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Completely irrelevant Undergraduate to Master change (Hiring Issues)

So, I selected a Psychology course years ago (I can't remember what my career ambition was that made me think it was a good idea) and in my final year I was genuinely wondering what the hell I was doing; I graduated this year with a first, but now I want to work in a completely different industry, in construction project management. Yes, that is an insane transition I know, during the final year I enrolled on a Google course to get a taste of PM, loved it, and I've worked on small-scale construction projects previously (in person) also very enjoyable, so I'm looking at combing the two. There are Msc's that grant this option, but due to the complete irrelevance of my undergrad I'm concerned about employer perception, and hiring; a saving grace is that it is considered a vocational course. I understand this is quite a niche, so if anyone has done so, or has heard about Msc 180s and happy endings please share.
Original post by RyanJones99c
So, I selected a Psychology course years ago (I can't remember what my career ambition was that made me think it was a good idea) and in my final year I was genuinely wondering what the hell I was doing; I graduated this year with a first, but now I want to work in a completely different industry, in construction project management. Yes, that is an insane transition I know, during the final year I enrolled on a Google course to get a taste of PM, loved it, and I've worked on small-scale construction projects previously (in person) also very enjoyable, so I'm looking at combing the two. There are Msc's that grant this option, but due to the complete irrelevance of my undergrad I'm concerned about employer perception, and hiring; a saving grace is that it is considered a vocational course. I understand this is quite a niche, so if anyone has done so, or has heard about Msc 180s and happy endings please share.

You just need to reframe the story you tell. "I worked on a number of small scale construction projects and really enjoyed it, but I got waylaid by advice that I should get a degree and psychology was my favourite school subject but I realised that wasn't a career path I wanted to take. It was very interesting in terms of giving me insight into how people think, but I left uni searching for something that was a better career fit for me. I thought about the construction project and did a Google course on PM and decided this was the route I want to take, and this role looks a great first step."
Reply 2
These built environment masters are designed for people who did something unrelated as an undergraduate. I was talking to my real estate masters students yesterday and in the room we had people with first degrees in PE, Human Geography, Music, all sorts, and over half the room was part time as they are already employed in real estate now.

With Psychology you probably have some stats in there so you're probably fairly numerate which should help, and construction management does involve people so again psychology should help there.

Employers really don't mind (OK, there's probably one or two, but if they're that narrow minded you might wonder about any other issues they might have and whether they're really the right employer)
Original post by RyanJones99c
So, I selected a Psychology course years ago (I can't remember what my career ambition was that made me think it was a good idea) and in my final year I was genuinely wondering what the hell I was doing; I graduated this year with a first, but now I want to work in a completely different industry, in construction project management. Yes, that is an insane transition I know, during the final year I enrolled on a Google course to get a taste of PM, loved it, and I've worked on small-scale construction projects previously (in person) also very enjoyable, so I'm looking at combing the two. There are Msc's that grant this option, but due to the complete irrelevance of my undergrad I'm concerned about employer perception, and hiring; a saving grace is that it is considered a vocational course. I understand this is quite a niche, so if anyone has done so, or has heard about Msc 180s and happy endings please share.

Hey!

As others have kind of said above, definitely be honest about how you have worked on some small-scale projects and loved it! From then on, you just need to reframe your psychology degree and use it to display the useful/relevant skills you've gained from it! To be honest, I would say psychology is actually quite a good, multi-disciplinary degree for applying to a wide range of careers, so I wouldn't worry too much! :h:

(My bf actually works in project management so these are also things he thought would be most relevant as well :biggrin:)

These could include:
- Quantitative and qualitative research
- Data analysis
- Prioritisation of tasks & time management
- IT literacy
- Critical thinking
- Problem-solving
- Written communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Abstract reasoning
- Leadership & teamwork from group projects

I would say use these to apply for the master's and then once you have that, it will solidify your abilities in project management and you can just use these skills to further enhance your CV.

Best of luck with everything!!

Natalie
University of Kent Student Rep (PhD Psychology)
(edited 8 months ago)

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