to a career change. Money is not everything. Some needs can only be met in the place of work. Whereby a person’s workplace isn’t meeting this need, a change of career is bound to happen. I could go on and on. The reasons for career change are limitless. Whatever the case may be, ensure that you’re changing to a better field, especially one that meets your financial needs and provides fulfilment.
The path from education to a career is intricate, and influenced by numerous factors. Mismatches between our studies and our eventual professions are common due to job availability, economic pressures, parental influence, peer pressure, marriage, and the quest for true fulfilment.
While the journey may take unexpected twists, it’s crucial to pursue a fulfilling and financially viable career. Adaptation and professional growth are normal as we face life’s challenges and opportunities. The key is to discover a path that harmonises with our passions and practical needs, ensuring a rewarding and balanced transition from education to practice.
Researcher: Iloh Chioma Sandra