As part of our quarterly theme of Career Change and Change Management we’re bringing you perspectives from our academic community. Lucie Nash works part-time as a Graduate Admissions Assistant at Kent Business School, alongside studying for her MSc Computer Science. Read about Lucie’s career change, in her blog post.
What were you doing before your career change?
I was a secondary school English & Drama Teacher for three years. I had always been good at those subjects at school and I liked them, so that’s why I studied them at university.
What led you to leave your job?
Apart from the general nightmare of being a teacher these days, I was beginning to realise that I really wanted to learn something new instead of spending my whole life in the throes of a classroom teaching the mechanics of a play or a novel. My personal opinion is that sometimes undergraduate subjects are chosen too early or without a huge deal of thought and I was definitely that 18 year old.
What are you doing now?
I’m doing an MSc in Computer Science. I’ve studied it part-time because I’ve had to maintain some income through work. Pretty grateful for that though because the gap between Bachelors and Masters degrees is a notoriously big jump.
Has this improved your quality of life?
It’s been great being back at University as a mature student because my attitude is completely different and I’m really appreciating everything I’m learning. Although everything is slightly harder, I’m more switched on so it’s completely manageable. I feel like I’m more interested in study this time around.
Do you believe that this career change has improved your career prospects?
Without a doubt. This particular field is obviously growing all the time and a good postgraduate degree separates you from the crowd. There’s also a huge advantage in having a contrasting skill set – the programming and technical knowledge from my MSc alongside the ‘soft skills’ from my Humanities/Arts degree. The real triumph is bringing the two sides together, and much more uncommon than I initially realised.
Is there anything you regret about your career change?
I’m just glad I’m doing it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I suppose I could say I wish I’d done it sooner but I needed that time to realise what it was I really wanted to do.
Would you recommend a career change to others?
Definitely. I’m of the ethos ‘work to live, not live to work’ but whether you are hugely career-driven or not, you can still be spending 40 hours a week doing something that interests and engages you. About seven years ago I started getting interested in programming and web development, but had just assumed it was not for me. I had pigeon-holed myself for years when actually there’s a lot more crossover and fluidity between subjects than you think. Plus, with the new Master’s funding it’s easier than ever for those who already have their first degree to go and learn something new. It doesn’t necessarily have to make you change career but a chance to see a different perspective is always beneficial.
Many thanks to Lucie for sharing her perspective.
Kent Business School Blogger:
Having graduated in English & Drama from the University of Kent, I received my PGCE 11-18 English, Drama & Media from CCCU in 2013.
I worked as an English teacher for 3 years before deciding to pursue my interest in programming.