Choosing or changing professions

What would you like to do for a living? It is time to choose a profession when you transition from studies to working life or want to change into a new professional field.

Choosing a profession is an important decision, but it does not determine the rest of your life. These days, people change their careers several times over their life course, either based on their own wishes or due to circumstances. For example, a person may have to change their profession when the employment situation or working conditions in their field change. Meanwhile, some study for a new profession because they want to change their everyday life, learn new things, or develop themselves. Health-related changes are also common reasons for changing professions.

Above all, changing your profession is a question of what you would like to learn to do. When making your choice, you should consider your own values and wishes. It is essential to identify both your strengths and limitations and to consider what kinds of topics you want to work on. After that, you should find out what fields and what kind of work tasks could allow you to work on topics that interest you and enable you to make the best use of your strengths.

When making a choice on your future career, be open-minded in reflecting and finding out what opportunities are available, what you would like to do for a living, and what would be possible for you. Training allows you to increase your competence and skills so that you can find employment in tasks that interest you.

You make your own decisions in choosing a field and profession. If you would like support for your decision process with the help and views of a professional, you can use the psychologist service for career selection and career guidance offered by TE services. You can also take part in career coaching, which enables you to consider your career path together with a career coach and other people in the same situation. If you are looking for information about training, contact the education and training guidance of the TE Office.

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Learn a new profession while working

If you are already employed and want to get into a new profession, consider what kind of studies you have time and energy for and how the possible change in income level will affect your life. If you do not want to give up your current job because of your studies, you can search for a degree programme that you can complete alongside your job. 

Changing professions does not necessarily mean that you should change your industry or even your workplace. You can ask your employer about a study leave or degree programmes that can be completed while working. Developing your competence may enable you to get a new job in your current workplace.

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Tools to support career choices

Job Market Finland’s Professional information section

When you are considering different options for your future career, you can learn about different industries and professions in the Professional information section of Job Market Finland. You can get tips for your situation from the interviews and career stories in the section.

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ForeAmmatti is a comprehensive digital service that provides information to support job search and career planning. You can find information about different professions in ForeAmmatti. Use the service to find out about things such as

  • the work tasks of different occupations and their average salary levels,
  • how many jobs are available in the different regions of Finland,
  • how many are applying for the same jobs, and
  • what kinds of skill requirements employers have included in their job postings. 
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The AVO career choice program

The AVO career choice program is a set of self-assessment tasks that helps you make choices on your profession. Completing the tasks will help you reflect on your goals related to the profession, education and work. Reflect on the questions included in the program to get suggestions based on your answers for professions that are suitable for you.

Use the AVO career choice program to

  • think about what kind of work you would like to do,
  • assess your strengths and potential limitations,
  • take an interest test to find out what kinds of tasks you are interested in,
  • test which professions match your wishes and on what basis,
  • examine the professions that suit your preferences, and
  • save your results, so that you can really look into the educational and vocational options that are available to you. 
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The Töissä.fi website provides information on the types of positions those who studied in universities and universities of applied sciences work in. The service is provided by higher education institutions.

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Find out about the employment situation in different industries

Once you have found an industry that suits you, you should find out about the employment situation in the field.

Job Market Finland enables you to browse open jobs and see what kinds of tasks are currently available.

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Occupational Barometer

Use the Occupational Barometer to examine the employment opportunities in the industry of your choice in different regions. The Occupational Barometer contains information about the labour market situation, employment situation, and development prospects for 200 professions. You can check if there is a shortage or oversupply of labour in your industry or profession, and what the recent unemployment and job vacancy rates look like for your profession.

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Training for a profession

Once you have found an interesting profession and considered the employment situation in the industry, it is time to find out what kind of training is needed to find employment in the industry. The education required by the profession may be a short course, a higher education degree, or anything in between.

If you do not have any previous professional education, your options include completing upper secondary vocational education, apprenticeship training or completing a degree at a university of applied sciences or a university. You can also complete a vocational qualification or its units in some folk high schools. For more information on study places and applying for them, see Studyinfo.

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Entrepreneurship as a career option

If you are considering entrepreneurship as one of your career options, you can take part in entrepreneurial training or entrepreneur career coaching. Test your suitability as an entrepreneur using a free test by My Enterprise Finland.

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