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Career > Her20s

5 Grads Who Took Jobs Outside Their College Majors — & Are Glad They Did

Most students walk into college with a plan. “Alright, I’ll major in this, get an internship over my junior-year summer, graduate in exactly four years, then jump straight into the working world!” they might think to themselves. And for some, this plan is accomplished to a T. 

But for others — myself included — it isn’t so straightforward. Sometimes, you change your mind, find a new major, try a few different classes, or even stumble upon something completely different from your major and fall in love with it post-graduation. 

If you’ve fallen into this category — or think it could be a possibility for you (spoiler: it’s a possibility for everyone) — it could be scary to deviate from a path that’s expected of you… or a path that you expect of yourself. But trust me, as long as you’re following your passion, you can’t really go wrong.

To provide even more reassurance (and perhaps even some inspiration) I asked a variety of college graduates whose careers don’t match their majors a few things: what they initially studied in college, how they ended up on a very different path from their original major, and how they’re enjoying their post-grad journey. Here’s what they had to say.

Major: Communication Studies 

Job: Data Analyst

Laura Cooper studied communications in college because she didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do with her career at the time. (Relatable!) “It took me many years to find my path,” she says. “It wasn’t until 2021 that I decided to study data analytics, and it took me two years to transition.” But the time and hard work paid off: “I love my new position — it’s truly perfect,” she says. “It’s for a non-profit I believe in, involves a good amount of international travel, offers a lot of flexibility, and is a really good fit for my skills, experience, and career goals.”

Major: Electrical Engineering

Job: Spanish Literature Instructor

Khroso Raúl Soleimani is an instructor at the University of Washington. He got an associate’s degree in electrical engineering at Cascadia College and was accepted into the electrical engineering program at the University of Washington. However, while his path seemed set, he found himself pulled toward a new passion: poetry. Motivated by the Abdu’l-Baha quote, “Where there is love, nothing is too much trouble and there is always time,” he followed his heart toward teaching humanities, specifically Spanish literature. He now leads the Poetry Club at the University of Washington, where he is also working on his PhD dissertation.

Major: Business (HR)

Job: Quality Manager

Nicole Hille graduated from the University of Phoenix with an associate of arts degree in business and immediately began her professional career in HR, working for a large medical device company. However, after three years, the company restructured and eliminated her position; luckily, she was offered a choice of what role she wanted to try her hand at within the company next. She opted for a job as a medical device report (MDR) specialist in the quality department. “[I] was completely unaware of what role the quality department played in the organization,” she tells Her Campus, and so she took her chances. This role turned into a complaint specialist role, which led to her supervising her own team. Since then, she went on to become the senior quality manager at a pharmaceutical company. Hille says she really enjoys what she does now and is thankful her career path took the turn it did. “It’s rewarding knowing I’m contributing to the success of the company every day … and knowing what we do as a company is helping people,” she says.

Major: Biblical Studies & Christian Ministries 

Job: Administrative Professional & Project Coordinator

Amberle Mangis studied at George Fox University, earning a BA with a double major in Biblical studies and Christian ministries with an emphasis on Christian education. And while she does work in a Christian ministry, she’s an administrative professional and project coordinator. “I am happy with where I ended up,” she says. “But do think having a more business-focused major would have been helpful.”

Major: Law, Society, & Justice

Job: Educator

Grace McCollister studied law, society and justice in school, but ended up joining Teach for America, which partners with typically Title 1 schools in low-income areas. “I knew before I came to college that I wanted to help people; I just wasn’t sure what that looked like,” she says. “I was interested in education in high school, but chose not to pursue it because of the current teacher climate. However, I realized that I didn’t want to live with any regrets, so I pursued education. I figured I could always go to law school later if that’s what I wanted to do.”

Eliza Disbrow

Washington '26

Eliza Disbrow is a sophomore at the University of Washington with a plan to major in European Studies with a double minor in Spanish and business. Eliza is a writer, covering a variety of topics, from music, to books, to anime. Beyond Her Campus, Eliza serves as the co-vice president of the University of Washington Euro Club. In her free time, Eliza can be seen taking in the sights of Seattle on any of the available forms of public transportation, normally with a book in hand and headphones in her ears. She plays guitar and bass, mainly as an excuse to play either Fall Out Boy or Ghost to family and friends.