Unrelated Degree? Start Your Passion Project Anyway
Ready for some honesty?
I am a website designer with an undergraduate and Master's degree, however they're both completely unrelated to what I do in my business now. Still, I have found that there is more than enough space to be successful and fill a need in the website design space.
The same goes for you. A degree in the field of your passion project is not completely necessary. It's all about carving out your area of the field and providing something in a way others cannot.
Choosing the most educated or choosing the right fit?
Say you want your 7 year old daughter Sophie to learn French and you're looking for a teacher for her. You don't want to skimp, you want little Sophie to have the best.
Of course the most qualified person by far to teach her a language would be a university French professor. A university professor has a PhD, the highest qualification a person can earn.
But does hiring a university professor to teach little Sophie really make sense?
A French professor is significantly over-qualified to teach little Sophie the language, the work simply wouldn't interest them, not to mention you'd have to pay top dollar to have someone with such a qualification teach anything. You'd be overpaying for something you don't need.
Little Sophie won't make use of the professors years of research into the structure of speech, dialects, sociolects, etc.
This is the case for any field. The people who have a degree in the field serve a difference audience and complete different work.
There's no question that in the field of language instruction having a broad spectrum from part-time tutors to full time university professors is important.
They provide for people at different stages of their language education.
They serve difference audiences and each one is vital.
Serve The People Who Need Something You Can Uniquely Offer
The people completing IT degrees have knowledge in fields that I am not as experienced in, but this knowledge is not vital to the clients I'm serving. I can run a business directed at my target audience in a way they never could.
I help ladies who need a website quickly & easily. I don't code it from the bottom. What on earth would your average photographer or event planner do with a completely custom coded site? They'd be clueless the second I hand it over.
I work with ladies like me, ladies working on a passion project. Ladies who love it when I take a genuine interest in their brand/business and that love my upbeat attitude when I get on a call with them.
Think about the people who most often go get IT and Computer Science degrees. Yeah, you know the stereotype. Nerdy guys.
I'd pay to watch your typical IT graduate get on a call with one of my fashion bloggers clients.
It just wouldn't click.
In the same way that it wouldn't click if I sat down at a meeting with the development team at Microsoft.
Meeting Clients Where They're At
I can teach and relay information at a level my clients understand.
For anyone else who's picked up a degree or two, I'm sure you've also noticed that when someone is an expert in their field, that doesn't necessarily mean they're remotely skilled at relaying information to beginners.
Just because someone is a genius doesn't mean they have the ability to communicate a message well. In fact, once people are so immersed in their field, they often forget what the start was like, the basic challenges and questions faced by a beginner.
What's our lesson here?
Find YOUR people
Find a section of people who need your services, don't compete with the pros in their area, find your own area.
It would be insane to hire a French professor to teach little Sophie in the same way it would be insane for a mom and pop new business to hire the greatest tech developers in the world to create their 4 page website.
Start Your Passion Project Anyway
So what I want to say to you today is, don't let fear stop you from whatever your passion project is. You have a group of people waiting to be served in a way that someone with an undergrad, MA or PhD in the field never could.
Cater to your people, they need you.
TELL ME: I'm so curious, what field are you looking to get into/have gotten into and what's your degree in? Have you found your degree has given you an upper hand in that field in some way over those who took the traditional route?