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To ask you if you think some degrees (from certain Universities) aren't worth the paper they're written on?

(110 Posts)
CarbonEmittingPenguin Mon 11-Jan-16 17:38:03

I had a thread in Chat earlier on to talk about the current fear I have over not meeting my looming deadlines for the current Master's degrees I'm studying.

I'm a mature student and the degree I'm studying is directly linked to the industry I work in. Though turns out my experience has only minimally helped and I find academia (or rather dissertation writing) a whole different thing altogether.

But anyway, my AIBU: My undergraduate degree was from a well-established Redbrick university some years ago but the current provider of my Master's degree is languishing somewhere in the top 50-100 Universities.

Did you select your Uni choices based on rank? Would you rule out a potential employee based on their University ranking? Has your degree helped, regardless of where it was from or has it worked against you?

Just curiosity really and more time wasting from me

LaContessaDiPlump Mon 11-Jan-16 17:41:35

Did you select your Uni choices based on rank?

No, but a little snobbishness may gave been involved blush

Would you rule out a potential employee based on their University ranking?

No, not at all now that I've been through uni myself.

Has your degree helped, regardless of where it was from or has it worked against you?

It was essential, yes.

SirChenjin Mon 11-Jan-16 17:47:12

Nope - selected on the course.
Nope - I interview for a specific skill set. Which university they went to is not important - experience is everything.
My degree was essential - we don't recruit to senior posts without one.

GraysAnalogy Mon 11-Jan-16 17:50:05

My degree was essential but it definitely didn't matter where it was from.

DramaQueenofHighCs Mon 11-Jan-16 17:50:48

Not a 'uni' I knoe I selected my drama college to do my degree course at purely because I LOVED the campus & surrounding area & because my favourite actress/comedienne went there before me! totally unhelpful sorry

PastaPrincess Mon 11-Jan-16 17:52:23

My Dad worked in financial services for many years and read a lot of CVs. He said they had an unofficial points system where by if you went to a crap uni you went to the bottom of the pile, regardless of your grade.

That being said, once you've got a long career history I don't think it matters.

yankeecandle4 Mon 11-Jan-16 17:55:03

Would be really interested in hearing about degrees that aren't really worth anything. On another thread I think someone specifically mentioned criminology?

ohdearlord Mon 11-Jan-16 17:56:19

I stayed in academia. Those "magic names" at undergrad and masters do open doors that others wouldn't imho/experience. I have never been to the real world though - so have absolutely no idea there...

rosebiggs Mon 11-Jan-16 17:58:06

I'm sorry but I don't understand the point that you are making.
You are studying at a University, but you are struggling with the workload, and you are worried that the qualification will be worthless - is that right?

TheFallenMadonna Mon 11-Jan-16 18:01:02

Reputation, rather than rank, was certainly a factor in my choices.
I wouldn't rule out a prospective job candidate, partly because we aren't overwhelmed with applicants in Science teaching! My DH is an engineer and does look at university, not at ranking, but what he knows about the engineering course offered.
I am in a graduate profession.

wizzywig Mon 11-Jan-16 18:01:19

Im having a similar 'dilemma', should i go for a cheaper masters at an ex-poly and one that isnt known as being good for this subject OR pay double for a top uni? Its the same degree title.

ghostyslovesheep Mon 11-Jan-16 18:03:20

Did you select your Uni choices based on rank - nope - course and locality

Would you rule out a potential employee based on their University ranking No absolutely not
Has your degree helped, regardless of where it was from or has it worked against you Yes although I needed a Post Grad to do my job - but the degree and the grade helped me get on to that

toomuchtooold Mon 11-Jan-16 18:07:26

Did you select your Uni choices based on rank?
Yes, and I was actually advised to by someone who worked in academia (in a lower raking uni - she advised me against her own best interests to go to the highest ranking uni I could get into)

Would you rule out a potential employee based on their University ranking?
No but I have never been in a senior enough position to get a decisive say on anyone's recruitment. I think those two things might be related! If I suddenly got the urge to be the boss I would surround myself with people who were nice and played well with the other children, rather than psychopaths target-oriented ambitious movers and shakers

Has your degree helped, regardless of where it was from or has it worked against you?
Yes and no. In the first industry I worked in it was much more about experience and contacts. When I changed careers in my early 30s I managed to talk my way onto a graduate scheme at a fairly prestigious employer due to my Russell Group first.

But it depends on the industry doesn't it? How is it within your industry OP - where did people go to uni?

toffeeboffin Mon 11-Jan-16 18:11:17

*you select your Uni choices based on rank?

Yes. Red brick-ness too.

Would you rule out a potential employee based on their University ranking?

Ouf. If I was in the UK, probably. But I'm not, so its irrelevant.

Has your degree helped, regardless of where it was from or has it worked against you?*

Again, not in the UK anymore. When I was, it helped, big time. Now, its irrelevant where it's from, no one recognizes ANY UK Unis!

notquitehuman Mon 11-Jan-16 18:12:05

Rankings change over time though. I wouldn't pay double for a degree or change course just because of reputation.

I feel that most degrees have some element of worth, even the 'Mickey Mouse' subjects. I know that mine is seen as a bit of a joke because it sounds so useless, yet it has opened lots of doors. So many jobs require a degree nowadays, even ones that would have been very junior in the past.

IfItsGoodEnough4ShirleyBassey Mon 11-Jan-16 18:19:20

As a graduate employer I'll never have just one applicant. I might not bin anyone but I will have a limited number of spaces for interview, and the prestige of the degree institution (for the subject in question) will affect my ranking, along with grade and subject.

I have a degree from a high prestige institution and it was definitely key to getting my first break in my current industry, because they only advertised the traineeship at three universities.

HoneyDragon Mon 11-Jan-16 18:20:15

Did you select your Uni choices based on rank?

No as it was exempt from ranking. I went for and was awarded a national scholarship.

Would you rule out a potential employee based on their University ranking?

No, never. I have preferences a 2:1 candidate over a First from the same uni and same course before, based on the rest of the CV

Has your degree helped, regardless of where it was from or has it worked against you?

Yes, it has the curiosity factor, so people want to see what I'm like.

HoneyDragon Mon 11-Jan-16 18:20:59

(They're usually disappointed with what I'm like wink)

harryhausen Mon 11-Jan-16 18:22:18

I have a 1st class honours degree in a creative arts subject. I now work professionally in that area.

Never once has anyone been slightly interested in whether I even have degree before employing me. It's all about the visual work. That's pretty pointless!grin

hefzi Mon 11-Jan-16 18:23:02

With an under-grad degree, if you are going into some sort of graduate employment scheme, the prestige of the university has an impact from people who hire I've spoken to.

If you're doing an ology, and planning to go into the public sector in some way, no, it doesn't (again from speaking with recruiters)

If you're Oxbridge, not going down the "Oxbridge track", I think it can sometimes work against you, in that people think you're too privileged/stuck up/whatever and discriminate against you.

When it comes to MA study, the course itself is more important - and how it's valued in the field you want to go in to: which often doesn't correspond much/at all even with university rankings.

I couldn't do my job now (academia) without my degrees - but it's the one question that has never come up when we recruit people: we're not interested where they graduated from, or even what their grades were (we just care how many books they have eligible for the next cycle of research funding hmm)

The job I did before, I also needed my degrees for, and wouldn't have been eligible without them: but no-one cared where they were from.

I think it depends what you are doing, and what you aspire to do, in all honesty.

And it's very, very difficult to get any kind of decent-ish job (by which I mean office-type professional-type job) without a degree: possible - but very hard, as the "degree" is the tickbox by which they whittle down numbers.

toffeeboffin Mon 11-Jan-16 18:23:15

Sorry - total bold fail.

Should have gone to a tech college instead smile

jorahmormont Mon 11-Jan-16 18:23:56

Fully-paid up Mickey Mouse degree holder from a university that only actually became a university in 2010 here grin

So far, when people at interviews have heard what degree I got, they sound interested and seem to approve because it was a very vocational course, based on understanding all aspects of the industry, employability skills, practical experience and also a huge emphasis on confidence and communication. It's opened a lot of doors for me already and I only graduated last year.

I start my Masters in September at a university and I have no idea how old it is or what its ranking is (Chester, if anyone is so inclined to prestige check it grin ) - the course seems perfect for me and at my interview the tutors seemed passionate about the subject and showed an interest in my research ideas, that's good enough for me grin

PolterGoose Mon 11-Jan-16 18:24:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

y0rkier0se Mon 11-Jan-16 18:24:47

This is such a controversial subject in our house. I have a 2:1 from a Russell group, DP has a first from an ex-poly. Same city. We have a bit of what you would call 'banter' about it blush. I went into primary teaching - which just required a degree, but at an interview the interviewing head mentioned they went to the same university and we chatted about it a bit. Don't know if that had any influence!

hefzi Mon 11-Jan-16 18:25:30

Ooh, Chester, jorah- such a pretty town!

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