Improving higher education for career switchers?

Sophie is redirecting her career. How can we help?

We interviewed Sophie, a recent college graduate from Northeastern University, who decided she is going back to school to redirect her career. We recently started working on ALEX, a start-up focused on increasing access to higher education and wanted her insight as a career ‘switcher’. She is a psychology and criminal justice major and is changing career paths by taking courses in foundations of art. Why?

She has always been artistic and in an effort to fuse her love for creating things — from her own clothes to paintings — with her background in psychology to design spaces that effect how people best learn and heal, but she did start there.

She was on the path to become a lawyer, but after experience in a start-up and a law firm, she did not feel that was her path. Here is an excerpt of a few key quotes from her interview.

As a career switcher Sophie gave us key insight into how the current system is not quite meeting her needs. Here is what we learned:

  • Personal and career interest can change dramatically during college
  • Switchers want to align their passion with their personal interest
  • Redirecting career paths may require combining degrees and courses
  • The structure of degree programs can limit exploration
  • Experienced professionals provide clarity on redefining careers path
  • Millennials value the feedback and social experience of the classroom
  • Speed to acquiring job skills was a priority

Sophie shared with us the importance learned the importance of flexibility, feedback, and speed in her career choices. As we move forward in launching our start-up, ALEX, focused on life long learning. We look forward to integrating what we learn into our solution.


Sergio Marrero, CEO, ALEX

Alana Matos, Designer, ALEX