Millions of people enter the workforce each year. Not all of them choose the right career the first time around. Whether a current industry faces economic constraints, or a job no longer excites the passion it once did, many people decide they want a career change after 30.

In a modern workforce where technology-driven disruption is now expected, being over 30 is not a deterrent to making a change. The idea of entering one profession in your early 20s and sticking with it until retirement in your 60s is, for many people, a relic of the past.

If you’re looking for a new direction, enrolling in an online bachelor’s degree completion program can help you relaunch your career in a new position in your current industry or help you pivot into a new one.

Why Would You Want A Career Change After 30?

Once you reach the age of 30, you’ve had about a decade in the workforce. At that point, you have gained the experience you need to determine whether the current path you are on needs to change.

The reasons vary. But if you are considering a career change you may be experiencing one of the following career questioning circumstances.

Lack of Passion

Some discover that the career they pursued in their 20s is not what they want to focus on forever. You might feel like you’ve done all you can in your current career and want a new challenge. Earning a degree can prepare you for the jump into a new field.

Job Burnout

Some jobs involve more stress than others. People in stressful jobs may find it difficult to enjoy work. If you are experiencing job burnout you can look forward to your career again and being 30 or older isn’t an obstacle to earning a degree that can facilitate that change.

Untapped Talent

As you age and gain more experience in work and in life, you may discover previously unknown talents. This can lead to an interest in new careers. Pursuing that interest requires new knowledge and skills for entry into the field.

Better Salary

Sometimes it’s a simple as wanting a pay increase. A salary level that worked for you 10 years ago may no longer work for your current or desired lifestyle. Marriage and children can also alter what you want from your career. Earning a bachelor’s degree in a new field can make a huge impact.

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU)  wrote that “college-educated workers enjoy a substantial earnings premium.” They report bachelor’s degree earners make $32,000 more each year than those with only a high school diploma.

In 2020, many people experienced layoffs, particularly those who work in retail, transportation, hospitality, and customer service. Although many jobs will return in 2021 and beyond, the time off has given people time to reconsider their career paths.

Why Earn a Bachelor’s Degree?

While the digital age changes many things, a college degree consistently remains a dependable path to better jobs and higher salaries.

If you have a bachelor’s degree already, Merrimack offers numerous graduate degrees. for those looking to complete their bachelor’s degree, the pathway degree completion program might be right for you.

For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that those with a bachelor’s degree had 2% unemployment in early 2020, compared to 3.8% for high school graduates. Also. Millennials (those born roughly between 1981 and 1996) with only a high school diploma earn 62% of what a typical college graduate earns, according to the APLU.

In addition to these compelling statistics, a minimum of a  bachelor’s degree is required to enter many fields. Some employers will only consider job applicants with the knowledge and skills students learn in a bachelor’s degree program.

Tips for Making a Career Change After 30

The first step to making a career change after 30 is a self-assessment. According to The Balance, in this context, that means assessing your values, interests, personality, and aptitude.

  • Values determine what is important to you. Answers include things such as public service, achievement, recognition, status, and autonomy.
  • Interests are the things you genuinely enjoy doing, activities that make time fly and don’t feel like work. This can range from hobbies to socializing.
  • Personality describes your dominant traits and attitudes, such as extrovert, introvert, detail-oriented, etc.
  • Aptitude requires an honest assessment of what you do well, either naturally or through previous training.

Many of us dream of being rock and roll stars. Few of us will ever achieve it. Balancing our dreams and passion with realistic goals makes any life transition much easier.

The Japanese concept of Ikigai can serve as a useful guide for determining your path to career satisfaction and achievement. Combining the “iki,” for life, with “gai” for benefit, worth, or meaning, ikigai loosely translates to our life’s purpose. The personal and social aspects of this idea are famously captured in the ikigai diagram, consisting of overlapping spheres. Each sphere relates to one aspect of a fulfilling career:

  • What you love
  • What you are good at
  • What the world needs
  • What you can get paid for

These circles converge and at the center lies your direction. Pondering your ikigai may feel abstract and esoteric. Indeed, this specific approach may not be for everyone. But now is the time, as you consider a new career, to consider your passion and strengths, and a livelihood that harmonizes with each.

When approaching a career change later in life with this mindset, earning a bachelor’s degree sets you on a path toward your right career and your life’s work.