I'm in mid 20s, did arts degree became a teacher, don't like it, what else can I do? Watch

KingStannis
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
That is so far from the truth. No, I was not selective. I'm not going to list off my CV to tell you what I've done since graduating but I've worked a wide variety of non-grad jobs varying from zero hours contracts, temp roles, part time roles...I could go on. In every situation I did it to 'get my foot in the door' and work my way up but the most relevant role I had (my first job after graduation) I was made redundant from - that wasn't something I selected. I was not 'selective' - I wasn't in a position to be.

Also, I didn't mention what work experience I have so I don't know how you come to the conclusion that I have 'no specific work experience'.

People can take or leave my advice about degree types, it's no skin off my nose. I'm offering it so that others don't have to go through what a lot of arts grads are experiencing at the moment. I wasn't posting any of that so that armchair judges like you can pick apart my attempts to find work - I've worked very hard since graduating (and whilst at uni) so my efforts are not what should be put under the microscope here.

Here's the real issue that no one wants to discuss:

People need to wake up and have real discussions about the high rates of graduate unemployment/underemployment and stop putting their heads in the sand by trying to place the blame on the graduates themselves. There's an underlying issue and it stems from past governments trying to get a larger amount of young people into university which has led to 6th forms/colleges encouraging young people into university regardless of the degree course which puts pressure on 16/17 year olds to make very big decisions which will affect them hugely once they graduate.

Young people need to make more informed decisions about degree types and they don't seem to be getting much advice at school because schools only care about pushing them through the process and into the next level of education. We're all just pushed along a conveyor belt.

Someone somewhere needs to speak some truth and since I am (and many of my friends are) products of this system, I feel I'm pretty well informed due to my experiences. If people choose to ignore what I have to say, as I've said, that is absolutely fine by me, it's their life. However what I won't stand for, is when people decide to to turn it around and say people like myself have been 'hyper selective' in our job search. Not only is that an insult to what I've been through and to what every other unemployed/underemployed grad (who is willing to do any work) has been through it also show a massive naivety and lack of understanding of the current economic situation and the circumstances that many grads are finding themselves in.

Usually, I would have replied quite briefly to your post but having read and heard similar things being said over the years by journalists and in general internet comments I feel the need to say that your comments are part of the problem.

Until people stop blaming grads themselves (that is SO easy - you don't have to look at individual cases, you can just blanket judge them as workshy etc) and actually look at what is happening and has been happening in this country politically, educationally and economically then the problem is going to go on and on and young people are going to continue to end up in Jobcentres the day after donning their mortar board and gown.

Seemingly everyone wants to continually stick their heads in the sand and blame the graduates themselves insinuating that that are too haughty to take a shelf stacking job or something along those lines (again, an easy thing to say about a group of people who can't respond unless you talk to them individually). So, from my individual perspective: I worked as a sales assistant on min wage a year after graduating. I've done various other similar 'entry level' roles including packing boxes in a warehouse on a zero hour contract.

It has never been a matter of being 'hyper selective' and people need to stop resorting this as an explanation for graduate unemployment/underemployment because it's an insult to people like me who have worked all manner of jobs/worked for free/worked overtime/volunteered/done unpaid internships/work placements/returned to education etc and still find themselves signing on or stuck in entry level roles often years after graduating.

There is a lot more that I could say about why this is happening but the information is already out there and I've already touched on it - people just seem to choose to ignore it.

Just for a little perspective, if anyone cares to actually look into this (I'd advise any one choosing a degree to read some of this):

http://www.theguardian.com/business/...stuck-jobs-ons

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lmac/g...ur-market.html

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/...w_college.html (Not UK, but worth looking at)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education...uate-jobs.html
Comments section worth a read on this e.g:






Note: Without getting heavily into the politics involved in this issue, let's just say this: I have no political preference and I don't regularly buy any particular newspaper.

http://www.independent.co.uk/student...y-9135958.html




So anyway, to summarize - I think this is actually the bigger problem Kingstannis, not my alleged 'hyper selectiveness'.

Yes, it's takes a lot more effort to say all this than 'you must just be too picky about jobs' but that's usually the case with the truth - it's not as simple as a quick remark. (By the way, don't you think that if someone couldn't find graduate work after 3 years they might have already considered - long ago - looking for other types of work/building up experience?)

If more people weren't so lazy as to generalize, we might be able to get started on solving this dreadful state of affairs.
I was going by your comments about not wanting to go into generic jobs:

"unless you plan to teach afterwards (at whatever level e.g. doing a PGCE or pursue a PhD) or as I say above, use your degree simply as means to get into generic grad roles/the armed forces etc then there isn't much point in studying a degree in it."
When you've been so conditioned by a subject like Philosophy to over-analyse everything and over-think everything from every possible perspective in fine detail - those skills become your own undoing when you find yourself looking for the 'perfect' job.
unless you want to join the Army/RAF as an officer (it's not for everyone), find a mundane graduate job (like retail management, no thanks!) or work in an entry level office role then there's really not much else. NHS jobs are a possibility - but you're more likely to get into the admin ones

I mean, that's a fairly large chunk of the graduate job market (every "mundane job") you've ruled yourself out of to be fair.

When I do my history degree I will get experience by working in a menial role as retail assistant or shelve stacker, and relentlessly search for opportunities to shadow some junior manager (I'll go up to one and offer him £200 to follow him about for one week or something. I know I'd accept that offer) and after graduation get a generic retail management job. Then I'll either work my way up or i'll move to something else with experience that i could apply to most other roles. That's unless i decide to do something else like accountancy, teaching or law.
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AsandaLFC
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(Original post by kka25)
I've always wanted to do a BA in Philosophy; this is discouraging
Just thank god that u read this thread before doing that crap degree. When u apply dont ever look in the humanities faculty

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kka25
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(Original post by AsandaLFC)
Just thank god that u read this thread before doing that crap degree. When u apply dont ever look in the humanities faculty

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TBH, I've started to have some appreciation for the Arts but then income trumps everything doesn't it? : /
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AsandaLFC
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Well OP atleast u are still in uour twenties u can do anything

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somethingbeautiful
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(Original post by KingStannis)
I was going by your comment about not wanting to go into generic jobs
Yes, but you're taking one small comment I've put here which is actually directed at the OP as advice and you're assuming it's what I've done with my life which is incorrect. I applied to hundreds of grad schemes in 2011/12 before/after I graduated. After so many rejections (recession, competition etc!) I realised I was putting so much effort into schemes that I began to realise were nothing special. You can become a store manager with a few years of experience and NO DEGREE. So I started working in retail when I finally got a job offer. Then my company went into administration, hello redundancy. Just because I offer someone advice saying ''not worth doing XYZ'' grad job doesn't mean I ruled it out for myself before I'd graduated or soon after. I was pursing all of those things 3 years ago!! I'm no longer a 'recent' grad so I can't apply to them and nor would I want to now because I've decided to go back to uni and do something I enjoy which is more employable.

You're just filling in the gaps of my life and reading what you want to read rather than asking me or considering that I have actually gone down certain paths before turning my back on them.


(Original post by KingStannis)
II mean, that's a fairly large chunk of the graduate job market (every "mundane job") you've ruled yourself out of to be fair.
Again, you're making stuff up! I never ruled myself out of them, I applied to hundreds of them and if you actually care to read my posts properly I WORKED in them too. I was giving advice, based on my experience (i.e jobs I worked in!!) of those 'mundane jobs'.

(Original post by KingStannis)
IWhen I do my history degree I will get experience by working in a menial role as retail assistant or shelve stacker, and relentlessly search for opportunities to shadow some junior manager (I'll go up to one and offer him £200 to follow him about for one week or something. I know I'd accept that offer) and after graduation get a generic retail management job. Then I'll either work my way up or i'll move to something else with experience that i could apply to most other roles. That's unless i decide to do something else like accountancy, teaching or law.
You say that as if no other grad has ever done that or thought of doing that. I worked whilst I was an undergrad, a lot of people do. It doesn't guarantee anything afterwards and as I say, if you want to be a retail manager, you don't need a degree.

(I'll go up to one and offer him £200 to follow him about for one week or something. I know I'd accept that offer)
I'm either talking to a troll or a complete idiot, probably both. That is not how the world works and you really don't need to pay someone in retail to get 'shadowing' experience.

(Original post by KingStannis)
That's unless i decide to do something else like accountancy, teaching or law
That's exactly what I'm warning against. You're going to do a History degree with no idea of what you really want from it and those are completely different fields/careers with completely different post grad studies - you have no clue at all do you?

Law, by the way is incredibly expensive to study post grad and even after your GDL & LPC you are not even guaranteed a pupillage. Most are lucky to get into a high street firm and the pay can be just as low as working as a retail supervisor. I love how some people who have never gone to uni/never really researched seemingly 'prestigious' careers think that subjects such as Law will be a gold mine.

You're out of touch and you obviously have low levels of reading comprehension since you make completely abstract deductions about my life based on what little I've written about my employment history. Either that or you're trolling, genuinely can't tell.
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KingStannis
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
Yes, but you're taking one small comment I've put here which is actually directed at the OP as advice and you're assuming it's what I've done with my life which is incorrect. I applied to hundreds of grad schemes in 2011/12 before/after I graduated. After so many rejections (recession, competition etc!) I realised I was putting so much effort into schemes that I began to realise were nothing special. You can become a store manager with a few years of experience and NO DEGREE. So I started working in retail when I finally got a job offer. Then my company went into administration, hello redundancy. Just because I offer someone advice saying ''not worth doing XYZ'' grad job doesn't mean I ruled it out for myself before I'd graduated or soon after. I was pursing all of those things 3 years ago!! I'm no longer a 'recent' grad so I can't apply to them and nor would I want to now because I've decided to go back to uni and do something I enjoy which is more employable.

You're just filling in the gaps of my life and reading what you want to read rather than asking me or considering that I have actually gone down certain paths before turning my back on them.


Again, you're making stuff up! I never ruled myself out of them, I applied to hundreds of them and if you actually care to read my posts properly I WORKED in them too. I was giving advice, based on my experience (i.e jobs I worked in!!) of those 'mundane jobs'.



You say that as if no other grad has ever done that or thought of doing that. I worked whilst I was an undergrad, a lot of people do. It doesn't guarantee anything afterwards and as I say, if you want to be a retail manager, you don't need a degree.

I'm either talking to a troll or a complete idiot, probably both. That is not how the world works and you really don't need to pay someone in retail to get 'shadowing' experience.



That's exactly what I'm warning against. You're going to do a History degree with no idea of what you really want from it and those are completely different fields/careers with completely different post grad studies - you have no clue at all do you?

Law, by the way is incredibly expensive to study post grad and even after your GDL & LPC you are not even guaranteed a pupillage. Most are lucky to get into a high street firm and the pay can be just as low as working as a retail supervisor. I love how some people who have never gone to uni/never really researched seemingly 'prestigious' careers think that subjects such as Law will be a gold mine.

You're out of touch and you obviously have low levels of reading comprehension since you make completely abstract deductions about my life based on what little I've written about my employment history. Either that or you're trolling, genuinely can't tell.
You specifically said "no thanks". You cannot distance yourself from the comment; if it doesn't apply to you just admit you weren't being completely clear. I'll admit I assumed too much from your comment.

Sure, many graduates do that. It seems to work for the 85% of grads doing my degree in my university who get employed doing a managerial or professional job within 6 months. I'm not saying that all experiences are good, but clearly, not all experiences are bad either. You're painting it like if you get an Arts degree you'll never get a good job; statistically, that's just not the case.

All such jobs I've looked at require a degree. And quite frankly, with the crappy job market being as it is, can you really afford to rule your self out of all jobs that require a degree, when graduates will be competing for non graduate jobs too? You have a better chance of landing a given job with a degree than without one, all other things being equal.

By mentioning those other careers i was just mentioning that i had options. I'm aware of the law situation.
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somethingbeautiful
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(Original post by KingStannis)
You specifically said "no thanks". You cannot distance yourself from the comment
I'm not distancing myself from it at all, in fact I'll spell it out for you:

I do not want to apply to a graduate scheme to become a retail manager as I have worked in retail since graduating and it's not my preferred sector. I don't know how many times I have to say it but I'm going back to university to do a more relevant degree to my career aspirations - why on earth would I waste my time applying to retail grad schemes now? Been there, done that - hence 'no thanks'. It's not that complicated.


(Original post by KingStannis)
if it doesn't apply to you just admit you weren't being completely clear. I'll admit I assumed too much from your comment.
No, I'm not a child, this isn't a game of tit for tat. I stand by everything I've said including that I won't apply for grad retail scheme at this point in my life and that you make assumptions by filling in the gaps in my posts.

(Original post by KingStannis)
Sure, many graduates do that. It seems to work for the 85% of grads doing my degree in my university who get employed doing a managerial or professional job within 6 months.
You're naive and have little experience of the working world if those statistics impress you - to be honest I was pretty much the same before my degree. Did you get those stats from unistats? Does it clarify what counts as 'professional'? Because many low paid admin/public service jobs fall into that category and it's nothing to get excited about at all.

e.g Take a look at this for example:

https://unistats.direct.gov.uk/subje...eturnTo/Search

Look at the pie chart for 'employment after six months'. Look at how many students they aquired that data from. 40. That is not representative (this year they have 135 places available: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergra...y/history.aspx) plus that's only one university, it doesn't represent all History grads.
Not everyone responds to those surveys and keep in mind what I said about 'professional' roles.
You seem to take such data at face value which is naive and not a good way to decide on something that will have a big impact on your life. But you seem pretty adamant so, genuinely, good luck to you if that's what you think it the right choice for you (I just wouldn't advise basing such a decision on unistats).

(Original post by KingStannis)
I'm not saying that all experiences are good, but clearly, not all experiences are bad either. You're painting it like if you get an Arts degree you'll never get a good job; statistically, that's just not the case.
What statistics are they? Unistats?! I'd advise you read through some of the aritcles I posted including the one from the Office for National Statistics.

(Original post by KingStannis)
All such jobs I've looked at require a degree. And quite frankly, with the crappy job market being as it is, can you really afford to rule your self out of all jobs that require a degree, when graduates will be competing for non graduate jobs too?
I'm not saying you shouldn't do a degree. I'm saying you should choose wisely and question why you're doing whatever degree you're doing. Plus, a lot of those graduate jobs that you get into with 'any 2.1' can be attained by working your way up the ladder in the work place (which you could do in the 3 years it takes to graduate) the difference is only the 'graduate' prefix in the job title.

Having a History (or any other non-vocational degree) will do you more harm than good when you try to apply to non-grad work if you fail to get a grad job as many people do. So you end up in a catch 22. Do you know how difficult it is trying to get an employer to take you on as admin/retail/bar/cleaning staff etc when you have a degree? Because to them, it's more reasonable to take on a school leaver with experience or someone with customer service/admin/cleaning NVQs/experience who is likely to stick around a while rather than someone with a 2.1 who they see as liable to quit as soon as they find something better. You end up in the 'overqualified' pile of applications and as I say, in a catch 22 where you can't get a grad job and can't get a non-grad job. Or try leaving your degree off your CV and explaining a 3 year gap. It's not so easy.

(Original post by KingStannis)
You have a better chance of landing a given job with a degree than without one, all other things being equal.
No you don't (see above).

(Original post by KingStannis)
By mentioning those other careers i was just mentioning that i had options. I'm aware of the law situation.
Theoretically, you have options, but once you try to put those options into practice you'll realize it's not as straightforward as saying 'History (insert other arts degree) can lead to XYZ'. All of those options require further time, money and study - not everyone can afford that and even if they can it does not guarantee that A) That they will succeed on that path B) That they will enjoy it (OP is a case in point of this).

If you were really passionate about Law/Accounting/Teaching then you wouldn't be thinking of them as 'options' after your degree. They would be your choice now, so I personally don't see how you will suddenly develop a passion for them (which is pretty much a requirement for all of those if you want to make it through the post grad studies) whilst studying History. It's more likely that if you take one of those paths you will take it out of necessity, therefore, you could save yourself 3 years, a load of money and a load of studying and choose now.

This whole time I've basically been saying that people should choose employable/vocational degrees in the current economic climate and after talking to me you've conceded that you're considering your 'options' (Law/Accounting/Teaching) for after your degree. Don't you see why I find that ridiculous?

It shows that you actually don't know what you want right now - that is absolutely fine but if you don't know then why go to uni? Go when you know if you want to be a Teacher/Accountant/Lawyer. Get work experience, research the careers etc. Going to do History comes across as a delaying tactic and that's what I'm warning against - don't go to uni just because everyone else your age is going or because it's the done thing. Go when you have a clear a idea of what you're going there for. You currently have four (Retail/Law/Teaching/Accountancy) completely different ideas.

But as I say, it's your life and good luck with it (sincerely). I'm just putting all of this out there, people can take from it what they like from it because no one gave me the honest truth before I embarked upon my degree. By the way if someone wants to do History because they REALLY want to teach it afterwards or they want to do a History PhD then that's a different story and my views are different. I'm not saying ''guys don't ever do an arts degree at all'' - do it if you know what you're doing it for. If your chosen arts degree doesn't lead directly to a career but you really love it then consider studying it in your spare time OR if your family are incredibly rich/have great contacts, go for it. Otherwise, study a vocational degree.

We've been de-railing this thread for a while too....
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KingStannis
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
I'm not distancing myself from it at all, in fact I'll spell it out for you:

I do not want to apply to a graduate sheme to become a retail manager as I have worked in retail since graduating and it's not my preferred sector. I don't know how many times I have to say it but I'm going back to university to do a more relevant degree to my career aspirations - why on earth would I waste my time applying to retail grad schemes now? Been there, done that - hence 'no thanks'. It's not that complicated.


No, I'm not a child, this isn't a game of tit for tat. I stand by everything I've said including that I won't apply for grad retail scheme at this point in my life and that you make assumptions by filling in the gaps in my posts.

You're naive and have little experience of the working world if those statistics impress you - to be honest I was pretty much the same before my degree. Did you get those stats from unistats? Does it clarify what counts as 'professional'? Because many low paid admin/public service jobs fall into that category and it's nothing to get excited about at all.

e.g Take a look at this for example:

https://unistats.direct.gov.uk/subje...eturnTo/Search

Look at the pie chart for 'employment after six months'. Look at how many students they aquired that data from. 40. That is not representative (this year they have 135 places available: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/undergra...y/history.aspx) plus that's only one university, it doesn't represent all History grads.
Not everyone responds to those surveys and keep in mind what I said about 'professional' roles.
You seem to take such data at face value which is naive and not a good way to decide on something that will have a big impact on your life. But you seem pretty adamant so, genuinely, good luck to you if that's what you think it the right choice for you (I just wouldn't advise basing such a decision on unistats).

What statistics are they? Unistats?! I'd advise you read through some of the aritcles I posted including the one from the Office for National Statistics.

I'm not saying you shouldn't do a degree. I'm saying you should choose wisely and question why you're doing whatever degree you're doing. Plus, a lot of those graduate jobs that you get into with 'any 2.1' can be attained by working your way up the ladder in the work place (which you could do in the 3 years it takes to graduate) the difference is only the 'graduate' prefix in the job title.

Having a History (or any other non-vocational degree) will do you more harm than good when you try to apply to non-grad work if you fail to get a grad job as many people do. So you end up in a catch 22. Do you know how difficult it is trying to get an employer to take you on as admin/retail/bar/cleaning staff etc when you have a degree? Because to them, it's more reasonable to take on a school leaver with experience or someone with customer service/admin/cleaning NVQs/experience who is likely to stick around a while rather than someone with a 2.1 who they see as liable to quit as soon as they find something better. You end up in the 'overqualified' pile of applications and as I say, in a catch 22 where you can't get a grad job and can't get a non-grad job. Or try leaving your degree off your CV and explaining a 3 year gap. It's not so easy.

No you don't (see above).

Theoretically, you have options, but once you try to put those options into practice you'll realize it's not as straightforward as saying 'History (insert other arts degree) can lead to XYZ'. All of those options require further time, money and study - not everyone can afford that and even if they can it does not guarantee that A) That they will succeed on that path B) That they will enjoy it (OP is a case in point of this).

If you were really passionate about Law/Accounting/Teaching then you wouldn't be thinking of them as 'options' after your degree. They would be your choice now, so I personally don't see how you will suddenly develop a passion for them (which is pretty much a requirement for all of those if you want to make it through the post grad studies) whilst studying History. It's more likely that if you take one of those paths you will take it out of necessity, therefore, you could save yourself 3 years, a load of money and a load of studying and choose now.

This whole time I've basically been saying that people should choose employable/vocational degrees in the current economic climate and after talking to me you've conceded that you're considering your 'options' (Law/Accounting/Teaching) for after your degree. Don't you see why I find that ridiculous?

It shows that you actually don't know what you want right now - that is absolutely fine but if you don't know then why go to uni? Go when you know if you want to be a Teacher/Accountant/Lawyer. Get work experience, research the careers etc. Going to do History comes across as a delaying tactic and that's what I'm warning against - don't go to uni just because everyone else your age is going or because it's the done thing. Go when you have a clear a idea of what you're going their for. You currently have four (Retail/Law/Teaching/Accountancy) completely different ideas.

But as I say, it's your life and good luck with it (sincerely). I'm just putting all of this out there, people can take from it what they like from it because no one gave me the honest truth before I embarked upon my degree. By the way if someone wants to do History because they REALLY want to teach it afterwards or they want to do a History PhD then that's a different story and my views are different. I'm not saying ''guys don't ever do an arts degree at all'' - do it if you know what you're doing it for. If your chosen arts degree doesn't lead directly to a career but you really love it then consider studying it in your spare time OR if your family are incredibly rich/have great contacts, go for it. Otherwise, study a vocational degree.

We've been de-railing this thread for a while too....
Look; fair enough I misrepresented your post and fair enough the graduate market is tough if you're not qualified for specific areas. But I've heard just as many anecdotes about people being very successful with such degrees as such scaremongering stories. I have researched my options with this degree; after graduation won't be easy but i refuse to accept that i'll never get a good job with it.
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somethingbeautiful
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(Original post by KingStannis)
Look; fair enough I misrepresented your post and fair enough the graduate market is tough if you're not qualified for specific areas. But I've heard just as many anecdotes about people being very successful with such degrees as such scaremongering stories. I have researched my options with this degree; after graduation won't be easy but i refuse to accept that i'll never get a good job with it.
Just a final comment - what I've written here is not and was never intended to be 'scaremongering' - it's actually my real life, (and that of others), experiences and lessons learned from those experiences - I say it all in good faith with only the intention that it might help others make a more informed decision regarding their education/career. Take from it what you will. I genuinely wish you good luck and hopefully the grad market has improved by 2018/19.
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(Original post by AsandaLFC)
Well OP atleast u are still in uour twenties u can do anything

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On the WRONG side of the 20s now (yes, there is a right side to be on)
:afraid:
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(Original post by KingStannis)
Look; fair enough I misrepresented your post and fair enough the graduate market is tough if you're not qualified for specific areas. But I've heard just as many anecdotes about people being very successful with such degrees as such scaremongering stories. I have researched my options with this degree; after graduation won't be easy but i refuse to accept that i'll never get a good job with it.
several reasons.

1) connections
2) they did something really impressive CV wise at uni, miserable retail jobs won't cut it. I'm thinking more a summer interning in Morgan Stanley or shadowing a cabinest minister.
3) they have a particular skill unrelated to their degree subject. Eg having the salesman skills to sell an Eskimo snow.

they acheived it INSPITE of their degrees.

You have also failed to specify a time interval for your refusal of acceptance. Never is a long time to wait for a good job, infinitely long in fact. May I tentatively suggest 2070 before your expire and the Earth burns?
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(Original post by thisistheend)
On the WRONG side of the 20s now (yes, there is a right side to be on)
:afraid:
No theres no wrong side or right side on your twenties. 30 is the ultimate wrong side. Your life basically ends at 30.

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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
Just a final comment - what I've written here is not and was never intended to be 'scaremongering' - it's actually my real life, (and that of others), experiences and lessons learned from those experiences - I say it all in good faith with only the intention that it might help others make a more informed decision regarding their education/career. Take from it what you will. I genuinely wish you good luck and hopefully the grad market has improved by 2018/19.
Did you ever look into Law? I mean, that's sort of one practical application of being a trained pedant from Philosophy. Tax law would also similarly appeal to my cynical nature. Only issue is that it's a bit expensive and I can't really afford it. With something like the tax thing above, I don't have qualifications in finance / accounting.
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(Original post by thisistheend)
Did you ever look into Law? I mean, that's sort of one practical application of being a trained pedant from Philosophy. Tax law would also similarly appeal to my cynical nature. Only issue is that it's a bit expensive and I can't really afford it. With something like the tax thing above, I don't have qualifications in finance / accounting.
I did, yes. It was actually my first choice of degree and I applied and was accepted for the LLB course at my uni, but transferred to Philosophy. I wasn't sure if I could put up with the dryness of Law for 3 years whereas I knew I enjoyed Philosophy and naively thought I could still pursue Law afterwards.

Once I graduated I realized that pursuing Law is much too expensive even if I saved a lot of my wages. The odds of getting pupillage didn't look great either and Law firms take A-Levels into account and mine, although they got me into an RG uni, weren't competitive enough and neither was my uni name (i.e it wasn't Oxbridge/Imperial etc). I think if someone really wants to do PG Law they either need a rich family and connections OR they need top standard grades (AAA or A*A*A*) and a top ten uni plus money from somewhere. The thing that put me off aside from the financial aspect was that even top grades and a top uni name won't guarantee anything and for the amount of money/time/effort you have to invest in further study the odds of getting not only a decently paid job, but any Solicitors job at all aren't convincing enough for me to start down that road. Most solicitors jobs as high street firms don't have great salaries. If you look on 'indeed', for example, and search 'Solicitor' in any location in the UK the number of jobs in the £20k+ range far outweigh the jobs in the higher salary ranges:

£20,000+ (18935)
£40,000+ (8399)
£60,000+ (2187)
£80,000+ (545)
£100,000+ (186)
The number of 'high flyer' jobs in Law aren't as vast as a lot of people on this website seem to think and for those higher paying roles you would need years of experience in Law - you couldn't just walk into them after graduating from PG studies.

To me, anything above £20K is moving in the right direction (I've been mostly on min wage) but I could get a 20K+ salary by training with the NHS for free and in something I personally enjoy more.

I think you have to really want it to put yourself through that financial and academic pressure and I just don't have a strong sense that I'm destined to be a lawyer - so it's really not worth the investment of my time, study or money (if I could get that kind of money!).

But if it was something a graduate was passionate about and they had pretty decent A-levels/Uni degree and a fair bit of cash, then yes it would be well worth doing.
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thisistheend
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#35
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#35
(Original post by somethingbeautiful)

But if it was something a graduate was passionate about and they had pretty decent A-levels/Uni degree and a fair bit of cash, then yes it would be well worth doing.
I have mediocre A levels results AABa and went to a mediocre RG redbrick. I'm working part time / freelance but I have no savings.

There's just got to be a better use for talents developed during a Philosophy degree than to mercilessly troll people online.
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somethingbeautiful
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#36
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(Original post by thisistheend)
I have mediocre A levels results AABa and went to a mediocre RG redbrick. I'm working part time / freelance but I have no savings.

There's just got to be a better use for talents developed during a Philosophy degree than to mercilessly troll people online.
After years of trial and error with different avenues, the things I think could be possibilities:

1.Setting up a business. However be prepared for limited funding. Lots of people suggest The Princes Trust. I had a meeting with them - they expect a full business plan (including all of the financial predictions etc). I've never even seen a business plan, never mind written one so it's not a particularly easy route and you have to meet certain criteria to get any help but if you meet the criteria and have business plan then this could be something to consider.
You obviously need a very clear business idea, not just 'I've been thinking about XYZ' - you need a clear, confident business idea with a plan.

HOWEVER, you can just go solo without something such as The Princes Trust. If you work and save you can raise a couple of grand to start up a business. But again, you need a business idea to begin with and there needs to be an acutual market for it and even if there is, it still might not succeed. BUT it's a possibility.

I actually went back to college and retrained as a Hairdresser/Barber last year and can now use that to work without the need to convince someone to employ me - since no one would. All you need is insurance (about £100 a year), some scissors, brushes, a hairdryer and some know-how and you can make money easily. So if you don't have business idea then maybe consider getting a trade and then becoming self employed that way. You can take it as far as you like. Personally, I'm just using it to make a bit of money whilst I put myself through another 3 years of uni.

2. Teach abroad (TEFL). You'll first need a bit of money to pay for one of the courses but it pays for itself once you start working. You'd obviously need a passport and the ability to up and leave (i.e. no responsibilities in the UK). Oh, and a desire to teach. This route seems to me to be a temporary measure for employment. Not many people seem to do this long term, it's usually because they're in the ''I can't get graduate work in the UK with my degree'' situation OR because they want time out travelling before settling into a full time job OR they plan to do a PGCE and want to improve their application. It's an option to fill up your CV, travel, have new experiences etc, but it's not a long term solution to graduate underemployment/unemployment IMHO.

3. Retrain via NHS in another degree (e.g. Nursing - there are lots of other courses but some want Science A-Levels, do your research if you choose this option). This is the route I'm taking. You can get funded for NHS courses even as a 2nd degree. You don't pay tuition fees. You can get loans/bursaries. You will be qualified for a particular NHS role at the end of your degree and the employment rates are high. Once you're in the NHS you can progress up the pay bands and even move into other disciplines. Much scope for progression/learning and a very high chance of a well payed career. Downside: minimum 2 more years at uni studying, but likely 3 years (you can do accelerated 2 year courses). Personally, I'm willing to deal with that downside, some people may not be.

4. Masters degree in something useful that you don't have to pay for e.g NHS graduate management scheme http://www.nhsgraduates.co.uk/the-scheme.aspx. A year of studying. Highly competitive (very few places relative to number of applicants). Good pay, but the job is not for everyone.

As you can see, all of those options require some element of retraining/getting additional skills.

Personally, if you're looking at all this in terms of ''I want to have a long term career that I will enjoy, that pays enough to support myself and enjoy some of my wages too and that offers job security'' then 1, 3 & 4 are your best options. Out of them, choose 1 if you want to be your own boss and not rely on other people to employ you and if you want full control of your own work. There are massive downsides with 1, such as having nothing else to fall back on (e.g. you still get paid even if the company you work for isn't doing so great, whereas if your business is flagging, so will your wages). But if you have a plan and there is market for your business, it could go very well.

Choose 3 if you want stability of wages that 1 doesn't guarantee and if you just generally want a job that you can only do as a graduate, uses the skills you've learned (in both degrees) and offers opportunity for progression and moving up the pay scale. It also offers you the opportunity to move abroad (Australia + NZ has a points system to get into - if you have an NHS degree it's your ticket into those countries) which is a great idea if the grad market in the UK is still abysmal or you generally want to get out of the UK.

Choose 4 if, again, you want a career involving progression, stability and opportunity to use your skills. There's also the opportunity to do other MAs but you'd have to pay for them yourself (or get a 10K loan if that's actually going to happen...which might not cover tuition/living costs). Plus I'm pretty sure most MAs are about as useful as a chocolate teapot unless you plan on doing a PhD (and there are people with useless PhDs stacking shelves so even that's not a great idea). But the NHS one acutally leads to an NHS job and you don't have to shell out any money. It's not an option to take lightly though (well, none of these are).

Those are the best routes I've found from researching into things and generally experience over the past 3 years since graduating. To be honest, I was thinking of transferring to a healthcare course in my 1st year but decided to carry on because I thought things would work out once I graduated (HAHA!) and even over the past 3 years I thought something would work out and I'd make a break through - but there comes a point where you have to accept that you're going to have to retrain to move forward.

EDIT: I forgot number 5: Armed Forces. Depends if you become so desperate to find employment that you're willing to lose your life, I considered it seriously after graduating and went to an RAF info stand at a careers fair - RAF seemed more attractive than the Army/Navy to me, depends on the individual. There are some really well paid jobs that look quite interesting in the RAF....but whether or not you want to join up depends on your views etc. I think most people who take this route have a sense of calling or some kind of dream they've had since childhood or as I say....run out of options. Reminds me of 'Rich Man's War' by Steve Earl...curious how all of the Army recruitment centers are in the destitute parts of town. I think that's as much as I'll say about that before I get lynched on here.
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macromicro
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It's a complete myth that arts graduates aren't employable. The vast majority of top graduate schemes do not care what your degree subject is - go have a quick look at PwC's (i.e. the top graduate employer in the UK) graduate website - they offer almost every scheme under the sun and almost all of them do not care what you studied. I have worked at Grant Thornton, interned at KPMG and been to numerous assessment centres for a variety of fields and have met people from almost every single subject, including Classics, Modern Languages, English and of course Philosophy. Personally I did PPE. When I interviewed at Deloitte, the Senior Manager directly told me that they have liked philosophy graduates in their consulting stream due to their focus on logic/analysis. There was someone on here recently who did English then MA Medieval Literature and now works in the Civil Service Fast Stream in the technology branch. Here is a selection of options that are attainable as a philosophy grad (or any grad for that matter):

-Big 4/Top 10 Accountancy firms
-Consultancy firms
-Civil Service
-Law training contracts
-Management schemes
-HR/Sales/Marketing schemes
-Armed forces
-Teaching
-Research
-Back office IB
-Academia, i.e. MA/PhD/Post-doc/Lectureship
-Journalism

That's just off the top of my head - there are far more. I find it very concerning that people try and blame their lack of success on their degree subject. It has absolutely nothing to do with that. Your degree subject is a tiny, minuscule, insignificant part of your job application and will be ignored after the initial screening. What matters most is how proactive you are - your experience (i.e. internships/placements); your knowledge of the recruitment process/market/firm/first year of the role your are applying to; your interest in the field; your soft skills - i.e. your ability to perform well at assessment centres and interviews, including one-on-one interviews with partners who are on a six-figure salary with decades of experience; your ability to network in order to gain insights into the firm/market you want to pursue; your raw intelligence for psychometric testing; etc.

I can guarantee that the people in this thread (and everywhere else) who are blaming their degree subject are simply the people who did not know what they want to do in life and weren't proactive at university. The people who target a firm or an industry and directly improve their application will get in regardless of their degree subject. From my experience, the two best things you can have which will set you apart from other applicants are:

a) in-depth and impressive knowledge of a particular firm and its market that you want to apply to - i.e. you can describe in detail the day-to-day work of a first-year, second-year, etc. including technical details that will set you apart from other applicants; you know the career progression, you know its competitors, its objectives for the next five years including obstacles and strategy for growth; you know where you want to be within this firm/industry in three years, five years, ten years, etc.

b) excellent soft skills - you can talk calmly and articulate intelligently with senior staff in high-pressure interviews; you can build relationships at assessment centres by being personable and friendly but also quietly and modestly competitive; you know how to lead a team without being over-bearing or dominant; you can present lucidly and confidently in front of a room of people; you know how to communicate with different levels of people from juniors to partners, and overall you come across as ambitious, intelligent and - most importantly of all - highly fruitful for the employer with bags of potential, and all of this without being arrogant, rude, artificial, nervous or rehearsed.

If you can successfully demonstrate a) and b) you can get almost any job with any degree subject.
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#38
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#38
The problem isn't having a Philosophy degree, but - not sound harsh - it's more to do with not having any other discernible skills. Vague transferable skills do not fill risk averse employers with confidence. Doing a 'good' subject doesn't solve the issue either because people forget you still have to actually be skilled at your chosen area, not just have a degree in it which is why you see loads of law grads who can't get a training contract. Young people need to be able to assess something that they'll be distinctly good at in order to compete. Everyone knows how to run sure, but only talented people have the capability to compete in a race. Maybe Philosophy does help students to think analytically but unless that gives you some kind of unique perspective that few other people have, it is all but useless to anyone other than yourself. In this day and age students also need to have a plan; the most successful students are focused on what they want to achieve even if they don't know what specific job they want. Carving out a career isn't too different to running a business in that respect which is why any entrepreneur worth their salt with have a plan on how to make that business successful.

EDIT: pretty much re-iterated the above post.
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macromicro
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#39
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#39
(Original post by KingStannis)
Look; fair enough I misrepresented your post and fair enough the graduate market is tough if you're not qualified for specific areas. But I've heard just as many anecdotes about people being very successful with such degrees as such scaremongering stories. I have researched my options with this degree; after graduation won't be easy but i refuse to accept that i'll never get a good job with it.
You're right in ignoring this thread - it's full of nonsense. Your degree subject is broadly meaningless. It doesn't matter if you're studying law, maths, economics, philosophy, whatever, your chances of securing a graduate job do not change. What improves your chances is your proactivity during those three years in targeting a career to increase the competitiveness of your application. Law firms take on 50% non-Law students - philosophy and english graduates make up a large chunk of that 50%. The reason graduate employers don't care about your subject is because when they hire you they will train you specifically for that role, put you through relevant qualifications, and mould you as they please. The modules you studied do not matter - only the skills you developed.

(Original post by thisistheend)
several reasons.

1) connections
2) they did something really impressive CV wise at uni, miserable retail jobs won't cut it. I'm thinking more a summer interning in Morgan Stanley or shadowing a cabinest minister.
3) they have a particular skill unrelated to their degree subject. Eg having the salesman skills to sell an Eskimo snow.

they acheived it INSPITE of their degrees.
So... degree subject doesn't matter. Having internships (not necessarily at Morgan Stanley), positions of responsibility, strong soft skills and determination to get the job is what lands you an offer.

Most students do absolutely nothing but get their 2.1 and work a part-time job and then wonder why they're unemployed - they then start complaining at the government/society/parents for encouraging them to do a degree. The people who get onto graduate schemes are the ones who targeted those graduate schemes during their degree. I can guarantee that everyone in this thread complaining about the graduate labour market and degree subjects do not have an internship, did not proactively pursue a career during their 3 years and only started seriously considering their future career once they had graduated or in final year.
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thisistheend
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#40
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(Original post by macromicro)
Y
So... degree subject doesn't matter. Having internships (not necessarily at Morgan Stanley), positions of responsibility, strong soft skills and determination to get the job is what lands you an offer.

Most students do absolutely nothing but get their 2.1 and work a part-time job and then wonder why they're unemployed - they then start complaining at the government/society/parents for encouraging them to do a degree. The people who get onto graduate schemes are the ones who targeted those graduate schemes during their degree. I can guarantee that everyone in this thread complaining about the graduate labour market and degree subjects do not have an internship, did not proactively pursue a career during their 3 years and only started seriously considering their future career once they had graduated or in final year.
I should have done a first degree that gave me a hard skill. A hard skill is one where you'd still be employed for it even if people dislike you solely on account of the qualification.

Despite hating almost every second of PGCE and vowing never to teach full time, i scrape a living off supply teaching because i have a piece of paper that says I'm Qualified.

It wasn't my fault at uni that I didn't do all the things to get onto a graduate scheme. I tried to do the sort of employable things early on in my first year like joining a student society called AIESEC as I was studying Economics at the time. I just became too depressed at uni 6 months after and withdrew from the world. I got a job as a charity fundraiser and was promptly fired for being 6x as bad at closing a sale as the next worst person. So my PT jobs after that were to be seen and not heard, or not to be seen at all, easy when you work in a ****ty restaurant.
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