Many people find a disconnect between their experiences at school or college and the “real world.” It might seem like it’s obvious that this is because the stakes get a lot higher, but it’s also because the skills you rely on can flip upside down. We spend a lot of time studying and learning, and some people get very good at it. So, it might just be the case that you’re not finding the career you want because you’re not choosing a career that involves the learning you love so much.
Get into academia
It might sound like the most obvious solution but teaching really is one of the best careers for those who love learning. In particular, working as a college professor tends to keep you on the forefront of academia, while teaching those just entering the field helps cement your understanding of the fundamentals of your chosen field. It’s also a great way to support the field you work in, encouraging young people to get into STEM, liberal arts, politics, or whatever your passion happens to be. Getting into academia involves writing your own papers and building your own name, too, so you are constantly going to be looking to break new ground if you want to build a career out of it.
Be the first to report
Perhaps you love learning, researching, and investigating but the classroom might be a little too stuffy or constrained for you. Journalism has been evolving quite drastically over the past decade with the prominence of the internet and the decrease of print circulation. But it is far from a dying art. In fact, as the medium changes, those who know technology and online spaces better are likely to succeed the “old guard” much more quickly. Journalism can be tough to get into, but once you can, investigation and research is one of the backbones of your job. Some of the biggest events in modern times were discovered and shared by journalists first.
Be on the forefront of research
If you are or have studied the sciences, you might have made the choice to find a “practical” application of your course. For instance, physicists might look to engineering, chemists might look to a pharmacy career. But there are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved in real scientific research once again. You could help discover the cure with lung cancer research, develop the breakthroughs in food engineering that help create a more sustainable ecosystem, or invest in a better understanding of the mind through social science study. There are new fields ever emerging, too, like quantum biology, nutrigenomics and organic electronics that offer more opportunities to learn about something entirely new and give you that sense of wonder and discovery that got you into the sciences in the first place.
Fly like a legal eagle
Obtaining a law degree isn’t easy, and it can take a long time, but those who excel aren’t just those who can make a compelling case. Case law is a huge part of our judicial system and by researching and finding those cases that set precedents that can help your client, you can be a truly excellent lawyer. Just make sure that law school is right for you before you invest that time. It’s a notoriously difficult and stressful field of study to enter. On the other hand, it can be tremendously lucrative when you make it out on the other side. The majority of the case is won in learning the right arguments to incorporate, not just the arguments themselves.
It’s all in the data
It’s a quickly emerging scientific field that is making a difference to businesses and organizations in every sector and every industry. Big data are shaping how businesses gain insights on their customers, on how they market, even how they work. Data analysts, data scientists, and data engineers are in huge demand at the moment, too. Compared to other STEM careers, they are the only fields in which there are currently more empty roles than the number of fresh graduates looking for jobs. That is a kind of job security that you simply cannot find in any other field, at the moment. If poring through data to find actionable solutions for businesses sounds up your alley, the answer might lie in the data.
The gift of the gab
Learning isn’t all about different highly academic and technical fields, either. Sometimes, it pairs perfectly with people skills and an interest in the cultures of the world. That’s certainly true of a career that focuses on foreign languages and countries. If you love learning the intricacies of different languages, then just about any business looking to expand overseas could make use of you. If your interest goes deeper and you like learning the cultural norms, standards, traditions, and history of a people, then localization could help you carve an even deeper niche. After all, when companies expand overseas, they are looking not only for a translation, they want to make sure their business, its values, and its marketing tactics are fully compatible with a new market.
Learn to lead a team
If you don’t have a technical field of expertise but you still love to learn and face new challenges on a daily basis, then becoming a project manager in just about any industry could be a fitting role for you. It takes a lot of responsibility, but finding the best means of communication, organization, and workflow for a team of people can keep you constantly on your toes. Project management is one of the skills most in demand at the moment, as new software tools make it easier for companies to manage big projects than ever before.
There is a lot of room in many industries for those who love nothing more than cracking open a problem, researching solutions, and working like a real academic. Hopefully, the examples above give you some direction in finding your next learning opportunity.