“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

Malcolm X

Sipping your fifth coffee of the day, willing your fingers to type 100 words in a minute to complete an assignment, you might have wondered: is studying even worth it when you might want to pursue a different career?

Woman falls asleep while studying in a library.

Many students enter freshman year with a clear idea of what they want to do. But, by graduation, they might feel their career shifting towards a totally unrelated path.

However, no matter where you end up, your post-secondary education can (and will!) come in handy in surprising ways.

Not quite convinced? Just look at these celebrities who used their post-secondary education in ways you might not expect:

1. Mayim Bialik

This American actress, best known for playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on the Big Bang Theory, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of California, Los Angeles.

And her education must have helped her portray the sitcom role with ease—after all, the best way to play a neurobiologist is to actually be a neurobiologist (it’s method acting)!

And, her studies likely also helped her write not one, but two books targeted at young people adjusting to change: Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular and ‘Boying Up: How to Be Brave, Bold and Brilliant.’

2. Natalie Portman

This Academy Award-winning actress graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology (while pursuing her acting career)!

You probably know her for playing Nina Sayers, the lead role in the movie Black Swan. Her background in psychology probably helped her understand Sayers’ psyche and portray it aptly—ultimately earning her an Oscar.

3. John Legend

This Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter studied English at the University of Pennsylvania. He later moved to New York and worked as a consultant while simultaneously creating music.

If you’ve ever wondered why Legend’s lyrics are so—well—legendary, you can thank his English and literature studies.

4. Ken Jeong

A licensed physician, Jeong earned his MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He later left his career as a practicing physician to pursue stand-up comedy and acting.

Having co-created and starred in the ABC sitcom Dr. Ken, Jeong’s schooling and experience undoubtedly came in handy even outside the operating room.

5. Ashley Rous (a.k.a “Bestdressed”)

This fashion and lifestyle YouTuber majored in film, television and digital media at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Using her film and media knowledge to create artistic fashion videos, Rous has amassed nearly four million YouTube subscribers. And, her education has helped her advertise her jewelry brand to larger audiences.

6. Karamo Brown

Although he studied business administration at Florida A&M University, this television personality went on to pursue a career in social work. However, his education no doubt facilitated his career in mental health—after all, social work facilities are businesses; so people employed at them need to understand how businesses work.

You likely know Brown as a member of the “fab five” on Netflix’s Queer Eye. But his business education undoubtedly helped him here, too—he needed to market himself to Netflix’s casting team!

7. Jay Shetty

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This UK-born life coach earned a degree in management science from Cass Business School in London. And, we’d venture to guess his education comes in handy because of his diverse workload as an entrepreneur, author, podcast host and entertainer.

In fact, Shetty’s story is pretty interesting. When he was a 21-year-old student, he heard a monk speak for the first time and chose to devote himself to spirituality. He spent the next three years working half-time in finance and practicing half-time as a monk; and, for three years after that, lived in a monastery full-time. Now, he combines what he learned in school with what he learned as a monk to give you financial, social and spiritual advice on his podcast and through various social media channels.

Intrigued? We sure are.

And, well, you’re in luck! That’s because Jay Shetty will be visiting IGNITE virtually on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. EDT for his very own Real Talks!

You’ll get to hear from Shetty about his professional success, personal journey and how you can build sustainable social habits into your life (even during midterm season. Yes, really).

Plus, it wouldn’t be an IGNITE event without giveaways—you’ll have the chance to win copies of this celeb’s book and some top-secret grand prizes!

Sign up for IGNITE Real Talks featuring Jay Shetty and get ready for a night of connection you’ll never forget.

And remember: while your career might seem to be deviating from your schooling, eventually, they’ll find ways to intertwine. College or university is worth it—no matter where you end up!

Your education will come in handy in any career; and soft skills will come in handy in any workplace. Here’s how.

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