What did you guys do your degree(s) on, and, if not, what?

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Maywynn
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09 Feb 2014, 1:53 pm

I'm curious about what people did for degrees (or didn't do), because I can't decide.
So, I'm a junior/year 12 in high school (I have this year and one more full year left) and I don't know what I want to do after that.
I am interested in the police and military, but I don't know how likely that is, considering that I have mild autism. I have dual citizenship, so I could possibly go to one country and have the military pay, or, I could have the other country's military pay for my degree. One country has limitations on what kind of degree the military will pay for.
I am interested in pyschology, but that is kind of an everyman's, one a penny, degree, at least in the UK. (So how valued would it be?)
I am also interested in Russian, but, as my mother pointed out, Russians (IN GENERAL) can be kind of racist and as a not-very-white person, I don't know how well that would work out.
I am also interested in things like anthropology, but I don't know what kind of job I could get after that. Ditto for pyschology. I don't want to be a pyschologist.
I like German (the language) and languages in general, but I, stupidly, didn't carry on with German this year, because I had a limited number of choices and I chose other (what I thought at the time) more important things.
I definately want to get a degree just in case police or military don't work out.
Do you have any advice/suggestions?


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zer0netgain
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09 Feb 2014, 2:49 pm

My best advice is not to rush into anything. For now, focus on having a job and building a life.

Education (at least here in the USA) IS NOT what it's cracked up to be. Too many with degrees who can't find a job doing what they trained to do and now enslaved to a life of debt they can't repay.

I majored in Political Science (because I was planning on going into law school and this was the "pre-law" course) and opted to expand my minor (Mass Communications) into a dual major. I picked these cheifly on the fact that they were interests of mine.

Of course, Political Science has no direct-hire occupation, but can be applied to many things. Mass Communications leads into journalism, but the pay is pathetically low, and only those with the right face/voice have a shot at the bigger money opportunities in radio/TV.

Looking back, I should have never gone or found an "in demand" field I could get somewhat into because it was all about getting into a good job for me...not just getting a stupid piece of paper.



Kaedra
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09 Feb 2014, 2:51 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/money/2010/a ... r-optionsa

I don't know if this will help, but if you are interested maybe you should have a look :)



Jojopa
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09 Feb 2014, 3:00 pm

I agree you shouldn't rush into anything, I finished a degree in Biological Sciences last year but haven't had much luck in employment, partly due to a subpar grade which itself was down to losing interest in the subject. In retrospect I wish I'd waited until I was more sure on what I wanted to do, now I'm more interested in working with children but I'm still going to wait a couple of year minimum before taking any more education when I'm sure that's what I want to go into.



Last edited by Jojopa on 09 Feb 2014, 3:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

redrobin62
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09 Feb 2014, 3:01 pm

I became a nurse, an LPN. It wasn't by choice. My mother told me either I choose nursing or be homeless. So I chose nursing. I hated the school from Day One and later, when I got into the profession, hated that as well. I should never have been a nurse. All it did was bring me years of pain, misery and suffering. Yeah, it paid the rent, that's why I kept with it. I wish I could get those years back now but it's too late. I missed that train already.



trick70
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09 Feb 2014, 3:53 pm

Ask yourself about what you like about the police or military. If it's the organization pulling together for the better good, maybe management courses. If it's the investigations, there are a lot of forensic courses (including psychology) that might be right for you. Whatever you do keep it near your interests. I personally studied law because the job I wanted favored lawyers and accountants.



hyena
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09 Feb 2014, 4:03 pm

I studied physics, philosophy and math at university. I graduated and found out the job market wasn’t great in those fields. It is much better than for BAs but still. I did not even apply anywhere. I went back to uni in January 2013 and studied computer science (will be done with my major this April). It seems that the job market for computer scientists is booming right now, there aren’t enough of them. So I am quite hopeful now.

Whatever you do I urge you to not make the same mistake that I and countless others have made. If your goal is to find employment in your field after you graduate university you really need to look at the job market for that field before you get in it. If your choice is history, for example, your chances of finding a job in that field are minimal. Same with psychology from what I hear. We also need to keep our condition in mind. I think it is best to avoid careers which require a good deal of interaction with people.

But be sure to check out the job market before getting into an area of study, if your aim is employment. I would strongly recommend getting into a university and a program that has a professional experience year (usually after 3rd year your university finds you paid employment for a year if your grades are high enough). That is a great way to earn some money, get experience and make connections.

I think you also have to be good at the field you choose. You don’t have to be the best but you do have to be good at what you do otherwise no one will pay you. If the job market for financial analysts is booming but one is really bad at it, it would be foolish for one to pursue it. You have to have some talent, even if mild, in the field you choose.

Ideally you will like your field or at least find it tolerable. If you have a job and make good money but hate your job and it makes you miserable you might have been much better off choosing a job that pays less but that makes you happy.

Is employment your only goal? I studied philosophy at university and although it is not very helpful in terms of employment I greatly value the knowledge I gained in this field and would not trade it for anything. It has given me clarity which I had sought for so long. I would highly recommend that others study it, even as a minor. It is wonderful. I know many people in math or physics or engineering who lack the wisdom that comes from studying humanities, especially philosophy. What good is employment if one is a fool in life? To me enlightenment is precious and I am very glad I studied humanities even though they may not help with employment.

Do you want to have fun in university? Well study things that you like. If you never enjoy what you study you are unlikely to do very well anyway.

As you can see there are many (often conflicting) issues you must consider before you choose. It is a compromise and chance is involved. You have to contemplate what is important to you and choose accordingly. Of course there is chance involved. It may turn out that if person x had studied history, which she loves, she will find good employment after graduating even though the job market is bad. On the other hand if she studied accounting, which she does not like but finds tolerable, she will not find a job even though the market is good. This would be a double whammy! It is possible that something like this will happen but the chances are low, and the chances that the opposite happens are much higher. Personally, I like going by probabilities rather than just “follow your heart”, which many people do. It is possible that following one’s heart will lead to better results but often it does not in terms of employment. There are many more unemployed historians than computer scientists.

If you have any specific questions feel free to ask :)



Last edited by hyena on 09 Feb 2014, 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Ashariel
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09 Feb 2014, 4:07 pm

My degree was in music (oboe performance) – but then I got Lyme disease while in school, which caused permanent muscle weakness and impaired coordination, so I'm physically unable to play the oboe anymore.

Plus there's the fact that the music industry is insanely competitive, there are hardly any jobs (for oboists especially), and it takes a certain personality type, and life skills that I simply don't have. Basically, I wouldn't recommend that as a career option. 8O

In retrospect I wish I'd trained in something simpler but more practical, in a field where there are lots of job openings. I managed okay at a couple of office jobs when I was younger, and I think that would have been a much wiser career choice for me.

It's not just about your talents and interests, but also what sort of jobs are actually available, and most importantly what you will be able to handle, given your specific challenges and limitations.



gretchyn
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09 Feb 2014, 4:11 pm

Kaedra wrote:
http://www.theguardian.com/money/2010/aug/21/anthropology-degree-career-optionsa

I don't know if this will help, but if you are interested maybe you should have a look :)


I have a bachelor degree in cultural anthropology. You can do nothing with it that earns you any money. If you really want to be an anthropologist, you need to get a doctorate.

With my anthropology degree, I teach high school courses (all subjects) to adults.

Often, unless you are specialized, it really doesn't matter what you got your degree in, as long as you got one.

(I live in the U.S.)



daydreamer84
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09 Feb 2014, 4:17 pm

My undergrad degree is a B.A in Psychology. Now I'm doing a Master's of Library Science , very slowly, part-time.



linatet
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09 Feb 2014, 4:51 pm

Maywynn wrote:
I'm curious about what people did for degrees (or didn't do), because I can't decide.
So, I'm a junior/year 12 in high school (I have this year and one more full year left) and I don't know what I want to do after that.
I am interested in the police and military, but I don't know how likely that is, considering that I have mild autism. I have dual citizenship, so I could possibly go to one country and have the military pay, or, I could have the other country's military pay for my degree. One country has limitations on what kind of degree the military will pay for.
I am interested in pyschology, but that is kind of an everyman's, one a penny, degree, at least in the UK. (So how valued would it be?)
I am also interested in Russian, but, as my mother pointed out, Russians (IN GENERAL) can be kind of racist and as a not-very-white person, I don't know how well that would work out.
I am also interested in things like anthropology, but I don't know what kind of job I could get after that. Ditto for pyschology. I don't want to be a pyschologist.
I like German (the language) and languages in general, but I, stupidly, didn't carry on with German this year, because I had a limited number of choices and I chose other (what I thought at the time) more important things.
I definately want to get a degree just in case police or military don't work out.
Do you have any advice/suggestions?

So interesting, we have the same interests! Except military, which I hate, but it has to do with my country's recent horrifying military dictatorship so...
Hmm I am studying Law and International Affairs, but I'm not sure I like it... I chose International Affairs because it has slightly (very slightly indeed) to do with languages and anthropology, and I'm afraid of choosing majors that have to do with my interests because I'm freaking afraid of ending up unemployed! I mean, I have to start up on the top, because if I don't get very qualified in a very high-paying job, I can't do it. I can't depend on having a great network or on job interviews or jobs that require short term memory, executive function, social skills etc, which are virtually any job except for those that require specific knowledge.
But that's in my country, I don't know how it's like in yours... In here we're very collective (not individualists like americans or british for instance) so jobs depend heavily on knowing the right people or being high on the office's social hierarchy. I can't depend on that or depend on being chosen for promotions. I have to start on the top.
Maybe I'm being too pessimistic (I try to be realistic) I don't want to make you afraid, but do some research on it! You will probably want to avoid jobs that (1) require skills you have a limited chance of developing to a certain level, or (2) that have a stressful unpredictable full of noises etc environment, those 2 things could easily make you depressed or anxious or fired.



eric76
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09 Feb 2014, 5:02 pm

When I was in high school I wanted to have a dual major in mathematics and physics. When I enrolled in college they suggested that I concentrate on just one or the other and so I selected mathematics.



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09 Feb 2014, 6:08 pm

Nothing



Ettina
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10 Feb 2014, 9:20 am

Quote:
Ditto for pyschology. I don't want to be a pyschologist.


My major is psychology. I'm assuming your image of a psychologist is 'someone who talks to people about their problems for a living'? Because that's not the only career psychology can lead into.

Some other psychology careers:
* consulting with businesses on psychological matters (eg planning effective advertising campaigns, how to deal with difficult coworkers)
* performing research into psychology
* administering standardized assessments (eg IQ tests)
* teaching psychology (sessional lecturer or eventually professor)
* being an expert witness in court
* others I haven't thought of

I find a lot of careers are like this. A major in a certain topic could lead into many different areas depending on what catches your interest.



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10 Feb 2014, 9:28 am

I got an accredited associates degree in the military (Community College of the Air Force). Much of the credit came from Air Force courses in tech school. I had to take several courses with civilian colleges to fill the degree out, like at night school. Mine is in Ground Radar Technology. Kinda specific, but I never lacked for work.