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Help needed please! Geog or History degree?

(39 Posts)
Horsemad Sat 10-Sep-16 09:45:13

DS is applying for 2017. He is studying Maths, Geog & History. Is reasonably good at all 3 but has no 'passion' for any of them.

AS results were AAC (C in Geog which was a surprise as he put a lot of work in but wasn't far off a B).
For background, he got A at GCSE for Geog & A* for History.

Doesn't know what he wants to do. Doesn't want a gap year.
Had been considering Geog after visiting several open days. Is now undecided whether to do Geog or History and is a bit 'rabbit in the headlights' as he needs to write a PS and doesn't know which subject he will apply for!

I think his C in Geog has made him reconsider but not sure what to advise him.

Any ideas please?

BombadierFritz Sat 10-Sep-16 09:48:54

gosh i'd be advising him to just get a job. he doesnt sound ready to spend upwards of 50K on a uni degree if he cant decide between geography and history. its quite 'small thinking' as well to stick to the a level topics. has he looked into other related type degrees?

Horsemad Sat 10-Sep-16 09:51:41

His current thinking is to do History and possibly a Law conversion.

I just want to know which degree offers most transferable skills?

HarrietVane99 Sat 10-Sep-16 09:55:12

Has he considered the amount of reading he'll need to do if he opts for history? Most universities put their reading lists online these days. Get him to have a look, if he hasn't already.

But I would question whether he should be applying for university at all if at this stage he doesn't know what he wants to study. Why does he want to go? What does he think is the point of doing a degree?

gallicgirl Sat 10-Sep-16 09:57:23

I agree. He might be better looking at entry level jobs with career training or apprenticeships.

Can the careers service help him?

Horsemad Sat 10-Sep-16 09:57:47

He wants to do a degree as he realises that without one his career options are narrowed.

Where we live decent jobs are scarce and pay is low so he recognises that further study would be better.

Pestilence13610 Sat 10-Sep-16 09:58:30

Has he thought outside the box a bit and considered something like anthropology?
May reignite his passion to do something related but different.

HarrietVane99 Sat 10-Sep-16 10:00:05

History offers a lot of transferable skills - being able to read and assimilate and extract relevant information; construct an argument with supporting evidence; write coherently to a word limit and a deadline; give a presentation, if the course requires students to give seminars.

AnyTheWiser Sat 10-Sep-16 10:08:45

Well, geography offers all that Harriet mentions, plus learning a lot of IT/computing skills, maths and statistics, practical skills such as surveying, sampling etc. Geography is actually very good for working in almost any field afterwards as it's classed as an academic degree but has a lot of skills taught on it.
I've never used my actual degree subject for a job, but the skills I learnt during it I've been employed for in every job since.
Lots of healthy outdoor types on the course though, so beware if he doesn't like the outdoors! He'll have to do Human courses :-)

Horsemad Sat 10-Sep-16 10:14:00

He is very outdoorsy which is why I wasn't surprised when he opted for Geog after the open days.

I really do think his confidence has been jolted by his C in the AS and it's a panic reaction but don't want to sway him myself.

I personally think Geog would be the better course for him but it has to be his decision...

Pestilence13610 Sat 10-Sep-16 10:25:25

How do his grades split between physical and political/human geography?
DD1 got As for all the physical stuff and Ds for human, changed schools to do geology.
If he short lists some unis he could research all their options and may find one that appeals.

Horsemad Sat 10-Sep-16 10:28:19

He prefers physical to human but can't decide how to choose between Geog or History - enjoys both subjects!

AnyTheWiser Sat 10-Sep-16 10:40:39

Well, I know it was some time ago, but during years one and two we did a subsidiary course too, so he could choose history, archaeology, geology etc for those?

pilpiloni Sat 10-Sep-16 10:48:21

I'd actually say geography if he's interested in the subject matter, especially physical. There's huge demand for people with skills in mapping, gis, geology, remote sensing

Pestilence13610 Sat 10-Sep-16 10:51:32

There just has to be a course which includes physical geog and history.

HarrietVane99 Sat 10-Sep-16 10:58:25

There can be quite a lot of geography in history, especially economic history - how climate, geology, natural resources etc have influenced population growth and distribution, economic development, trade.

If he has the option to do a dissertation or extended essay in his third year - in either subject - he could find a way to combine the two. If he's done statistics in his maths, that would be useful too.

Horsemad Sat 10-Sep-16 10:58:55

How do employers look on Joint Honours? Does anybody know?

Pestilence13610 Sat 10-Sep-16 11:05:39

I have Maths with computing, employers love me grin
Get him to look at this page , it is Southampton but oodles of other places have similar. Lots of options many lead directly to jobs, what job does he want?
Kick him gently to do his own research.

Horsemad Sat 10-Sep-16 11:09:32

Yep, I think Joint Honours of Maths with anything would be good but he won't do Maths smile

PikachuSayBoo Sat 10-Sep-16 11:10:10

How about something slightly more vocationalish but to do with geography like environmental science??? I have no idea about that degree btw so just talking off the top of my head.

Horsemad Sat 10-Sep-16 11:11:33

Should say, he IS doing his own research; my post is me wanting to offer help/suggestions but not really being 'qualified' to do so!

mumhum Sat 10-Sep-16 11:18:29

DH has a geography degree and entered a graduate trainee scheme with a blue chip company. He did his degree as it really interested him but does not use it at work. He is now a senior manager in a global company.

I am a lawyer (Law & German) who has interviewed many graduates and geography or history would be fine before the GDL law conversion. Many GDL students are well regarded as a degree in a subject other than law can provide a broader background than a pure lawyer. IMO lawyers need more than just law.

Having a degree shows you have reached a certain level of critical thinking and your degree subject need not be the subject of your career. He is still young and I would encourage him to study something he enjoys, he has a while yet to decide where it might take him.

Horsemad Sat 10-Sep-16 11:22:51

Thanks mumhum, I have stressed to him that often people don't use their degree in the job they end up in.

It's good to know that either subject would be considered ok to do the conversion course. smile

mumhum Sat 10-Sep-16 11:29:52

Another thought, if he does the GDL that's 4 years study. And if he's set on law he will also then have to do the LPC or BVC, another year so making 5 in total. If he has a job offer from a law firm they may pay his LPC/BVC fees, otherwise it's a very expensive course to self fund. I did 5 years but spent the 3rd year of my degree abroad which broke things up a little. And I had my LPC fees paid by my future employer - large law firms recruit 2 years in advance.

Horsemad Sat 10-Sep-16 11:34:10

Thanks for the info. We have a family member who is a partner in a law firm but haven't spoken to them yet as they are away on holiday.

Will ask them about that route when they are home in a day or two.

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