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The whole "study what you love" thing is stupid and unrealistic Watch

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    I'm always naturally critical of threads such as these, but I suppose I was guilty of a similar train of thought myself.

    I wanted to do history because I loved it, but picked politics because it seemed more suitable for the kind of thing I wanted to do after uni.

    In the end, I loved politics more anyway.

    You have to like what you study, because it could still turn out to be a huge waste of time and money anyway.


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    (Original post by Acruzen)
    as they charge £9k a year for a history degree as well as charging £9k a year for a engineering degree?
    Well, I actually think history has useful applications, you acquire a lot of analytical skills. When you look at a degree such as art/art history, witchcraft or photography (not meaning to offend anyone), you'll find that a lot of equipment is expensive. Granted engineering equipment is going to cost more but in the long run more people get the use out of it. For example, equipment to learn how to design planes... there are a lot of people using planes either for travel or for transport. Or take engine design, everyone is dependent on engines, if there weren't any engines we would not have the luxery of an easy life. Now take art, that is mostly for the individuals who enjoy art and come together as a group. So take the educational equipment needed for engineering and divide it by the millions who will use it directly or indirectly and find the price per user, do the same with art.... art becomes more expensive. Maybe a few people here will not take a tuition fee loan or grant, but the majority will be using tax payers money for a degree which may or may not be paid back later.
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    (Original post by Scotty Bear)
    Well, I actually think history has useful applications, you acquire a lot of analytical skills. When you look at a degree such as art/art history, witchcraft or photography (not meaning to offend anyone), you'll find that a lot of equipment is expensive. Granted engineering equipment is going to cost more but in the long run more people get the use out of it. For example, equipment to learn how to design planes... there are a lot of people using planes either for travel or for transport. Or take engine design, everyone is dependent on engines, if there weren't any engines we would not have the luxery of an easy life. Now take art, that is mostly for the individuals who enjoy art and come together as a group. So take the educational equipment needed for engineering and divide it by the millions who will use it directly or indirectly and find the price per user, do the same with art.... art becomes more expensive. Maybe a few people here will not take a tuition fee loan or grant, but the majority will be using tax payers money for a degree which may or may not be paid back later.
    I never said history doesn't have useful applications, my point is that it costs a university less to teach a history degree than an engineering degree, but they charge the same.
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    (Original post by Acruzen)
    I never said history doesn't have useful applications, my point is that it costs a university less to teach a history degree than an engineering degree, but they charge the same.
    My point then still stands that most people will pay by grants and/or tuition fees loans, therefore they aren't actually paying for the degree unless they earn over 21K per year, in which case it was money well spent, right?
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    In my view people, who don't study what they want to, give their dreams up and the freedom to decide their livelihood. If it is possible to study what you want, do it! what is a well paid job, if you don' like it, if you do it without a passion? you are working a lifetime to earn money, but without enthusiasm. That's why I would advice everyone to begin a study which make fun, which make fun in later working life. The life is too short to give up the dreams and interests.

    Call me a dreamer or utopian, but in my opinion we need people with inspirations in a rational thinking world in which people are just exist to earn money as much as possible.
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    I spent the last four years trying to get into the vet med course, not because I love animals but because I find science fascinating and wanted a job where I could use this fascination everyday. I got in this year and am over the moon that I can spend the rest of my life doing somthing that I enjoy.
    In time who knows I may come to hate it, but I think the important thing is to remember we only have one life. If someone wants to spend it doing a certain degree because they love it why not, thats their decision.
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    (Original post by Kallisto)
    In my view people, who don't study what they want to, give their dreams up and the freedom to decide their livelihood. If it is possible to study what you want, do it! what is a well paid job, if you don' like it, if you do it without a passion? you are working a lifetime to earn money, but without enthusiasm. That's why I would advice everyone to begin a study which make fun, which make fun in later working life. The life is too short to give up the dreams and interests.

    Call me a dreamer or utopian, but in my opinion we need people with inspirations in a rational thinking world in which people are just exist to earn money as much as possible.
    But you don't need a degree to have rational thinking or to follow your dreams, unless your dream is to spend three/four years studying something you could read about in your own time
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    (Original post by Skip_Snip)
    But you don't need a degree to have rational thinking or to follow your dreams, unless your dream is to spend three/four years studying something you could read about in your own time
    I was talking about jobs in which it is possible to follow your dreams. I thought about a writer, artist, composer and so on. I meant jobs in which people can be fanciful. You are right, if you say that a degree is not so required (in a certain degree), nevertheless it is possible to begin studies about them. And when there are people who want it why they should not do it? because it seems hopeless to find a job after that? because the job can't be lucrative?
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    You say: "The whole "study what you love" thing is stupid and unrealistic"

    I think it's a lazy not thought out answer that people give, or possibly even a politically correct one.

    University is about training the next generation in order to be productive to society which heavily depends on supply and demand conditions. (the evidence for this is graduate employment statistics)

    http://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/careers/

    A lot of people would also say that education is not just about seeking employability, but more about self enrichment; although I partially agree with this, I think an education should not just be for personal enrichment, but enrichment to society as a whole and I believe some forms of education achieve this better than other forms.
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    I think anyone who thinks you can give yourself an education similar in progression and detail to that which you may learn on a degree has a very strange way of learning.


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    (Original post by combbrah)
    Whenever anyone asks for advice on what degree to choose, whether online or from careers departments etc, the typical advice given now is "study the subject you find interesting" as if that's the only important thing.

    Now whilst it's true that studying something you actively dislike would be a bad move, I think this whole line of thinking (which seems to be quite recent) is giving people seriously unrealistic expectations of university and the benefits that come from it, and to be honest, is massively misleading students

    Firstly, university exists to increase your employment prospects, I don't know why so many people dispute that. I find many subjects interesting, and love reading about them, watching debates about them, etc. But I'm not going to dish out £9000 a year plus living costs to study something "cause its interesting" when there is a massive amount of information you can learn by yourself, through the internet, books etc. The reason people go to university is to be able to "officially" say that they have studied a certain subject, ie. get a recognised degree, and the only possible motive for that would be to improve their position in the eyes of an employer, not to "learn interesting things".

    Secondly, a lot of people who decide to just "study what they like" and subsequently choose degrees with little employment prospects eventually find that the job they end up in (if they even get a job) won't have anything to do with their degree anyway. So many people who studied easy, soft subjects at university and now are working in bars or retail or something or perhaps can't even find work at all. So it's not like this "subject they love" is even a part of their career

    Finally, I think its fair to say that most average students don't really have huge amounts of passion for a particular subject. Every student hates exams, dislikes doing long sessions of work and would probably rather be doing 100 things over sitting at a desk revising or writing essays. So with all this in mind, would it not make so much more sense to advise prospective university students to make employment prospects the number 1 priority when it comes to choosing a degree?
    Couldn't have been said better.
    You should enjoy thr subject you major in but not as a hobby,
    if you do then even better,
    but the most important aspect is employability!
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    I agree with the premise of what you're saying.

    I'm lucky in that the thing I love is the thing that I can study at uni AND make a guaranteed career out of (Midwifery).

    However, people like my cousin, who loves music, will not get very far with a music degree unless they get lucky.
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    (Original post by LexiswasmyNexis)
    I think anyone who thinks you can give yourself an education similar in progression and detail to that which you may learn on a degree has a very strange way of learning.


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    Why not? Apart from a vocational course like Medicine or something where you obviously need actual experience working in hospitals and with patients, for the majority of subjects you simply learn from textbooks or lecture slides (where the content would be found in any major textbook anyway). You really think you couldn't teach yourself pretty much all the ins and outs of a subject if you wanted to?
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    (Original post by combbrah)
    Why not? Apart from a vocational course like Medicine or something where you obviously need actual experience working in hospitals and with patients, for the majority of subjects you simply learn from textbooks or lecture slides (where the content would be found in any major textbook anyway). You really think you couldn't teach yourself pretty much all the ins and outs of a subject if you wanted to?
    I don't, no. It isn't just about 'what you learn'. It's about how you learn it. It's about the formulation of understanding and an appreciation of why you understand something in that way and what things affect your perception.

    Good luck learning that on your own.


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    (Original post by LexiswasmyNexis)
    I don't, no. It isn't just about 'what you learn'. It's about how you learn it. It's about the formulation of understanding and an appreciation of why you understand something in that way and what things affect your perception.

    Good luck learning that on your own.


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    Um yeah, you can learn all of that on your own, if you were interested enough.
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    (Original post by combbrah)
    Um yeah, you can learn all of that on your own, if you were interested enough.
    Yes, but you're forgetting that would give less time to doss around and put off full time work for three years
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    In my opinion you have to compensate it can't just be about employment prospects and it can’t just be about choosing something you find interesting. You should find something that fulfils both of these aspects because without an interest in it you wont get far and will always just do the bare minimum. In addition without employment prospects your efforts will result in nothing but an unrelated job and chances are if you did get a job you probably had to do a lot of voluntary work and internships just to get there. On top of that when you do eventually get the job it will probably be low paid.

    To those that disregard employment prospects then my only advice is to make sure you truly have passion for it which would be evident to the people who know you because you will need it to compete in the uber competitive job market. Simply having an interest would not be enough.
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    Not without the interaction with leading scholars and others, you can't. You certainly can't benefit from the attached enrichment opportunities if it's just you and a book or the Internet. It isn't like Maths where you can just learn the material.




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    (Original post by combbrah)
    Finally, I think its fair to say that most average students don't really have huge amounts of passion for a particular subject. Every student hates exams, dislikes doing long sessions of work and would probably rather be doing 100 things over sitting at a desk revising or writing essays.
    I think this is so sad if it is actually true ... I do not recall it being true when I was studying but that was a long time ago
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    (Original post by combbrah)
    Whenever anyone asks for advice on what degree to choose, whether online or from careers departments etc, the typical advice given now is "study the subject you find interesting" as if that's the only important thing.

    Now whilst it's true that studying something you actively dislike would be a bad move, I think this whole line of thinking (which seems to be quite recent) is giving people seriously unrealistic expectations of university and the benefits that come from it, and to be honest, is massively misleading students

    Firstly, university exists to increase your employment prospects, I don't know why so many people dispute that. I find many subjects interesting, and love reading about them, watching debates about them, etc. But I'm not going to dish out £9000 a year plus living costs to study something "cause its interesting" when there is a massive amount of information you can learn by yourself, through the internet, books etc. The reason people go to university is to be able to "officially" say that they have studied a certain subject, ie. get a recognised degree, and the only possible motive for that would be to improve their position in the eyes of an employer, not to "learn interesting things".

    Secondly, a lot of people who decide to just "study what they like" and subsequently choose degrees with little employment prospects eventually find that the job they end up in (if they even get a job) won't have anything to do with their degree anyway. So many people who studied easy, soft subjects at university and now are working in bars or retail or something or perhaps can't even find work at all. So it's not like this "subject they love" is even a part of their career

    Finally, I think its fair to say that most average students don't really have huge amounts of passion for a particular subject. Every student hates exams, dislikes doing long sessions of work and would probably rather be doing 100 things over sitting at a desk revising or writing essays. So with all this in mind, would it not make so much more sense to advise prospective university students to make employment prospects the number 1 priority when it comes to choosing a degree?
    Hi, I totally understand where your coming from but I think the problem is when you take out the vocational degrees that directly lead/guarantee to a job, your left with a massive amount of academic degrees eg Maths, History, Chemistry, English etc etc. Now of course most people won't pursue a vocational degree/course & will probably not have any idea of what career/job they'd like for obvious reasons (referring to 17-18 yr olds) therefore in terms of choosing degree courses, can you really bring employment prospects into consideration when choosing b/w academic degrees? eg employment prospects of a Biology graduate compared with a English graduate compared with a Maths graduate compared with a Psychology one & so on..Because largely most of the time, what you learnt content-wise during your degree won't be needed/used in your job & also from what I've heard, it's mostly about the class of your degree ie how well you did in it rather than the subject it's in (please correct me if I'm wrong) so bearing this in mind, I think most students tend to choose what they enjoy/don't mind studying/have some interest in AND have a decent amount of ability in too.

    Now because I'm in this situation myself, a question I have is: Is the difference (most likley not that big) in employment prospects worth the extra effort you probably will have to put in during your degree? So for eg choose a Maths degree or Biology one?
 
 
 
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