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Five Flexible Job Sectors for Degree Holders

Human Resources

More than ever before employers have put a heavy emphasis on higher education, encouraging, and sometimes requiring, today’s job seekers pursue a college degree in order to progress in the job market. However, some college students and recent graduates are uncertain of what types of jobs to pursue based on their degree. If you are a college student or graduate who wants options and flexibility within the job market, here are some job sectors to consider.

Sales

Sales is a fast-paced industry. Often individuals have the ability to impact their own earnings which draws many job seekers to this sector. Each position within this industry varies upon the company and their client’s needs. Employers within the sales industry are known for their receptiveness to new talent and do not often specify a particular major. Yet, a common qualification for each role is motivation. The sales industry is great for self-starters that have the drive to thrive in an ever changing environment. For example, inside sales and outside sales are two types of positions within the sales industry. Generally, an inside sales representative has a set schedule and works in an office. On the other hand, an outside salesperson tends to work independently, without a set work schedule, and often in the field. While this industry offers freedom and flexibility, it is a result driven profession with high accountability and requires that employees deliver by reaching set goals. Do your homework and learn about the company and its expectations before committing to the job.

Hospitality and Tourism

If you are a people person and gain satisfaction from meeting the needs of customers, this industry may be for you. Careers within hospitality and tourism are abundant, especially during prime vacation seasons. This sector includes a cluster of careers that all share one focal point, people skills. The ability to work well with others, effectively communicate, and having a friendly personality are key attributes needed to succeed in this industry. Since this job sector is wide, it is open to various education levels including different types of degrees. For instance, a hotel manager, curator, information clerk, or even a tour guide, are occupations within hospitality and tourism that each have different education, experience, and skill requirements. The pay varies and may not be as high as other job sectors. However, as in most fields, higher education generally means you may be qualified for more pay. Hospitality and tourism is known for its effervescent feel with the ability to meet new people from across the world.

Customer Service/Call Center

Some advanced call center opportunities seek candidates with a Bachelor’s degree. However, knowledge and previous experience in this industry may have precedence over the type of degree one has. Call centers are the core of many businesses, and they are in a number of industries including retail, finance, and technical support. To succeed in this industry, one must be a resourceful, problem solver. A call center representative’s role involves finding solutions to clients’ needs and using various resources to support their resolutions. This sector also offers a diverse pay scale depending upon the industry. According to O*Net, a website for career exploration and job analysis, positions for customer service representatives are projected to grow by 9%  by 2020. On the contrary, many call center positions begin as entry-level which tends to only require a high school education. So job seekers with a Bachelor’s degree will have to compete with them unless they are seeking advanced, expert focused call center opportunities. Call center representatives with a Bachelor’s degree are favorable candidates for promotional opportunities because in this industry most supervisor roles require higher education. If you like to consistently provide support to others and solve problems, a career as a customer service representative may be a fit for you.

Education and Training

The Education and Training sector encompasses various subsectors, and each sector includes organizations that provide instruction and training on a variety of subjects. This industry is not designed for a particular degree, however, candidate qualifications tend to include Bachelor’s degree or higher, expertise of a particular subject matter, and teaching ability. Thus, this field is open to various opportunities including classroom teaching, corporate development and training, and special education, and each career path carries its own set of qualifications. For instance, usually a position as a continuing education instructor for adult learners often requires a candidate with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with related work experience.  Fortunately, this industry affords opportunities to recent graduates with specific professional, volunteer, and community involvement experience. Keep in mind, it may be a challenge for recent graduates who lack experience to enter this sector right after college. Consider researching local organizations such as non-profit or community centers that offer supportive services to individuals. These organizations may offer volunteers opportunities to facilitate workshops or mentor clients which is a great way to gain experience in the education and training industry.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement is a broad term and stretches across various levels, but typically it refers to people who provide preventive and protective services to ensure individuals abide by the law. This industry includes careers in the military, corrections, border patrol, investigators, and many more. These positions may deal with different circumstances yet a common skill employees exhibit is awareness of others’ reactions and understanding those reactions. O*NET Online lists social perceptiveness as a critical skill needed in all areas of law enforcement. While it is ideal to have a college degree, a specific type of degree is not always required. In addition, law enforcement offers room for those with various levels of education because they also provide additional training for new employees. This career choice is for individuals who are mentally and physically capable to take on demanding responsibilities. However, this industry gives employees the opportunity to give back and a sense of purpose.

There are many college students who are unsure of which career best suits them. Be sure to position yourself for opportunities that value your education, skills, and experience. Before committing to a career, learn more about it by using your largest resource, the Internet, to do career exploration. Consider conducting an informational interview with someone in an industry you’re interested in to learn what a day in their life is like. Lastly, if you have a degree, you have an advantage in the job market. It allows room to make choices and heightens your levels of opportunity.

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