7 reasons why job search success is never guaranteed

Your career“I want to study the academic program or major that guarantees a job with a good salary after graduation.” This is a common request career counselors repeatedly hear from students.

There’s just one problem: Job search success is never guaranteed, regardless of what you study. Here are seven reasons why.

“Hot jobs” come and go. Yes, STEM is all the talk right now, and health care jobs usually make the Top 10 list of opportunities. But what’s always constant about the world of work is how often it changes. In 2008, job titles such as cloud specialist, digital marketing and app developer didn’t even exist.

The job market differs from city to city. Geography can impact your job search. The job market for dental hygienists is different in Charlotte compared to Chapel Hill. The salary is slightly different, too. Studying Simulation and Game Development is key if you want to work as a video game designer. But more opportunities exist in California and New York than they do in North Carolina just by nature of the industry.

Interests affect abilities. If you don’t enjoy an area of study, your ability to succeed in it can be limited.  Before you decide to work in a STEM-related industry, it’s important to know what STEM stands for (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Next, you have to decide if you actually enjoy any of those disciplines.

Abilities affects employ-ability. If you’re struggling in your classes, you may struggle in your job. Companies who hire welders look for candidates who can safely and effectively do the job. A candidate who has difficulties with class assignments may be overlooked.

Success in academics doesn’t guarantee success in the job search. During the job search, if you can’t connect with employers and impress them you will not receive a job offer, no matter how solid your academics are.  Job search steps include writing a standout resume and cover letter, networking, knowing what jobs to search for (and where to find them) and presenting yourself well in a job interview.

Lifetime careers are a thing of the past. It’s rare to retire with the first company that hires you. It’s even unusual to retire in the first career path you choose. Most people change career paths as their interests, skills and roles change.

Not all careers are connected to one particular major or academic program. You might be surprised at all of the career options graduates of different four-year college majors and associate degree programs pursue.