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Cripes..son wants to study Philosophy !

(52 Posts)
Boringoldmum Sat 14-Oct-17 22:30:14

Apologies in advance to any philosophers out there but ds17 has Aspergers and is in final year at school so applying to Uni's etc. Wants to do an Arts degree and is looking at a joint honours degree in Philosophy and either History or German. he really struggles with friends/peers etc but relates well to adults..the thing is he is really going to struggle finding a job I think afterwards as he will find it difficult to do a successful interview given his difficulties. But with something like Philosophy what on earth will he be able to apply for? Torn between encouraging him to change to more standard straightforward subjects or letting him follow his hearts desire and study Philosophy. What would people advise what you love or maximise job prospects by choosing different subjects?

Boringoldmum Sat 14-Oct-17 22:32:15

Oh I meant to put this in Chat not AIBU..sorry.

Balfe Sat 14-Oct-17 22:36:15

Oh I have a nephew who studied philosophy. He graduated with top honours and the running family joke is that the best chance of finding out where is he is throwing a drawing pin at a map of the world.

I don't know what exactly he does (he's a quiet big lad) but ticking off half of the globe seems to come into it.

I don't know if that's terribly helpful?

Wingedharpy Sat 14-Oct-17 22:37:34

Maximise job prospects, every time. Can always study for pleasure at a later date.
Half the battle though, is knowing what you want to do for a living.

OccasionalNachos Sat 14-Oct-17 22:38:15

Studying a language alongside would be excellent.

Some of the finest people I know have done philosophy degrees. They all seem very happy & settled!

WorraLiberty Sat 14-Oct-17 22:38:18

Have a look at This link here Hopefully that might help.

Ttbb Sat 14-Oct-17 22:40:10

Well her could either become an academic or become sonething completely unrelated like a banker or an estate agent.

imsorryiasked Sat 14-Oct-17 22:40:58

I think I'd encourage him to do what he wants - if he has difficulties forming peer relationships then it would perhaps be better for him to have a love of the subject in common with them?

SometimesMaybe Sat 14-Oct-17 22:42:10

Do why you are good at and what you like (love ideally!) Especially given his additional needs - if he doesn’t have a set career plan then a good Arts degree from a good uni (Phil with german would be excellent) would make him an attractive candidate to graduate employers.

Though also getting work experience (in any field) is also a necessity to getting a “decent” job. Employers look for a good academic background and transferable skills.

BackforGood Sat 14-Oct-17 22:46:16

Definitely do what he loves and is good at.
Most degrees don't lead directly into jobs. I was told that 80% of people employed in graduate roles aren't in roles that are directly related to their degree. Doing something he loves is more likely to lead him to a higher class of degree, and also to be a happier young man, which is important I think.

toffee1000 Sat 14-Oct-17 22:46:55

I wouldn't advise maximising job prospects unless they actually enjoyed the course. There is no point forcing a child to study a subject they have zero interest in or enjoyment of. That is a surefire way of them becoming a dropout statistic. There were points in my degree which I didn't enjoy, but ultimately I enjoyed my subject and stuck it out.
Plus employers are crying out for languages students. I know it's a cliche but the language-specialist secondary PGCE course at my uni was the only specialist that accepted 2:2s as opposed to 2:1s. A language degree, even if it's joint honours, will require a year abroad which employers supposedly love- if they work for the year they are often offered a job at the company after graduation; even if they reject it or don't get an offer they still have the experience to stick on a CV.

tigerdriverII Sat 14-Oct-17 22:48:48

*Maximise job prospects, every time. Can always study for pleasure at a later date.
Half the battle though, is knowing what you want to do for a living.*

I find this a really depressing point of view.

Au contraire, spend those precious university years studying something you love and are inspired by. You have the rest of your life to do boring shit.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Sat 14-Oct-17 22:49:24

My ds is doing philosophy,it's the only thing he's passionate about. He has no clue what he wants to do yet. I won't discourage him,I'm delighted!

thegreylady Sat 14-Oct-17 22:52:05

My dd studied Philosophy and is currently head of English at a very successful comp having added English when she did her PGCE.
Her friend also did Philosophy at a a different University and works in HR.

AccrualIntentions Sat 14-Oct-17 22:53:06

I've been involved with recruiting a philosophy graduate to a trainee accountant post recently. We've also had music, history, marine biology, maths, geography - like most careers there's no need for a specific degree. A good result in a traditional subject is absolutely fine. I'd always recommend people study what they're interested in rather than a "career maximising" subject (which often aren't...accounting and finance degrees, I'm looking at you) unless they have a really set idea what they want to do.

JumpingJellybeanz Sat 14-Oct-17 22:54:26

DB did philosophy and is now an IT consultant.

FIL did philosophy and was a tax accountant.

As an adult with Aspergers who has tried and failed numerous times to get a degree, and having a DD with Aspergers who has made it to her final year, I'd say encourage him to do something he loves. With DD it's the love of her subject that keeps her going when the world is against her.

Aquamarine1029 Sat 14-Oct-17 22:55:10

I really think you need to keep your opinion to yourself and support him in what he feels passionate about. It can be extremely discouraging and soul crushing when your own parent doesn't appreciate What your totally reasonable interests are. Life has a way of working itself out.

Boringoldmum Sat 14-Oct-17 22:56:09

Worra thanks for the this is really encouraging , thanks for all the replies smile . My gut feeling is let him follow his heart etc but DH thinks it's far better to do something that will make it easier to find a job. I am really heartened by all this thanks

thecatsthecats Sat 14-Oct-17 22:57:38

I did a history degree. I am a company director for an IT company, and I am responsible for structuring and developing the customer database. It has eff all to do with my degree. They wanted someone with a 2.1 from a red brick six years ago, and I worked my way up.

gamerwidow Sat 14-Oct-17 22:59:45

My friend has a Masters in Philosophy she’s Head of RE at a grammar.
Always study what you love you’re unlikely to do well otherwise because your heart won’t be in it.
Most degrees don’t lead directly to a career these days anyway.

mumblechum0 Sat 14-Oct-17 23:01:51

The only person I know who did philosophy is now (aged 30), a hedge fund manager on Wall St. She also owns a beautiful Queen Anne home in Oxon and seems pretty happy.

L0quacious Sat 14-Oct-17 23:02:47

I find the maximise job prospects suggestion depressing too.

A lot of employers don't care WHAT degree you have so long as you have a degree. And it's not as though people with degrees don't ever work. I find philosophy really useful. I don't have a degree in it but I'm studying it (for free) on

If he has a degree that gives him wisdom and clarity at the tender age of 22 I think he will be a decade ahead not behind.

carefreeeee Sat 14-Oct-17 23:03:47

If he's a bit odd socially then maybe academia would suit him anyway? Lots of unusual types in academia - no one bats an eyelid. Plus you are shielded from many of the harsh realities of the world outside. If he's got a passion for a subject and you think he's got potential then he could do a lot worse.

WorraLiberty Sat 14-Oct-17 23:06:52

You're welcome.

My DS is studying for a Philosophy degree (started uni 2 weeks ago).

He wants to teach Philosophy and RE after gaining his Masters.

But he also really loves acting, so he's joined the University's theatre group and he's excited to see what might come of that eventually (career-wise).

If nothing does and acting just remains a hobby, that's all well and good as he'll have teaching to fall back on.

At least that's the plan. Who knows, he's only just turned 18 so the future is still pretty much a blank canvass.

Ruralretreating Sat 14-Oct-17 23:07:47

Encourage him to do what he loves. Degrees can be tough and a genuine interest in the subject can carry you through the tricky times. It could lead to all sorts of jobs - don’t worry!

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