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What's your degree in?

140 replies

SunshineInMySprocket · 26/09/2020 02:40


I'm trying to help a young person decide what comes next in their education. They definitely want to go to university but are struggling to see the wood for the trees when it comes to degree courses. So to help them see how broad their options are, could I ask if you have a degree, what's it in and what job do you do now?


OP posts:
BobbinThreadbare123 · 26/09/2020 15:11

BSc and MSc Physics, PhD in Physics and PGCE Secondary Ed. Most of my career has been as a physicist in the nuclear industry, with a stint teaching. I am glad I went back into industry though! I'm a Chartered Physicist (tbh the cross over with engineering is huge; you sort of can't tell who is which in my current job)
It's very heartening to see so many female engineers and software developers etc on this thread. There's such a shortage in the UK!

Gordonsgrin · 26/09/2020 15:13

Archaeologist first degree and archaeology and computing masters. I have worked as an archaeologist For the last 30 years.

DillonPanthersTexas · 26/09/2020 15:22

Who said Mumsnet is not middle classGrin

BobbinThreadbare123 · 26/09/2020 15:23

I'm definitely not middle class!

DillonPanthersTexas · 26/09/2020 15:23

I have worked as an archaeologist For the last 30 years.

Da da da daaaaaa da da der.......

bigTillyMint · 26/09/2020 15:29

BEd(Hons) - been in primary education For over 30 years and still love my job Grin

Ilovechoc12 · 26/09/2020 15:50

Msc in chemistry worked as chemist then changed to banking / trading in London -
Now mum of 4 haha so not earning

Although check out how many hrs - chemistry was 24 hrs a week plus lab - history 7 hrs a week - so that’s what shocked me

Sheknowsaboutme · 26/09/2020 16:56

BA in Welsh.

AragonsGirl · 26/09/2020 17:44

MA in psychology and pgde in primary education

FourEyesGood · 26/09/2020 17:51

BA in Film and Literature, 20 years ago. I’m now an English, media and film teacher (mostly GCSE and A-level).

lazylinguist · 26/09/2020 17:56

MFL degree (French and German). I'm a languages teacher (which was what I planned to become ever since I was about 12). Now learning Spanish in my 40s because so few schools teach German any more!

mamaduckbone · 26/09/2020 18:01

Three dimensional design...and I'm a primary school teacher.
I enjoyed it at the time but never really led into a career path for me.

MercedesDeMonteChristo · 26/09/2020 18:04

@lazylinguist I wanted to teach languages but by the time I decided to go to university I thought my languages would need a lot of work. But I hear you, from the moment I set foot into my first French lesson I was in live with it.

For the OP, I did a BA in History and then an MA and now a PhD. Plan is academia (optimistically) or secondary school teacher - so back to dream as an 11 year old even if it is not languages.

SameToo · 26/09/2020 18:07

Ecology. Now am an ecologist. Guess that worked out Grin

Redrosesandsunsets · 26/09/2020 18:09

Psychology. I didn’t go in the right direction with it so it helped nothing.

CraftyGin · 26/09/2020 18:13

Chemical Engineering.

Worked in environmental services, and then fast moving consumer goods (ie making cosmetic products).

Now a science teacher (for about a fifth of what I’d be earning if I’d stuck in industry, but family friendly).

BayandBlonde · 26/09/2020 18:16

BSc Construction and Civil Engineering.

Zzz1234 · 26/09/2020 18:22

Occupational therapy
Work in social care (Not IT realated)

BananaHammock23 · 26/09/2020 18:23

BaHons Media and Communications - now a creative director

speakout · 26/09/2020 18:26

OP- not sure why asking random strangers is helpful.

If this young person is undecided than I would suggest other options at the moment.
Those who fair best on degree courses are those who have an interest, a flair , a passion. And the timing has to be right too.
A gap year or two is often a good thing, some work experience will help that young person to have a clearer plan for their future.

Unless that person is asking for advice I would step back.

Sophiafour · 26/09/2020 18:28

BA in French and German. Pretty useless on its own, frankly, without postgrad qualifications to back it up (which I managed to get over the next few years with help from a) then employer and b) it was a PGCE, so partly funded). What was much more useful was learning to type, learning how to use various computer packages, and the customer service/admin evening work I did part-time while at university. And then learning to drive when I was a bit older.

It really depends on what the young person wants to go into, but don't think degrees are the only qualification out there. Having a degree does open doors, and I'm very glad I stuck mine out (I hated the ethos of the uni, it was very stuck up), but in my experience, the BA, or BSc, or whatever, is a foundation level qualification for many jobs.

Unless it's something super vocational, like nursing, or some types of engineering, or medicine you will have to keep acquiring qualifications and attending training for the rest of your working life. (Even applies to nurses, doctors, and engineers, thankfully....!)

Oh, and for what it's worth, if I could go back, I'd choose something that I genuinely liked, such as English, or Communication Studies, or something OR something VERY vocational like, I don't know, Financial Management.

Given that it took until my mid 30s before I was offered ANY jobs that had anything to do with my BA. And I really would have preferred to take the approach they do (or did) in Germany, where you take your degree over a longer period of time, and often work alongside it. Part-time, online, distance courses didn't really exist when I was 18 though, with the exception of the OU which was drastically expensive even then.

One way to approach it might be for them to work out what's most important to them - lots of money, or a subject they enjoy? It's also apparent that we are in the early days of COVID-19 transforming pretty much our entire way of life, which makes it trickier than usual. All of the things that used to be taken as a given as part of the uni experience, like making friends at Freshers' Week etc appear to be "under review". (Glasgow is an example of this right now.)

If they're old enough, would it be worth them trying out some of the free open learning courses on platforms like Coursera and the like to see if there are particular subjects they really enjoy and would enjoy studying a bit more? You might also want to have a look at the Student Room website, which has some great resources on there.

Best of luck, whatever they decide.

Ridleyxf · 26/09/2020 18:30

BA in Chemistry. Now a barrister.

ErrolTheDragon · 26/09/2020 18:31

BSc and PhD in chemistry. I write scientific software; I've worked from home for 25 years so not the lab-based career that might be assumed for this subject.

ErrolTheDragon · 26/09/2020 18:34

Although check out how many hrs - chemistry was 24 hrs a week plus lab - history 7 hrs a week - so that’s what shocked me

I'm not sure how that poster meant it, but imo good STEM degrees are generally much better value for money.

skippythebushkangarootoo · 26/09/2020 18:36

BA(Hons) Criminology, Sociology & Social Anthropology then did a Diploma in Nursing. After that, a BSc(Hons) Healthcare Studies and a range of health related modules including prescribing and a post graduate certificate in research.
Next on my hit list is to finally do my Masters. I'm a Specialist Nurse Grin

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