Which Degrees are pretty 'pointless'?

(335 Posts)
DreadLock Thu 05-Sep-13 14:51:00

Just starting to look at courses with DS. So many choices. BUT I am sure there are some which are not particularly going to lead to much. Employers - what do you look for on a CV and what would you avoid?
And any other 'views' are welcome.
DS not even sure if he wants to go to UNI so we are having a good look into stuff.

If he's not sure he wants to go I would suggest a gap year, travel, work, do something voluntary - get some life experience, move out, pay bills etc

That'll set him up much better than doing a cause he's only half interested in.

If he decides he really wants to go to uni and has a clear decision on what he wants to study then it'll be worth the thousands of pounds debt he'll be in.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 05-Sep-13 15:09:58

In a lot of cases it is not the subject, but the university that is "not worth it"

If your DS isn't sure as others have suggested maybe take a gap year (but do something worthwhile!) that would give him time to grow and mature and do some thinking about his future. May also help with uni entry.

Have you thought about a Scottish university? There is a lot more scope for chopping and changing due to the extra year.

Eve Thu 05-Sep-13 15:14:08

i read something last year, that said that every student who had a degree in 'Golf course management' ... something most people would dismiss as not being a 'proper' degree all went into jobs, 1 on the Ryder Cup tour team.

Those with English degrees from same university.. less than 50% had jobs.

creamteas Thu 05-Sep-13 15:20:22

No degrees are pointless, but some are better suited to some careers than others grin

To me, there are only two reasons to choose a degree course:

1) You know what you want to do, and need a specific degree to get there (eg medicine, golf management).

2) You have a passion for the subject, and want to study it further.

In my experience, students who undertake a degree in a subject they don't care about, just because they think it will look good on a CV rarely do very well. At the end of the day, a low degree result will look worse on a CV than any quibbles over a subject.

It is much better to go to uni, when you know what you want to study than rush there just because that is what you think you should be doing.

AndThatsWhatIThinkOfYou Thu 05-Sep-13 15:24:56

my friend did 'outdoor leadership' basically rock climbing, kayaking (sp), hiking, and the best one HOW TO BUILD AN IGLOO. yes you did just read that correctly. She now works at the hospital, nothing to do with degree, she just wasted alot of money got into debt, but had fun!

You can get a degree in Harry potter -I would argue that that is pointless.

DreadLock Thu 05-Sep-13 15:29:34

Thanks all, yes agree it is not worth going half heartedly to Uni.

It is all new to me as I am from the era of O and A Levels with only the 'finest' students going off to Uni. We all worked our way up.
Now it seems to be the done thing so it is a learning curve for me.

titchy Thu 05-Sep-13 15:32:02

Ooh link to degree in Harry Potter please jazz....

AndThatsWhatIThinkOfYou Thu 05-Sep-13 15:32:41

where's that at Hogwarts?

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Thu 05-Sep-13 15:42:08

The Harry Potter thing isn't a degree, it's an optional module as part of a BA course at Durham www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wear-11011279

MoutardeDeDijon Thu 05-Sep-13 15:45:28

You can't do a degree in Harry Potter. You can, however, do a module on 'Harry Potter and the Age of Illusion' as part of an Education Studies degree at Durham. This is a 20 credit module. Most degrees require you to earn 120 credits in each of three years, so at best you can do 1/18 of a degree in Harry Potter.

MoutardeDeDijon Thu 05-Sep-13 15:48:38

For most people, the job they end up in has little to do with the subject that they study for their degree. They just end up in jobs with a requirement for a degree. I'm sure there are some subjects that employers look upon more or less favorably, but the university and degree classification are probably much more important.
I would say that a pointless degree is a third class or ordinary degree.

PeterParkerSays Thu 05-Sep-13 15:51:50

I agree with creamteas - you either need a vocational course (law, teaching, golf course management etc.) or a course you are passionate about (English, history, media studies etc).

The "passionate about" courses won't in themselves get you a job, so you'll need to ensure that you have relevant work experience and a good idea of what job you want to get when you complete your course whilst you're still at university.

DoItTooJulia England Thu 05-Sep-13 15:54:04

I have a pointless degree. Don't want to name it as it might out me! I also have a vocational degree that has led to my career.

Obviously the vocal all one is the most useful, but I learned a lot in my pointless degree. A lot about me, about critical thinking, proper researching, how to live, budget and manage my time etc etc.

My current employer was very interested in my pointless degree and it has often scored me an interview during job applications as it is such an unusual degree!

12 years later and I'm still paying it off though. That bits not so good, mind.

My line of work is specialised (but not vocational, you don't need professional qualifications like for example pharmacy) and the exact nature of your degree is very important. More so than what university it was from.

In filtering applications, as well as the fit of the degree to the job, what I look for is people who have done a sandwich degree or substantial amounts of relevant work experience before or during their studies. When I say relevant, there is a lot of interpretation involved, I recruited a very good scientist on the basis of what he had put into and got out of his part time job in a shop (as well as his degree).

What are his favourite / best subjects?

LeGavrOrf Thu 05-Sep-13 16:01:13

I know a couple of young people who did crap degrees - one in Football Studies from a really low rated university, one in Gambling Studies.

Both were worthless and they feel a bit pissed off at having wasted the money, and the poor advice they received from their schools at the time.

filee777 Thu 05-Sep-13 16:04:51

I would say choose a career, not a degree and then get a degree if you have to.

TwoStepsBeyond Thu 05-Sep-13 16:10:53

History of Art. I had no idea how pointless it was as I was in a state of emotional turmoil when I chose it and I had no ambitions to work in a gallery or restore paintings etc. What a waste of 3 years! Still, I had a laugh, got drunk a lot, learned how to cook as I had so few lectures I became the 'wife' for my housemates! and met some thoroughly unsuitable blokes. I bet my parents were hoping I'd become the next member of the royal family instead, oops.

TwoStepsBeyond Thu 05-Sep-13 16:11:34

filee very wise words.

ChazzerChaser Thu 05-Sep-13 16:14:01

Exactly what creamteas said. There are no pointless degrees. They're about developing the way you think not the subject matter.

There are of course subjects and universities that people get funny about. But people get funny about everything. And of course some courses and universities open doors others don't but that's more about background and social status than the actual degree.

The men who run the country have degrees in things that are fairly 'pointless'. But they seem to have done ok regardless.

And Harry Potter was a huge phenomenon in children's literature. Why in earth would studying that not be appropriate? It would link in to English literature, understandings of culture, representations of contemporary identities etc etc

catham Thu 05-Sep-13 16:19:55

please list these pointless universities

GrimmaTheNome Thu 05-Sep-13 16:20:21

>Now it seems to be the done thing

becoming less so, now that there's so much to repay. Good thing too - it's making more kids focus on their choices.

LeGavrOrf Thu 05-Sep-13 16:25:33

Southampton Solent for one.

Poledra Thu 05-Sep-13 16:31:33

Someone upthread said ordinary degrees are pointless - I'd disagree with that. In professions where you need to do further qualifications post-degree, a ordinary degree can be quite sufficient. As an example, chartered accountancy is one such career.

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