I’m currently enrolled in the Marketing program at the Centre for Continuing Education at McMaster. Going back to school was not an easy decision. It came after a lot of thought and consideration. In Mexico, people get their degrees and only go back to school to specialize in something related to their field. In many cases they do it because they are required to do so by their employers. In my case, I realized I needed to get more in touch with the Marketing field in my new country.
This situation made me think of how different education and getting into a new field are perceived in both countries. In Mexico, people get a degree and they usually find a job and stay in the field for the rest of their professional lives. If a person goes to school for four or five years, then join the workforce to later decide they want to start over in a new career, it is not always seen as something positive. People will make comments like that person just wasted all those years or they don’t know what they want.
In Canada it is very common for people to go from one field to another. I have met a lot of people who go from one specific field to another one that is completely different. I find it amazing how a person can just completely change what they do. I think it is great that this is encouraged through different student credit and loans programs. I believe that people’s interests can vary throughout their lives and it adds excitement to your life when you go into a new venture. Plus you learn a lot and can apply that knowledge to different aspects of your life, both personal and professional. It sure isn’t easy to start over, but it can be very rewarding.
I’m not saying there is a right or wrong way to see it. It is just a matter of cultural differences. In my case, going back to school to finally get that Marketing diploma (I have a degree in Communications) has paid off. Not only am I learning and discovering new things, but I’ve also been lucky enough to meet some great new people.
What do you think about this topic? Do you think a person should stick to their original chosen path? What are the pros and cons of switching careers? I look forward to reading your comments!