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How I Ditched My Science Degree for a Marketing Career

What are your career plans? Do you think you’ll be doing anything with your degree? If you’ve already started your career, is your job relevant to your degree? If it is, do you want to continue down that path?

These were the heavy questions I forced myself to answer when I was nearing the end of my college career.

In 2013, I made the decision to ditch my chemistry degree and pursue marketing and entrepreneurship.

The transition was terrifying to say the least. My parents didn’t agree. My friends didn’t understand, but they blindly supported me. My girlfriend at the time didn’t quite get it either but supported me nonetheless.

It was up to me to see the decision through and believe in myself.

But why did I make such a drastic change?
I took a long term approach to the decision and, although I admit I had my doubts, I never regretted the decision.

I want to share my reasoning with you, in case you’re hoping to made a switch in your career as well.

This is an in-depth look into my decision, one that I haven’t thoroughly discussed with anyone because it was extremely personal. It was difficult to explain to others, not because they didn’t understand–I realized it wasn’t a matter of reasoning–but because they weren’t always open to seeing my perspective.

So now I’m going to share my career decision-making process, for the first time, with you.

Note: I’m going to address drastic points for why I decided not to pursue a career in the sciences and why I decided against a graduate degree. My goal isn’t to deter you from either of those career choices. I simply want to share my process for those who need some direction for a potential career switch in hopes that my thought process will help them through that decision process.

Let’s start with the basics.

Chemistry and I had tons of chemistry, but an element was missing.

To clarify, I didn’t hate chemistry. I loved it. Learning chemistry theories and figuring out equations, although frustratingly difficult, were fun for me. It felt natural being in a research lab with fume hoods whirring and surrounded by chemicals. Chemistry wasn’t the most glamorous or popular major, but I enjoyed it. That’s why I majored in it.

Friends told me I would be a good teacher. I tutored a few friends in chemistry and helped one friend get an A on her exam when she was previously struggling to pass.

And I love chemistry jokes.

Not all career changes are made based off hatred or lack of interest for an industry.

So why didn’t I continue with a career in chemistry despite loving it?

Chemistry was a Dead End (to me)

I realized that I can only do so much with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Most chemists end up in an entry-level quality analysis/quality control job. These jobs often involve a lot of manual, repetitive work. Some end up going into industrial chemistry and running large-scale reactions. You know the shampoo you use? Yeah, that was most likely synthesized in a huge batch, in a big metal container like what you would see in Breaking Bad. 

Fun fact: I didn’t start watching Breaking Bad until after I made the switch to marketing.

I admit, the up front pay of those entry-level jobs was nice and, for a time, I did apply for those type of chemistry jobs. Ironically, I only got two interviews, neither of which hired me.

But I realized wouldn’t have much opportunity to advance to bigger things with just a bachelor’s degree. It also doesn’t help that chemistry jobs are slowly fading away.

In the most recent American Chemical Society survey of new graduates in chemistry and related fields, in 2011, 14% of recent bachelor’s degree recipients reported that they didn’t have a job but were seeking one, up from 12% in 2010. In contrast, 9% of new Ph.D. grads said they were seeking employment in 2011, up from 6% in 2010.

Dodged that one.

How about going back to school?

If I wanted to have an impactful career in chemistry, I would’ve had to go back to school for a graduate program. Getting a master’s degree wasn’t an option. If you have a master’s degree, people won’t assume you went straight for your master’s. Instead, they will place you into one of two categories:

  1. You gave up on your Ph.D and opted out for a master’s.
  2. You failed the proficiency examination to obtain your Ph.D and thus received a master’s instead.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at the Ph.D Program at the University of Chicago Department of Chemistry. The bottom states:

No stigma is attached to failing a proficiency examination.

Sure there isn’t.

To further prove my point, Youngstown State University’s FAQ page states that:

Because the YSU Chemistry Department offers a terminal M.S. degree, the stigma of being a “wash-out” from a Ph.D. program does not exist. We do not offer the Ph.D. degree, so students who come here, come with the intention of an M.S. only. 

I’m going to argue that if these universities feel the need to address a possible stigma, that means there is some sort of stigma. It may not be held among the scientific community, but scientists don’t work with only scientists. They have to work with businessmen and consultants and CEOs. People in those positions will often trust someone with a Ph.D more than they would someone with a master’s.

Oh and in 2012, Forbes listed a master’s in chemistry as one of the worst master’s degrees for a job (sorry chemistry majors).

How about a Ph.D then?

So now I’ve ruled out getting an entry-level chemistry job and a master’s degree. That leaves me the option of going all the way for a Ph.D program.

I had 5 problems with that:

  1. I was sick of school.
  2. The average time it takes to get a Ph.D is 5 years. Not down.
  3. I was sick of school.
  4. Graduate school for chemistry could be very bad for your mental health.
  5. I was sick of school.

Five years of work experience would teach me more and get me further professionally than five years in school.

I knew that graduate school would be bad for my mental health because I had my fair share of weak moments, and I knew being alone in a lab for extended hours wasn’t good for me.

I was also sick of school.

Let’s go with the scenario that I threw all of those reasons out the window and decided to pursue a Ph.D in chemistry anyway.

If, after 5 agonizing years in a lab, I did receive a Ph.D in chemistry and ended up doing research for a living, much of my livelihood would be based off of getting grants for my research. Most research won’t get grants, one of the reasons being that the NIH is broken.

That meant my livelihood would be highly dependent on other people. Though I understand in any case, you’re dependent on others (i.e. customers) for money, I wasn’t comfortable with being highly dependent on others. However, with startups like, I hope funding becomes more available for researchers.

If I somehow got funding and my research was ground-breakingly, world-shakingly amazing, I would still have to wait years before I would see my research implemented in a manner that would improve peoples’ daily lives.

Of course, there are various reasons for getting a Ph.D. I’m not saying there aren’t. They just didn’t resonate with me.

The Switch to Marketing

Up until now, I just discussed all the reasons why I didn’t continue with chemistry. As you saw, I really thought out almost every possible scenario for myself if I had pursued chemistry.

My conclusion was that I didn’t want any of those scenarios for myself.

If you’re looking to change your career, I encourage you to think deeply about why you want to make the change. It’s not just about being happy or passionate about what you do–those things will come. It’s better to think of your future in terms of opportunity. Which career path will create more opportunities for you to do what you ultimately what to do in life?

Because what you ultimately do is going to be a large determining factor of how happy and how passionate you are. This means looking at the potential long terms results of your decision and how those results align with your personal values.

I had a goal to be my own boss. I didn’t want to depend on someone else for my livelihood. I wanted to be an entrepreneur and have my own business. That was an extremely vague goal, though. I didn’t have many business ideas and I didn’t know what type of business I wanted.

I also wanted to be able to empower others to improve their own lives and help them get to where they want to be. I wanted to see the people around me succeed. That was the whole premise of why I founded The UP Lab.

After reading hundreds of articles about entrepreneurship and business, I realized that every business requires good marketing. And after studying what marketing could do, I realized that marketing could be used as a tool of empowerment.

Great marketing can give a nonprofit the momentum it needs to get donations and press and, ultimately, make the world a better place. Great marketing brings people together and creates movements. Great marketing can take a struggling business to success. Great marketing can help an individual break out in her career.

I also wanted to be in the startup game. Move quick. Mess up. Fail. Learn. Repeat. And startups need marketing, right?

Marketing it is.

Here’s where it all came together. Marketing fit my values in two ways:

  1. It can be a tool for empowerment. I want to help people and nonprofits get to where they want to be.
  2. It allows me to be versatile and agile, two key elements of being a part of a startup.

But David, are you passionate about marketing?

Once I graduated and got my chemistry degree (it’s still enclosed in an envelop somewhere), I jumped straight into studying marketing day and night. I slowly made my way into small jobs that gave me opportunities to grow and slowly moved up. Now I’m working at an amazing digital marketing agency.

The thing to note is that, no, I wasn’t passionate about it. Nowhere near it. Even now, I wouldn’t say I’m passionate about it. But the more I continue to study marketing and learned the intricacies of it, the more I enjoy marketing.

This is what Cal Newport calls the Career Craftsman’s Philosophy.

The Career Craftsman believes that compelling careers are not courageously pursued or serendipitously discovered, but are instead systematically crafted.

I enjoyed thinking about marketing and I learned about the endless possibilities. The more I see how powerful marketing can be used as a tool of empowerment, the more I love it.

So no, I wasn’t passionate about it. I saw something more than passion. I saw a career path that would allow me to create change and make an impact on the lives of others. That’s why I stuck to marketing. That’s why I enjoy it more and more each day.

I know that as I continue to do this, I will eventually learn to love it and be passionate about it.


In no way am I suggesting that science majors switch to a business or marketing path. And I’m not discouraging you from pursuing a Ph.D either.

But if you’re thinking about switching careers, take a step back and reflect on why you’re considering the switch. If it’s because you’re stressed or angry or frustrated, then take a step away from those emotions and focus on your personal values.

What do you want in your life? Which career will provide you the opportunity to live out those values? Which career will take you down a path that allows you to do something you care about?

Remember, your degree doesn’t define you and if you’re interested and care about the work you do, the passion will come.

Heyo! I’m creating a resource to make the job hunt easier. Want first dibs?


  • Sharice says:

    Thanks for posting such a transparent and relatable article. I too was a lab rat up until I was not able to continue being in the lab because of lack of funds and skills. If you’re not a postdoc you’re just in the way. I have a BS in Biology but have no desire to use it. Thanks for the encouragement to begin again…

    • Lewis steen says:

      Hi David,

      I currently work as a chemist in a environmental lab. As time goes by i am thinking about a career change and what there is out there for me. I feel the same way about the opportunities in the science field and further education as you do. Picturing being in a lab for the rest of my lab doing extremely repetitive work and not being around people as much is not appealing to me as much as it was immediately after graduating with a bachelors degree in chemistry. What are your thoughts on my situation?

      • It’s a difficult situation. It’s up to you if you want to stick with it or take the big step and make a career change. Just know it isn’t too late! There are many other career options available. What matters is that you take action.

    • Veronica N says:

      Hi David,

      Thank you for this! Although my story is a little different, I am currently majoring in chem and am just unhappy. I loved it up to a point and then just began dreading it everyday which sucks, but I decided I don’t want to put myself through that even if I’m fully capable.

      The problem is, having been a science major for so long, I know all the stigmas we put on other majors like business and communications since our major is so much more time consuming and would never be called “basketweaving”…

      This was hard for me at first because I want to have that easy way out and to have people know I’m smart by simply saying “I’m a chemistry major” instead of having to prove it, but I’ve started to just say eff it and not think about how other people will stigmatize me.

      I’ve decided to be a comm major with a marketing concentration and a minor in math and have never been happier. Nonetheless it’s a little daunting considering I’m going against every belief I’ve had over the last two years, but hearing you say you had your doubts as well is comforting.

      It’s just nice to know that I’m not alone in being someone who thoroughly enjoys chemistry but wants to make a living in another way!

      • Paula says:

        I totally feel you on being afraid of being judged because of my major not being “impressive.” I see that this was posted a long time ago, so I am not sure if you will still see this reply, but how are things going for you now? I would love to hear it as I am a Bio major at the moment thinking of switching into Psychology with a minor in Bio and Management.

  • Stephanie says:

    I majored in psychology and I loved it (and still do), but the career options it provides were not the best fit for my personality. As I got more exposure in the field and looked into the relevant career possibilities, I realized that being either a researcher or a psychologist did not suit me. I didn’t want to bury myself in the lab all day nor stay in school for a few more years to get a Master’s and be a therapist or counsellor. I would love to help people, but just not in this fashion.

    I framed my knowledge in research and psychology as a skill to objectively examine consumer behavior and eventually landed an internship at a retail startup in my final year of university. I have been working in medical marketing since I graduated last year. It’s not my ideal industry and definitely not one that I’ll be staying in forever, but this particular job has given me lots of learning and travel opportunities.

    The point I’m trying to make is that having a career in a particular field goes way beyond the subject matter and knowledge itself. Making sure that what you’ll be doing on a daily basis is in line with your working style goes a long way, which I think is often neglected by university students and graduates. And your degree is definitely NOT going to waste if you’re working in a seemingly irrelevant field. The critical thinking and communication skills you have been honing during your university years (in case you have treated your education seriously) are invaluable regardless of what kind job you have.

    Sorry for the long-winded comment!

    • Hey Stephanie, I completely agree. I actually wrote about something similar to that idea in this blog post a while back.

      Really glad that things have worked out. Medical marketing is a big industry that requires lots of improvement. I’m sure you’re doing great work.

  • Veronica says:

    Hey David, I’m a biology major and I don’t really like it. I have an interest in fashion and I want to do fashion marketing. I’m a freshman in highschool and I see myself mostly in the fashion industry than in the medical field. I do love to help people and that’s why I chose biology but I’m not interested in science or math. Right now, I’m deciding about changing my major and transferring. I still don’t know what to do yet

  • Richard Wheeler says:

    Hello David,

    I am so happy that I read your blog post about this subject as I am currently going through this process of career change. I have my BS in Biology but was not the least bit interested in it. Why did I choose it? Because I felt the need to choose something while everyone around me knew what they wanted to do in life. Being 5 years out of college with no relevant experience in any other field, I am deciding to make the switch to Human Resources. It falls in line with my values and organizational training is something I feel strongly about since I’m currently employed in a company that could use some restructuring in that department. Thank you for sharing and making my decision much easier. I plan to begin pursuing my MBA this fall.

  • Lily C. says:

    I’m currently in the situation to where I have switched from obtaining a Biology degree to one in Communication… a complete 360. Many people – especially my family – disapprove of this completely and have been constantly putting me down about how much failure i’ll end up enduring. I recently came across your blog post and have been reading them as much as I can, and they seem to be giving me hope. Hope that in the end I won’t be a failure because I’ll be happy. I also want to go down the marketing route and just thinking about it gets me excited, but then out of no where I have comments coming in from family members that begin to discourage me again. I have amazing friends that support me and have been ever since I deciding biology wasn’t for me; it never was for me. Do you have any advice on how I can cope with this? How I can ignore these remarks and just focus on myself? How did you get where you are today? You’ve become an inspiration and I hope one day to be where you are now. :)

  • kirti says:

    i would just say a big thank you .. it helped a lot.. i am currently pursuing MSc chemistry. this is my last year. And I was too thinking of changing my career in digital marketing. truthfully, i dont have any idea how too start..neither do i have any knowledge regarding this. will you please suggest me how to start ?

  • Angela says:

    “Remember, your degree doesn’t define you and if you’re interested and care about the work you do, the passion will come.” I love this line. It’s a common misconception that people think that when they enter a certain field or subject matter, you must be passion about it. Some people don’t understand that fine wine takes time, that the more you do it, the more passionate you will be about it.

    thanks for this post, I am still in my first year of college, and I am making that transition from science to a more people oriented subject, I am thinking maybe psychology and another social science that I will like.

    All the best to you David.

  • Kiara Milligan says:

    Hey, I’m considering switching from biomedical sciences to marketing I always wanted to be a business woman but chosed the science path because it was what my family encouraged when I was younger and they also viewed marketing or anything business related a waste of time. I am a senior I have 13 classes left.

  • Tina Upchurch says:

    Thank you SO much for sharing your experience in this way. I’ve been a Biologist in varying industries for the past 25 years, and am ready for a change. I’m beginning to craft a new career path for myself, and your story was so enlightening. Just wanted to show my gratitude, and wish you all the best for the future!

  • Roshni Patel says:

    This was an excellent read. I can really relate. I graduated with a Bsc Biomedical Sciences degree last summer, but have no intention to pursue a masters or a career in this field now. I had considered marketing a few times over the past year as there are so many job opportunities for it. However, the job posts I had seen all required a marketing undergraduate degree. Do you think it is better to self-teach marketing, or study it as a masters/other qualification? or just apply for small marketting jobs. Thank you!

    • Hey Roshni, I’m an advocate for learning marketing on your own. Many marketing programs nowadays are focused on high-level marketing concepts and aren’t up to date with modern This marketing methodologies and technology. I’d recommend starting with resources from Hubspot:

      That will lead to learning about different marketing channels. The best way to learn is through action so I’d recommend starting a project, whether it’s your own website or business and start doing marketing – not just reading about it. This will improve your chances of getting a job.

  • Trish says:

    Hi David!

    I really enjoyed reading this as I am currently in the same boat. I will be graduating with a degree in genetics, however I can’t see myself continuing an education in this field any longer and I obviously waited a little too long to figure it out. I have held jobs throughout college that built up on sales, advertising, and marketing skills so I have some experience already, however, my academic performance within my major wasn’t great (due to a huge lack of interest). Would you suggest taking some post-bacc classes/a certificate focusing on marketing strategies for this reason? Or do you think I should self-teach myself marketing strategies and concepts and build on my experience? Thank you!

  • Cesare says:

    Hi David!
    I really appreciated your post. I can really relate to your experience: I’ve a master degree in chemistry (3+2 years of “college”.. I’m in EU but I suppose it’s the same..) and I have not the will to pursue a career in that field.
    I’m changed during these years of university and right now I’d like to find a job that allows me to interact with people on daily basis.. something like.. marketing/sales! :)

    I don’t want to bother you so much, I’m just wondering how you did this:

    “[…] I slowly made my way into small jobs that gave me opportunities to grow and slowly moved up […]”

    Maybe it’s just a problem of european job market (I suppose it’s a bit more slack than american one) but I can not think a way to find a entry-level job (/intership) withone no experiences or degrees in fields like marketing, economics, etc.

    Thanks David, good luck for everything!

  • Mex Lakiss says:

    Hi David,

    Very inspiring. I am in the same boat. I have a BSc in Chemistry from the UK with few years experience. However i got sick of working in a lab and i took up a sales job. Now I moved to Canada and I am stuck between getting back to it or not! In the mean time I got my self into recruitment and I am thinking of pursuing a career there.

    What do you think?

  • Carly says:

    I’m in a similar position right now. I’m a university student on my way to getting my degree in biology, but I’ve recently felt the need to switch to business because it interests me more. However, my friends and family are not as supportive as I had hoped and I’m having a difficult time actually making the decision to switch. How did you handle the transition?

    • Hey Carly – Sorry to hear that. Yeah, my friends and I faced that as we were making the transition. The simple answer is to ignore them and stay headstrong in your decision. It’s not that they don’t support you, it’s more likely that they’re concerned and trying to look out for you and hoping that you take a safer path that’s more traditionally considered “successful.” There’s no right or wrong decision, but I’d suggest, if you find business more interesting, talk to people in business and learn about what they do, maybe even shadow them.

  • PY says:

    Hi David,
    It’s really comforting to know someone had the same struggles I’m currently going through right now. As a senior chemistry major now, professors, friends and family members have been asking me what to do next. Frankly, it took me a long time to declare my major. Not because it wasnt a subject I didn’t like or wasn’t interested in it, but because I couldn’t see a career in it. However, I declared my major anyways and fast forward 4 years, I’m back to the same question.
    Over the summer, a friend suggested time to take a business-related class because I have a small business online. I ended up taking accounting and economics classes and really enjoyed it. Running my small business made me realize the importance of marketing as well. So recently, I’ve been thinking of going into marketing but I don’t really know where to start. Should I go for a masters program or try looking for a business related job?

  • Noor says:

    Hey David,
    Your post has really made me reconsider my choice of career change even more. I received my Bachelors degree in Biology last year. I am in my first gap year and has been contemplating whether I should pursue a career in med/pre-health but my thoughts were just the same as you. Did you have to pursue a marketing MA in order to find a job. Do you think jobs will consider me even though I do not have a foundation in business?

  • NB says:

    I’m in a similar position, last May I graduated with a Bachelors in Biochemistry. I love science, however in my junior year of college I started to struggle and started to rethink my major. I didn’t want to disappoint my family (since I’m the first to go to college) I stuck with it and graduated. Now I’ve been looking for a lab job so I can use my degree and after going on a couple interviews and I started to wonder if this is really what I wanted to do and work a 8-5 sitting in a lab doing the same thing. It just doesn’t interest me at all. So recently sales and marketing have caught my attention and I would love to get to know more about that industry, but I don’t even know where to get started. I’ve been thinking about going back to school to get a MBA with a concentration in Marketing, however I don’t really want to go back to school. I was wondering is there a way to start a career in pharmaceutical sales or medical device marketing without going back to school?

  • Olivia says:

    Wow I’m so happy I stumbled upon this post! I’m currently in my junior year of college and decided to switch my major around a bit. I’ve always enjoyed chemistry but could never envision myself in a related career. I never enjoyed lab and am definitely more drawn to the challenge that comes along with solving complicated equations in lecture classes. This year I made the decision to finish out the last credit required for my chemistry degree and graduate with a BA instead of a BS. I’m also adding on a BA in sociology because I’ve decided I want to work around people/helping people. It was definitely a big change because it’s always so entertaining to see how impressed people are when they find out you’re a chemistry major haha. I’m still not exactly sure what career I want to pursue but it was so refreshing to come across your post and this comment section! I’ve been searching the internet the past few months for people going through a similar situation-thank you so much for sharing your story!

  • Hanna says:

    Hi David
    I have been thinking rather debating over with myself about shifting. This shift would totally change my profile, I m a project scientist in a lab n thinks by of shifting to fashion styling. No match. But what scares me what if that didn’t work, will I regret leaving this ( though it’s not enticing to me as of now). I can’t get my money nd of these thoughts. Don’t know exactly how to ho about the new career n surely can’t focus on the present. I am lost.

  • Montana says:

    many thanks for this post, much appreciated. Cheers!

  • Kristiann Grove says:

    Hi David,
    Thank you for writing the article. I’ve been a working lab chemist for 20 years and I’m just burned out and bored. Although I love being in the sciences, it doesn’t really play to my skill set.

    I’m more people oriented and creative, then logical. I really want to leave the sciences and start a new career.
    Can you give me any advice on how to start?
    Thank you, Kristi

  • Laveeza says:

    Hey I’m currently about to finish my 12th from science and I had been thinking on same lines as you. After thinking carefully, this is what I’ve worked out
    I wanna make good money
    I want to help people (poor people specially) and make a change in people’s lives
    I love getting praised and love attention
    Love to speak to people
    Love to feel that I have a special place and people trust me, they look up to me. Thus love to guide/direct.
    Love to push myself outside my comfort zones.
    Love working on goals.
    Like organizing and planning.

    I had thought about event management company but doesn’t align with me being a girl and you have to go on venues at night and stuff. Serving of alcohol is also not permitted which will be there at many events. So I’m pretty confused what business can I do and whether I really can do because I do skills for it but nkt understanding of business knowledge.

  • Melissa says:

    This post felt so validating! After struggling in grad school, I decided to cut my losses and “settle” for a Master’s in chemistry. It hurts me with every job application! Either I’m underqualified (chemistry jobs,) or I scare off the employer by being “overqualified” (it really intimidates many people.) I am now an EMT, something you don’t even need a Bachelor’s for. But you know what? I’m happier (and mentally healthier!) than I ever was in grad school, and I can see myself doing this long term, despite the stigma. (“You have a chemistry MS? Why the hell are you just an EMT?!” Ugh, I hate that.) Thanks for your post!

  • Ky says:

    This gives me some sort of reassurance! I graduated with a bachelors in Kinesiology-Exercise science but after undergrad I lost the passion for PT and Occupational therapy. I realized I hated the subjects when I was in college and just finished my degree to please my parents (Tiger mom & dad). I’m currently interested in marketing, especially digital marketing. I was just wondering how you were able to take these steps to achieve what you currently have? I’ve been reading countless reddit posts and researching. I like getting information from multiple sources so I’d like to ask you for some advice! Thanks David!

  • You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the article you write.
    The world hopes for more passionate writerds like you who are not afraid to say how they believe.

    All the time follow youir heart.

  • Jana says:


    Thank you so much for your insight. As a recent Chemistry grad and daughter of Chinese immigrants, your articles have meant so much to me. I am so thankful to find someone with this shared experience and to hear that leaving the industry can really work out well, even with my family protesting the whole way out. I have no idea which industry to approach next… any words of wisdom to offer? Thanks again for everything, hope all is well with you!

  • Troy says:

    Hi David,

    I am in a similar situation and would love your input. I have a pre-med degree and am realizing my interests and passion are in the field of marketing/brand development. What would be a initial first step for me to do? Do I need to go back to school to get a business marketing degree? I would greatly appreciate some insight on what I should do from here.

  • Telvina says:

    Hi I know this must be such a late comment but this story is amazing .I am literally in my final year few months away from getting my degree in a bsc in molecular biology and genetics and I love science but the science field there is no money and to be honest ilove business and working with people that I even have a very successful nail business . I am currently thinking of changing to CA not to become an accountant but for the opportunity that comes with being a CA for my future and your story helped me make my decision .

  • Madiah says:

    Hi David,
    I wanted to say thank you for sharing your experience, I am a third year biology major and when I started my major I thought I liked it and also all my life I had convinced myself that science was my passion and my main goal in life was to become a doctor eventually. Now I am in my third year ( barely passing, and never really enjoyed studying it ), but I never considered switching and now I am considering to switch into marketing as it best matches my skills and personally in the long run I think it will make me happy, but the pressure is too much. I still have my doubts of whether its’ worth the risk because leaving science would also mean losing all family support and I am scared, what if one day I look back and regret my decision.

  • K. Webb says:

    Hey David,

    I appreciate you taking the time out to discuss topics that people like you and myself have so many concerns about. This was a good read! It also gave me insight and help. I’ve never commented on anything I found on google but I was led to tell you about how beneficial this article was for me. Thank You

  • Matt Williams says:


    I have been a chemist for over 25 years and believe my career has stalled and I have been told by my MBA marketing professor I was a marketing prodigy. How do I make the transition?

    I feel I am at a crossroads and ready to make the change.

    • Erika says:

      I am currently getting my degree in engineering. But I have been reading books and watching videos on buisness marketing and learning about finance. I was possibly thinking about switching. But question for a degree in marketing Its required for a chem 1 and 2 and biology when will the use of chemistry come in in marketing? I asked my advisor but she basically told me it’s just part of the curriculum. I told her why it’s a waste of time and money. If it’s not used on a daily then why put it in the curriculum if it dosen’t pertain to it

  • Sloane says:

    Hi David,
    So Im currently a senior and I’m going to be graduating with a degree in cognitive science (I switched at the end of junior year from biology), and I would also like to pursue a career in marketing. I’m wondering how you applied to companies without any business experience- do you have s as my advice on how I can do this too? All the jobs I’ve seen in the marketing fields require a degree in business or prior experience in the industry… any help you can provide would be amazing! Thank you for writing this article- very very inspiring.

  • Khaila says:

    Thank you so much for this article. It’s given me a lot of insight considering I’m going through the same predicament that you did. I spent four years getting a Bsc. in Laboratory Science only to realize that…I don’t think this is what I want to do. I’ve been in denial and I’ve even made myself feel bad about “wasting so much time and money” but reading this was very reassuring. And I feel like I’ve gained a bit more motivation to get out there, learn more, and make that switch to what i feel will be most fulfilling to me.

  • Munu Choudhury says:

    First of all a huge thanks to you for proving that making such a massive career transition is actually possible. I am in the first year of college doing triple major in physics, chemistry and math. I am very much interested in chemistry and I have always thought of pursuing a career in it. But I don’t have much interest as of now. Getting a phD in this field just doesn’t seem viable, moneywise. I want to make some money and I have developed an interest in marketing lately. But getting into a good MBA school is not a piece of cake. And given I have no prior experience working or managing a business, chances of me getting into school fresh out of college and that too with no background in business administration are futile. But if I get a job that gives me atleast some sort of first hand experience I can definitely have some edge. My question is, how do I look for jobs without a relevant degree?

  • Foteini says:

    Hello David!!! Thank you for your article. I am now finishing my bachelor in biology and I am feeling the same way as you. I would like to ask you .. Did you go to a university for studying marketing or some seminars , or you just read articles and get informed?
    Thank you a lot in advance.

  • Paula says:

    I totally feel you on being afraid of being judged because of my major not being “impressive.” I see that this was posted a long time ago, so I am not sure if you will still see this reply, but how are things going for you now? I would love to hear it as I am a Bio major at the moment thinking of switching into Psychology with a minor in Bio and Management.

  • Emily Hsu says:

    Hello, your story was very inspiring and I can relate a lot to what you went through in the beginning. I am hoping you can help me because I feel so lost at the moment and I don’t know what to do. I am currently a junior in college, majoring in human biology. I ace all of my classes, I enjoy learning about it and my plan was going to nursing school to become a nurse. However, I feel like if I chose this path, I would be settling, not ever being able to reach my full potential. I agree when you say there’s only so much you can do with certain degrees. I am not passionate about science, I chose my major based on what I was good at and what my parents thought was best for me. My current job is working towards a nursing career too, I work as a patient care associate at my local hospital. And I can’t help but feel that I honestly see working in this type of environment as my last resort. (Not to say nursing is easy) I just mean that yes, I’m good at the classes but no, working in healthcare is just not for me. I tried to start my own clothing brand back in 2017, I was only 16, not having a clue about how to start and unfortunately I gave up because of the expenses. But looking back, that’s something I want to do and wish I continued to learn about. It doesn’t have to clothes or fashion, it can be anything. I just want to build my own empire and I want to be my own boss.

    All my classes since freshman year have been towards my human biology major, though, and if I switched now I don’t want to feel like I wasted my first two years of college (and money because it’s very expensive). I’m hoping you’ll give me advice about what I can do?
    The more I work at the hospital, the more I learn about a nurse’s job, and the more saddened I get because I know if I do go towards this path I see my future self as unhappy, regretful, and hopeless.

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