You’ve worked hard and achieved your university degree, but what now? It’s time to kickstart your dream career! The working world can seem daunting at first and difficult to navigate, so we’re here to help you make sense of it all and show you that your degree subject doesn’t have to dictate your future career.
Whether you’re a calculated mathematician or a Yeats Romantic, we’ll cover what jobs you can do with your bachelors degree, as well as careers you can pursue without a degree. Let’s go…
- What careers require a specific degree subject?
- What jobs can I do with my degree?
- What jobs can you do without a degree?
- No STEM, no problem: How FDM can you help land your dream job
What careers require a specific degree subject?
We’d be lying if we said you could get any career with your degree, as there are some jobs that require a specific knowledge-base, technical skills and qualifications (for obvious reasons), including:
Medicine - It goes without saying that you require a medical degree in order to work in the medical field, since it requires a high level of knowledge and skill, and could put lives at risk. You will need to complete a degree in Medicine to become a Doctor but from there, you will be able to pursue more niche careers in the medical field, such as Anesthesia, Cardiology or Pathology.
Nursing - Much like Doctors, Nurses play a vital role in keeping patients alive and healthy and, as such, require a university degree in Nursing to ensure they are qualified for the job. Most employers prefer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).
Dentistry - You will require an undergraduate degree in Dentistry in order to become a Dentist, studying for a minimum of five years and then completing one or two years of supervised practice.
Sciences - To pursue a career in the sciences, you’ll need the appropriate degree, be that Life Sciences, Biology or Physics.
Veterinarian - Just like a human Doctor, to become an animal Doctor you need the relevant degree, Veterinary Science.
Engineering - Becoming an Engineer requires a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). It is sometimes possible to complete a related degree, such as Mathematics, Physics or Computer Science, however, if you do not study a related degree, you will be required to complete an Engineering conversion course.
So, if you’re looking to pursue a career in one of these areas, we recommend choosing the appropriate undergraduate degree to avoid having to take a conversion course in the future.
What jobs can I do with my career?
So, we’ve covered what you can’t do but the real question is what jobs can you do with your degree? We’ve compiled a list of the careers you can pursue with any degree, so whether you spent three years studying the meaning of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 or Differential Geometry, you can land the role of your dreams in HR, Software Development, Marketing and more.
The role of an Accountant is to maintain financial records, which may include preparing tax returns, managing budgets and forecasting. For this, it may be helpful to have a degree in Accountancy; however, it is not a must-have when it comes to becoming an Accountant. As long as you complete a Certified Public Account (CPA) exam and other relevant qualifications, you can pursue a career in Accountancy. Yet, it does help to have natural numeracy and analytical skills!
2. Investment Banking
Similar to Accountancy, Investment Bankers are finance professionals who are responsible for advising companies on how to achieve their financial goals through capital raising, mergers, acquisitions and lending, for example. Although you may not need a specific degree to work as an Investment Banker, you will need demonstrable numerical and analytical skills and have achieved high grades at university, typically a 2:1 or a first-class degree is expected.
3. Human Resources (HR)
Human Resource personnel are responsible for helping a business with employee-related tasks, such as sorting out payroll, recruitment, employee benefits, sick pay, expenses, maternity leave and internal relation issues. To land a job in Human Resources, you will typically need a university degree; however, your degree does not need to be in a specific field. Note that for some roles, you may be required to complete a Certificate in Personnel Practice (CPP) or a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) course.
The marketing world is open to creatives of all kinds and offers a wide range of roles, including copywriting, Paid Media, analytics, design and SEO. There’s something out there for everyone! Best of all, you can work in marketing with any degree background.
5. Software Development & Testing
Software Developers and Testers work across the Software Development Life Cycle, writing code to build computer applications and meet specifications, identify issues, fix bugs and carry out continuous testing and development. Software Engineers require a high level of role-specific skills, such as coding knowledge and problem-solving, however, surprisingly, does not require a degree in Software or Computer Science. So long as you have a strong understanding of relevant programming languages and can demonstrate this to your employers, or consolidate this in the form of online qualifications, you can pursue a career in Development.
Read our top tips on how to become a Software Developer and Software Developer interview advice,
To become a primary school or secondary school teacher, you do not require a university degree in Education, however, some people choose to teach the subject they studied. For example, if you went to university to study Geography, you could become a Geography teacher. It is necessary to have a postgraduate teaching qualification and you will need to pass relevant literacy and numeracy tests, too.
Are you a confident smooth talker? If so, sales could be the ideal job for you. And, unless you’re selling pharmaceuticals or technical products, there’s no need for a specific degree - or any degree at all for that matter. Some of the most popular Sales jobs include fashion, auto, insurance, marketing and recruitment. In a sales role, you act as the main contact between a business and its clients, meaning you will be responsible for client prospecting, managing client relationships and, ultimately, closing deals.
A degree in Journalism is definitely useful when it comes to pursuing a career in the field; however, there are plenty of successful Journalists who do not have a degree in Journalism or higher education of any form. If you’ve got excellent written and verbal communication skills and a solid networking background, you can make it as a Journalist. According to the BBC, a second language is also a fantastic skill to have when applying for Journalist roles.
However, note that some large news publications may require you to have an undergraduate degree or postgraduate in Journalism. In particular, if you would like to work for UK-based news or broadcasting organisations, an NCTJ diploma is often required.
9. Business Intelligence
Business Intelligence Analysts are responsible for monitoring an organisation’s historical data and forecasts in order to uncover trends and provide actionable insights to support business growth. This may sound like a challenging role, which is true, yet it does not always require a related degree. In fact, with superb analytical skills, attention to detail and accuracy, almost anyone can become a Business Intelligence Analyst.
10. Business Analysis
Business Analysts play a crucial role in any business, working to identify business problems and needs, and coming up with innovative solutions. This could be in the form of upgrading software systems, improving internal processes and policies, or major organisational changes. To pursue a career as a Business Analyst, you should have excellent interpersonal skills, be an analytical thinker and forward-thinker, but you do not need a business degree.
Read our tips on how to become a Business Analyst.
What jobs can you do without a degree?
All that being said, you can still have a fulfilling and successful career if you choose not to study at university - without the debt, too! Here are just a few of the careers you can do without a university degree, including some technical roles:
- Estate Agent
- Project Manager
- Police Constable
- Cyber Security
- Recruitment Consultant
- Ethical Hacker
- Flight Attendant
- Medical Secretary
- Sales Manager
- Data Analyst
- Computer Support Specialist
- Commercial pilot
- Personal Trainer
- Insurance Appraiser
This is just scratching the surface of all the job opportunities available to you. It is important to note that to pursue some of these careers without a degree, you will need to complete other certifications. For some of these roles, it is also beneficial to have some years of experience in the professional world or similar jobs. This makes them prime opportunities for returners to work, who have a range of transferable skills and professional experience.
If you’re thinking about applying for a new job, here are some of our top tips to help you write a CV with little experience and ace the interview process.
No STEM, no problem: How FDM can you help land your dream job
At FDM, we accept graduates from all walks of life, academic backgrounds and universities. We’re not interested solely in past experiences and Russell Group degrees - we are looking for talented and driven individuals with a passion for business and technology.
Over a 12 month period, FDM ‘s clients welcome roughly 38% of non-STEM graduates to join their teams. No STEM, no problem. We provide technical training and two-year placements with our industry-leading clients, and all we ask is if you are:
- Educated to degree level (2:2 or higher from any university in any subject)
- Passionate about a career in IT and business
- An excellent communicator
- Able to commit to the full 2-year graduate careers programme
- Eligible to work in the UK
We also offer specialist careers programmes for returners to work and ex-forces, with expert training to fill any knowledge or skills gaps, as well as additional support to guide you on your journey back to work.
For more information, check out our Graduates, Returners and Ex-Forces Careers Programmes.