Less conventional career paths for business graduates
A career in business doesn't have to be the corporate 9-5. Source: Muhammad Rizwan/Unsplash

A business degree is often viewed as the master key to a whole host of graduate career paths including management, human resources and even consultancy – but what if none of these light your fire?

If you’re finding yourself disenchanted by the common careers most business graduates launch into after graduation, don’t panic – it doesn’t mean you’re going to be flipping burgers for the rest of your life (although there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that!).

It’s actually very common to realise the degree you thought would make you happy, or at least give you career options, isn’t actually where your passions lie.

Luckily, as a business graduate, you’ll have developed key skills that are valued by employers in many fields, so you’ll still have options if you want to move away from the business sphere.

According to a report by the European Commission, 67 percent of employers view teamwork as very important when recruiting graduates, with problem-solving, analytical thinking and communication skills also being key considerations.

So, even if you decide being a business leader isn’t how you want to spend the rest of your life, the leadership skills and problem-solving capabilities among other characteristics you will have developed still means there are many career paths open to you.

“The possibilities are endless,” Anna Kouzovleva, a Master’s of Business Administration student, told US News.

“I have witnessed students not only switching careers, but also discovering new passions that they had no idea existed. For instance, during some classes and projects, we became more aware of the career opportunities in social impact, innovation, tech and much more beyond the traditional choices.”

Here are a few less conventional career paths for graduates who are feeling underwhelmed by the mainstream business industry…

Environmental consultancy

Many existing corporations are trying to become more environmentally friendly, meaning the demand for environmental consultants is growing. Offering an alternative to traditional business consultancy, this career path is ideal for those passionate about making the world a better place.

Some countries offer tax breaks or subsidies for company’s who meet sustainability guidelines, while other organisations are responding to consumer’s desire for ethical brands. Whatever the corporate motive, the environmental consultancy is a secure career to follow with the sector growing 6.3 percent last year in the UK alone, according to Environment Analyst.

There’s more to consultancy than profits… Source: Shutterstock

This career combines industry knowledge with environmental predictions, allowing graduates to integrate sustainable responsibility with the industry.

Creative freelancer

If you have a creative spark you’d love to turn into your full-time job, a degree in business could give you the skills you need.

Freelancing is definitely not a walk in the park. From deciding what rate to charge, the constant need to network with potential clients, to building a personal brand and dealing with tricky customers, having a background in business can inform you about all the hurdles that often stop creatives turning their dreams into a reality.

While self-employment isn’t unconventional for a business graduate, becoming your own boss to be a writer, artist or developer isn’t usually at the top of most corporate career lists. But the industry hacks you’ll learn during your degree can really enhance your freelancing flair.

Higher education leadership

Behind every leading university is a leading business expert. Having to balance educational priorities while making the institution profitable, a business degree is an excellent foundation for becoming a university leader.

You could be responsible for maintaining a whole campus. Source: Shutterstock

Unlike most organisations, higher education institutions have to support students and staff in a holistic manner. Universities act as homes, research centres, academic hubs and international communities. Ensuring they stay true to these causes while also being financially sustainable can be a challenge – perhaps one only a business graduate can manage.

The leadership skills, analytical capabilities and international outlooks cultivated during business studies expertly prepare students for the challenges of promoting academic vision while remaining financially-viable – but your role will include so much more than simply being a business analyst.

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