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Make the Change:

A Guide to Career
Changer Programs



There are many reasons to change careers:

Maybe you’re disillusioned with your career, or maybe you’re currently working in a dissolving industry, or maybe you’re realigning your personal interests and priorities and want to pursue a career that better reflects those new views.

Whatever your reason, it is, in fact, possible for you to switch careers and pursue one that aligns with your desires and talents.

Life is too short to waste your time on a career that doesn’t bring you fulfillment. And that’s why the Admissions Team here at West Virginia University put together this digital resource: as a way of encouraging you and educating you on how to prepare yourself personally, professionally, and academically to change fields of study and careers.

Let us help guide you on your career-changing journey!

There are many reasons to change careers –
What's yours?

Workplace culture is rapidly evolving, and it shows no sign of slowing down. 

With constantly-advancing technology and thousands of companies adopting flexible working options, employees have the opportunity to reevaluate their professional goals and make changes to transform their careers. 

Today’s professional landscape is highly connected thanks to platforms like LinkedIn, and as a result, professionals have never been more empowered to secure the career they really want — which often looks like making a career change.

How many adults change careers each year?

If you are looking for a new job, you’re not alone. In fact, you are one of the thousands of adults who change careers every single year.

Since the 2020 pandemic, which helped many redefine how they think about work, Americans have voluntarily left their jobs at a higher rate than usual — many in search of new careers that offer better work-life balance, higher pay, and more flexibility — in what experts are callingThe Great Resignation.”

A few quick points on
"The Great Resignation" phenomenon:


The Great Resignation refers to the increased rate of American employees who quit their jobs in spring 2021.


The term was coined in May 2021 by Anthony Klotz, a professor of business administration at Texas A&M University.


The elevated rate at which workers were quitting their jobs is predicted to be a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and employees’ desiring higher paying jobs with more flexibility and support.

The implications of
"The Great Resignation" today:


A significant number of professionals are also reconsidering their current career and are exploring options that align better with their values


Up to 80% of people are not happy in their current job because what they are doing is not consistent with what they are good at.


Employers are also being encouraged to really listen to what workers say they want instead of making "tone-deaf, top-down decisions."

The bottom-line:
people are looking for more
satisfying careers they actually enjoy.


Let’s dig a little deeper and explore some of the data-driven reasons that adults choose to change careers. According to Careers Advice Online:


The average person changes careers 5-7 times during their working life.


With so many career choices, 30% of the workforce will now change careers or jobs every 12 months.


Up to 80% of people are not happy in their current job because what they are doing is not consistent with what they are good at.

Now, examine your own career:

if before the pandemic, the average person stayed in their role for 4.6 years, where do you fall in that statistic? Would it be time for you to switch jobs, or even change industries altogether? 

Have you thought about what you are actually good at doing versus what your job requires of you? Are they different? 

Keeping all these questions in mind, read on to know when exactly you should consider a master’s for a career change.

How to know when it's time to change careers

Common career changer scenarios:

2017 graduation round


A significant number of professionals are also reconsidering their current career and are exploring options that align better with their values

mid-career creative man-min-1


Perhaps you're a mid-career professional who wants to switch careers due to recognizing a new skill or passion of yours

retired man working on his laptop-modified-min-1


Or maybe you're an older adult who has been out of the workforce for years but you're finally ready to pursue your dream career.

Whatever your reason, it is, in fact, possible for you to switch careers and pursue one that aligns with your desires and talents. Life is too short to waste your time on a career that doesn’t bring you fulfillment, and that’s why you deserve to secure a career that aligns with your interests and goals.

Careers Advice Online shares these things
to consider when making a career change:

If you are...


Frustrated at not using natural abilities or talents


Working in a diminishing industry


Hoping to forge your own path as an entrepreneur


Discovering a realignment of personal values and interests


Unhappy with your organizational structure


Disillusioned with leadership or management


Seeking a more lucrative career position

...then it might be time to change careers with a master's degree.

All of these are valid reasons for choosing to switch careers. But only you can be sure of the kind of career that’s going to bring you personal and professional satisfaction. 

So if you want to make a career change, you are in the right place — let us guide you on your career changing journey.

Getting Degrees in Unrelated Fields (That Complement Each Other)

While there are dozens of graduate degrees you can pursue without having a related bachelor’s, there are plenty of opportunities for synergy. 

We live in an interdisciplinary era, where professionals are expected to cultivate a wide range of skills and pull from the depths of their knowledge to thrive and succeed in their industries. For this reason:

Collaboration between two very different sets of knowledge can actually inspire creativity, innovation, and human-centered thinking, making you invaluable in the workforce.


Someone who pursued an undergraduate degree in chemistry might use the fundamentals taught in those studies to apply and interpret scientific results for work in forensic and investigative science.

Learn more about WVU's graduate forensic and investigative science degree here.

The coursework covered while enrolled in an undergraduate business program could prepare someone to pivot to a career in human resource management — a meaningful field that is largely focused on improving organizational performance.

Learn more about WVU's graduate human resource management program here.

A graduate of an English or journalism bachelor’s program might use their creative thinking and imagination skills to inspire effective communication-related change in a tech-related industry like marketing.

Learn more about WVU's graduate marketing programs here.

The courses a student takes while majoring in psychology may help with the empathy, people-reading, and interpersonal skills needed to work as an attorney with a prestigious and lucrative law degree.

Learn more about WVU's College of Law here.

The foundational knowledge you’ll achieve while enrolled in a communications bachelor’s degree will give you the critical communication skills needed to succeed in an advanced business degree like sport management.

Learn more about WVU's graduate sport management degree here.

Career Changer Programs: Master's Degrees You Can Get with Any Bachelor's Degree at WVU

At West Virginia University, we celebrate diversity of thought and experience. We offer dozens of graduate degrees that are specifically designed to serve as a launching pad for our students’ dream careers.

From business to political science, from social work to community development, we are proud to offer a variety of graduate programs that students can pursue even if they do not hold a related bachelor’s.

Note: You can find a comprehensive list of WVU’s graduate programs here.

WVU GRE Cheat Sheet REVAMP 2.0 p1-1

Before you can apply for a graduate degree, you might need to take the GRE. Make sure you determine whether or not your program requires it before you sign up.

In this digital toolkit, you'll find:

  • Succint explanations of what to expect from the GRE
  • Sample questions from each section of the test
  • A guide to the best resources available for GRE prep
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about the GRE

WVU's Gre Cheat Sheet

WVU's Gre Cheat Sheet

WVU'S Online or Low-residency Graduate Degrees That Don't REquire a Related Undergraduate Degree

At West Virginia University, we know that deciding to enroll in a graduate program can be difficult to make — especially if you don’t want to or can’t afford to quit your current job.

With this in mind, WVU Online is an excellent option for prospective graduate students who want to obtain a graduate degree in a virtual learning environment.

WVU Online is its own unit, made up of enrollment coaches that assist students from the point of inquiry through what is considered a “strong start,” which is the first week of classes. The unit also oversees the registration process for many online programs.

You can check out the rest of WVU Online's graduate programs here.

Note: To apply, students must have completed accredited undergraduate coursework and in some cases, related job experience

Online Toolkit Cover-1-1

If you’re considering enrolling in an advanced online program at West Virginia University, you may have some questions about the admissions process and concerns regarding what it would mean for you to enroll in an online graduate program. 

That’s why we put together the Online Graduate School Toolkit.

In this resource, you’ll find:

  • Why online learning is the future of higher education
  • A breakdown of the advantages of online learning
  • What the ROI of an online graduate degree really is
  • A comprehensive list of online graduate programs at WVU

WVU's Online Toolkit

WVU's Online Toolkit

Thinking About Going to Graduate School? Explore Our Resource Library

Jumpstart a Career Change with a Master's Degree From WVU

The admissions team at West Virginia University is dedicated to making your graduate school admissions process as easy and as simple as possible — especially if you are navigating a career change.

The diverse graduate community of scholar-teachers and passionate learners at WVU creates an environment that welcomes your desire to grow, learn, and add to the growing body of knowledge in your field. As a WVU graduate learner, you would engage in internationally recognized academic programs to advance in your field.

Facilitate your career change at WVU today – connect with us:

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