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

thisistheend
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(Original post by macromicro)
Saying that philosophy is useless for employment outside of teaching is not equivalent to saying that vocational degrees offer higher employment statistics, nor is this the only factor of importance.
I'm not sure either of you understand the concept of ceteris paribus. This spat could have been settled quite a while ago if either of you uttered this magic phrase.
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macromicro
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(Original post by thisistheend)
I'm not sure either of you understand the concept of ceteris paribus. This spat could have been settled quite a while ago if either of you uttered this magic phrase.
My username should probably be a hint that I do and it doesn't apply. He has made wild unfounded claims about philosophy being useless for employment bar teaching and then tried to imply that all he has been claiming is how vocational degrees offer higher employment rates. They are two very different and independent claims and I have only argued against the former because it's factually wrong and a common excuse made by those who don't know what they want to do in life until later on - same reason why you're in a profession you don't want to be in.
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somethingbeautiful
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(Original post by macromicro)
Saying that philosophy is useless for employment outside of teaching is not equivalent to saying that vocational degrees offer higher employment statistics, nor is this the only factor of importance.
The whole point of my reponses have been to inform people that they've generally got a better chance of employment after a vocational degree, I didn't post here for a discussion about my life. But you've gone off on a tangent and questioned my personal efforts to find graduate work just because you feel insulted that

(Original post by macromicro)
You were attacking a subject - indeed the entire arts field - which I hold very dear
Well, just because you hold it very dear doesn't mean you can legitimately defend it to the death when you know that it's a fact that....

(Original post by macromicro)
vocational degrees lead to better employment prospects - that is self-evident by its own definition.
The fact that you're willing to continue arguing with me after admitting that tells me this is more about your feelings than about facts.
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somethingbeautiful
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(Original post by macromicro)
My username should probably be a hint that I do and it doesn't apply. He has made wild unfounded claims about philosophy being useless for employment bar teaching and then tried to imply that all he has been claiming is how vocational degrees offer higher employment rates. They are two very different and independent claims and I have only argued against the former because it's factually wrong and a common excuse made by those who don't know what they want to do in life until later on - same reason why you're in a profession you don't want to be in.
She, actually.
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jamestg
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May I recommend consulting?

It will be very difficult for you to get a job from one of the big ones such as KPMG, going for a smaller company will be easier.

People in consultancy come from a variety of degrees, although your qualifications and degree will determine what you consult in. Although my dad is an IT consultant - he doesn't have a degree whatsoever, no MBA and no formal IT qualifications - yet he is one of the best IT consultants in the UK and the most senior consultant in the world for the software he consults on.

Alternatively, get some accountancy qualifications and become an accountant.

Both ideas are well paid, have good progression, opportunity for travel and job security.
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jamestg
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Whoops I missed something out and I contradicted myself.

Although the degree/qualifications usually determine what you consult in, it doesn't always have to be.
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macromicro
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
The whole point of my reponses have been to inform people that they've generally got a better chance of employment after a vocational degree, I didn't post here for a discussion about my life. But you've gone off on a tangent and questioned my personal efforts to find graduate work just because you feel insulted that

Well, just because you hold it very dear doesn't mean you can legitimately defend it to the death when you know that it's a fact that....

The fact that you're willing to continue arguing with me after admitting that tells me this is more about your feelings than about facts.
Equally, the whole point of your posts have been to erroneously attack the arts in terms of their allegedly poor employment prospects, and in doing so you brought to light the real reason for your failure, which I highlighted.

Vocational degrees have the highest employment rates, obviously, that is self-evident and no one would claim to the contrary. That doesn't equate to philosophy having zero employment prospects outside of teaching. There is a whole range of employment rates between the alleged near-zero of philosophy and the very high rates offered by medicine, dentistry, etc. It's obviously legitimate to defend a degree which has lots of opportunities as evidenced by the top graduate employers not asking for specific subjects. By your logic, physics, law, economics and maths, for example, are all as useless as philosophy and the arts because they don't have the employment rates of vocational degrees.

People don't just want to gain employment, they want to gain employment that is enjoyable and fulfilling and related to their strongest interests. They don't base their lives and careers around employment statistics in terms of vocational vs everything else. If someone wants to study physics or philosophy or political science or music, they have endless employment opportunities if they take full advantage of their time at university. Most people don't have a strong enough interest in vocational courses, hence they don't apply. Their interest in something comes first and rightly so; you cannot force yourself to want to be a nurse or a teacher or a physiotherapist just because the employment rates are higher.

Your posts in this thread have shown a clear lack of understanding of the graduate labour market. You don't understand the recruitment process of graduate schemes in the slightest and are keenly unaware what graduate employers look for in candidates - degree subject is not one of them. Students should be encouraged always to engage in their strongest interests not chase employment statistics because a disgruntled arts graduate who has had no direction for the past half decade now wants to start dispensing careers "advice".

(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
She, actually.
Irrelevant. If you care enough to correct people then include your gender symbol.
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somethingbeautiful
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(Original post by macromicro)
.
You're just grasping at straws now and trying, again, to attack my character because you realize you're talking waffle. It's laughable. Admit you're wrong. I just quoted your own words to you and yet you still persist.


(Original post by macromicro)
Irrelevant. If you care enough to correct people then include your gender symbol.
Or how about you stop making assumptions regarding everything about me right down to my gender?

You can't base arguments on complete assumptions about people's lives and trying to dismantle people's characters. It's not worth talking to you since, despite your education, you don't seem to understand how ridiculous it is that you persist even when I've quoted your own agreement with what I'm saying in bold with a massive font. I may as well shout at a brick wall.
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Advanced Subsidiary
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(Original post by macromicro)
Saying that philosophy is useless for employment outside of teaching is not equivalent to saying that vocational degrees offer higher employment statistics, nor is this the only factor of importance.
If I wanted to get a job after university, philosophy is one of the last things I'd study.

It might not have impacted you personally, but it has certainly impacted thousands of others, both those who did internships and those who did not. All of these graduate schemes you mention, there are only few places right? They can't take everyone. They probably go for those who did the most relevant degrees first before considering the others.

And from what I know about somethingbeautiful over the last 5 years, your conclusions are way, way off.

If I had a child that was 18, fresh out of college and was preparing to go to University, I'd do anything to deter them from studying degrees with very little career prospects. I'd rather give them the £30k+ to start their own enterprise rather than studying a degree which may yield very little prospects afterwards.

In this climate? STEM and vocational are the way to go. So many people I know who studied BA's, are struggling in retail. Some of them did internships too.

Not trying to scare anyone off either, and I might be biased since I decided to be a business owner/entrepreneur, however my peers really regret their decision to study degrees which hold little to no weight in our current employment and economic climate.

EDIT: Also, Law - my best friend studied Law, did his LPC is it? and is in a random administrative position.
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macromicro
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
You're just grasping at straws now and trying, again, to attack my character because you realize you're talking waffle. It's laughable. Admit you're wrong. I just quoted your own words to you and yet you still persist.
(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
You can't base arguments on complete assumptions about people's lives and trying to dismantle people's characters. It's not worth talking to you since, despite your education, you don't seem to understand how ridiculous it is that you persist even when I've quoted your own agreement with what I'm saying in bold with a massive font. I may as well shout at a brick wall.
You quoted me saying that vocational degrees offer the highest employment prospects. If you cannot see how this doesn't show that philosophy is useless outside of teaching then, frankly, I understand why no graduate employer wanted you. You're trying to reconcile two different things and, ironically, will not admit that I have analysed you accurately. You have made nonsense statements based on your own indecisiveness as a student and now you're paying the price of not being focused on a career and trying to blame the arts/government/anyone within reach, and, moreover, trying to smuggle it in as "advice".

Everything I have said is true. You have a 2.1, no internship, no focus on a career at university, and now you are bitter and don't understand why you didn't obtain graduate employment so you blame your degree subject, despite that being a tiny, insignificant part of a job application and despite top UK employers not requiring specific subjects for their graduate schemes. It's very clear that you can offer no rebuttal beyond "omg you don't know me!!!!" and that's because what I have said is correct and what you have said consists of no more than biased generalisations based on thin air.
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macromicro
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(Original post by Advanced Subsidiary)
If I wanted to get a job after university, philosophy is one of the last things I'd study.

It might not have impacted you personally, but it has certainly impacted thousands of others, both those who did internships and those who did not. All of these graduate schemes you mention, there are only few places right? They can't take everyone. They probably go for those who did the most relevant degrees first before considering the others.
Where are you getting this statistic that it has impacted "thousands of others"? If you can show that it was directly their subject that led them to fail at graduate schemes then please do. As for the part in bold - no they don't. There is no degree requirement for the schemes I have mentioned. If there was, I wouldn't have been able to apply let alone work there nor would my friends and ex-colleagues who were also in the arts. Feel free to browse their websites for yourself - their only requirement is a 2.1; for the Civil Service it's a 2.2. Your success depends on how well you interview, your experience, and your scores in the psychometric tests.

(Original post by Advanced Subsidiary)
And from what I know about somethingbeautiful over the last 5 years, your conclusions are way, way off.
No, everything I have said is true. A typical 2.1 graduate with no internships and no focus on a career while a student, constantly changing career paths and with a preference for the healthcare profession which has nothing to do with philosophy nor any subject bar chemistry, biology and medical courses. The problem is very obvious.

(Original post by Advanced Subsidiary)
IIf I had a child that was 18, fresh out of college and was preparing to go to University, I'd do anything to deter them from studying degrees with very little career prospects. I'd rather give them the £30k+ to start their own enterprise rather than studying a degree which may yield very little prospects afterwards.
Well you wouldn't deter them from the arts then because there are many doors which are wide open.

(Original post by Advanced Subsidiary)
IIn this climate? STEM and vocational are the way to go. So many people I know who studied BA's, are struggling in retail. Some of them did internships too.
In this climate? You mean healthy economic growth and falling unemployment? This isn't 2009. STEM and vocational are the way to go if you are interested in STEM or a vocational course. If you're not interested, like the majority of students aren't, then they clearly are not the way to go. The people you know may be struggling for a variety of reasons; it's not their degree subject that's holding them back though, it's them. There are endless graduate schemes to apply to that don't take degree subject into consideration so the reason they have been relegated to retail work is for a different reason. Also, remember that correlation doesn't equal causation. The arts tend to be saturated with less less corporate, less career-focused, and less conformist types of people, hence it is no surprise to me to hear of your friends who graduated in the arts ending up in retail. It has nothing to do with the subject though, only themselves.

(Original post by Advanced Subsidiary)
IEDIT: Also, Law - my best friend studied Law, did his LPC is it? and is in a random administrative position.
So? What's your point? Your friend failed to meet the difficult criteria for the highly competitive training contracts - many do; what do you want me to say? Only the best obtain those contracts, unfortunately your friend wasn't one of them. If practicing law is his passion he will improve his application and re-apply; lawyers often previously worked as paralegals before obtaining a training contract, just as many aspiring doctors re-apply for medicine and work as HCAs or apply for GEM after a first degree. Top jobs are competitive; it's not the subject it's the product of extremely high salaries, social prestige and rewarding work which bumps up supply of labour for those roles.
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somethingbeautiful
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(Original post by Advanced Subsidiary)
If I wanted to get a job after university, philosophy is one of the last things I'd study.

It might not have impacted you personally, but it has certainly impacted thousands of others, both those who did internships and those who did not. All of these graduate schemes you mention, there are only few places right? They can't take everyone. They probably go for those who did the most relevant degrees first before considering the others.

And from what I know about somethingbeautiful over the last 5 years, your conclusions are way, way off.

If I had a child that was 18, fresh out of college and was preparing to go to University, I'd do anything to deter them from studying degrees with very little career prospects. I'd rather give them the £30k+ to start their own enterprise rather than studying a degree which may yield very little prospects afterwards.

In this climate? STEM and vocational are the way to go. So many people I know who studied BA's, are struggling in retail. Some of them did internships too.

Not trying to scare anyone off either, and I might be biased since I decided to be a business owner/entrepreneur, however my peers really regret their decision to study degrees which hold little to no weight in our current employment and economic climate.

EDIT: Also, Law - my best friend studied Law, did his LPC is it? and is in a random administrative position.


Thank you for this
And from what I know about somethingbeautiful over the last 5 years, your conclusions are way, way off.
. I appreciate that.

I feel like macromicro has just decided to personally attack me to make a point and I shouldn't let myself be drawn into it, so I'm not going to respond further to them.

I agree, especially about your point regarding retail. Most people who graduated in my cohort are either in retail or doing temp work through agencies. My sister graduated a year before me and it's the same for the people she knows too. This is 3/4 years since graduation for us and our friends and were all in very similar circumstances but certain people don't seem to want to talk about that and want to blame it on individuals. There's obviously a problem and the recession certainly doesn't help.
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304820
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
That is so far from the truth. No, I was not selective.
The problem with your advice is it goes against everything the average TSR user has been told which is that if they stay on the exam treadmill it will transport them to a high-paying graduate job. I believed it because my teachers told me so. I believed it because quangos like ‘Aim Higher’ (remember them?) told me so.
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username1370718
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(Original post by Advanced Subsidiary)
If I wanted to get a job after university, philosophy is one of the last things I'd study.

It might not have impacted you personally, but it has certainly impacted thousands of others, both those who did internships and those who did not. All of these graduate schemes you mention, there are only few places right? They can't take everyone. They probably go for those who did the most relevant degrees first before considering the others.

And from what I know about somethingbeautiful over the last 5 years, your conclusions are way, way off.

If I had a child that was 18, fresh out of college and was preparing to go to University, I'd do anything to deter them from studying degrees with very little career prospects. I'd rather give them the £30k+ to start their own enterprise rather than studying a degree which may yield very little prospects afterwards.

In this climate? STEM and vocational are the way to go. So many people I know who studied BA's, are struggling in retail. Some of them did internships too.

Not trying to scare anyone off either, and I might be biased since I decided to be a business owner/entrepreneur, however my peers really regret their decision to study degrees which hold little to no weight in our current employment and economic climate.

EDIT: Also, Law - my best friend studied Law, did his LPC is it? and is in a random administrative position.
Not sure what your point is regarding Law. Surely that's considered vocational? Hence proving that vocational courses will not necessarily get you a relevant job?
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somethingbeautiful
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(Original post by 304820)
The problem with your advice is it goes against everything the average TSR user has been told which is that if they stay on the exam treadmill it will transport them to a high-paying graduate job. I believed it because my teachers told me so. I believed it because quangos like ‘Aim Higher’ (remember them?) told me so.
I know. That's why I'm telling you because that exactly how I feel and how my friends feel. We feel disillusioned and lied to because we're working for the minimum wage (or unemployed) after doing everything the 'right' way.

I was a model pupil at at school - a prefect, a tutor for year 7/8 when I was in 6th form, I won end of year awards, I was in the orchestra, I helped run an morning music club. I went into the 6th form to take A-Levels and did well academically as well as playing for the first team of my local sports club, I completed placements in the NHS, I worked hard in my subjects.

Then I got into uni. I worked very hard again. I was a teaching assistant during the 2nd year of my degree, I had a P/T job in my 1st/2nd year and completed a placement at HMCS with an excellent commendation. I was part of 3 uni socs, a debating club (Philosophy!) and I did work for my university Library as well as helping to run a departmental event that took place in various locations throughout the city (art gallerys/cathedrals) and I did photography work for the publications regarding those events. I also attended seminars outside of my course and submitted papers for consideration as well as writing for the student paper.

As well as this I volunteered at the weekends (whilst working P/T in the evenings) in my first two years for a local charity (I'd already been volunteering with them 12 months prior to uni).

There are various other bits and bobs I did, those are the things that I remember. I didn't just turn up and scrape a 2.1 - I worked incredibly hard not only for my 2.1 but regarding all of the things I did outside of the lecture theaters and seminar rooms. I was a hardworking student and I graduated into the fallout of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Recession

Employers weren't taking on, the number of grad jobs had reduced and even low-skilled work was incredibly hard to come by. Now things are starting to pick up so hopefully it won't be as bad in future but it's been 3 years for me and the grads who found themselves in the same circumstances in 11'/12'/13' so I'm not eligible for a lot of schemes anymore. It seems like your degree slowly loses value the longer you're not in grad work.

This is my experience. As I say, I'm not here to scare people or put people off. I'm saying that you should be aware of employablilty before you embark on 3 years of hard work and you should be aware that the above is a reality for many people.

Also, I just like to say - what I've learned about this reality I've experienced for the past 3 years goes against everything I've ever believed in and was taught by my teachers. I was told hard work = success. I worked hard. That is what stings. I don't want other people to experience what I have, that's why I'm talking about it....not so that rude people (not you who I'm quoting) can insult me and tell people I'm somehow lazy or was unprepared. I worked incredibly hard, I always have done.
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304820
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
I know. That's why I'm telling you because that exactly how I feel and how my friends feel. We feel disillusioned and lied to because we're working for the minimum wage (or unemployed) after doing everything the 'right' way.
Join the club. I got a First from Nottingham (Politics….). My GCSE English was good enough to get a picture shaking hands with the local MP. I did an internship working for an MP in Westminster. I was running my JCR putting on events every weekend…not exactly a library hermit. I’ve an interview with my local C.A.B. Thursday just because I want to use my brain again! I know what you mean about the longer you are in “menial” work (for want of a better word) the harder it is to get taken seriously for grad positions.

I can understand why people “victim-blame” for want of a better term. It allows people to think it can’t happen to them. It sounds stupid now but I thought with my background I would likely have a choice of job offers.

It sounds crass but the one positive of graduating into the so-called ‘Great Recession’ is it has taught me the value of money. I realise now that a decent ‘rainy day’ fund can get you through the worst of times. That means no Sky Sports, no foreign holidays etc. To the extent one can prepare for a massive recession I would like to be better prepared for next time...
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Juichiro
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(Original post by jamestg)
May I recommend consulting?

It will be very difficult for you to get a job from one of the big ones such as KPMG, going for a smaller company will be easier.

People in consultancy come from a variety of degrees, although your qualifications and degree will determine what you consult in. Although my dad is an IT consultant - he doesn't have a degree whatsoever, no MBA and no formal IT qualifications - yet he is one of the best IT consultants in the UK and the most senior consultant in the world for the software he consults on.

Alternatively, get some accountancy qualifications and become an accountant.

Both ideas are well paid, have good progression, opportunity for travel and job security.
I assume then that he self-taught himself business stuff and IT stuff?
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thisistheend
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)
I know. That's why I'm telling you because that exactly how I feel and how my friends feel. We feel disillusioned and lied to because we're working for the minimum wage (or unemployed) after doing everything the 'right' way.

I was a model pupil at at school - a prefect, a tutor for year 7/8 when I was in 6th form, I won end of year awards, I was in the orchestra, I helped run an morning music club. I went into the 6th form to take A-Levels and did well academically as well as playing for the first team of my local sports club, I completed placements in the NHS, I worked hard in my subjects.

Then I got into uni. I worked very hard again. I was a teaching assistant during the 2nd year of my degree, I had a P/T job in my 1st/2nd year and completed a placement at HMCS with an excellent commendation. I was part of 3 uni socs, a debating club (Philosophy!) and I did work for my university Library as well as helping to run a departmental event that took place in various locations throughout the city (art gallerys/cathedrals) and I did photography work for the publications regarding those events. I also attended seminars outside of my course and submitted papers for consideration as well as writing for the student paper.

As well as this I volunteered at the weekends (whilst working P/T in the evenings) in my first two years for a local charity (I'd already been volunteering with them 12 months prior to uni).

There are various other bits and bobs I did, those are the things that I remember. I didn't just turn up and scrape a 2.1 - I worked incredibly hard not only for my 2.1 but regarding all of the things I did outside of the lecture theaters and seminar rooms. I was a hardworking student and I graduated into the fallout of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Recession

Employers weren't taking on, the number of grad jobs had reduced and even low-skilled work was incredibly hard to come by. Now things are starting to pick up so hopefully it won't be as bad in future but it's been 3 years for me and the grads who found themselves in the same circumstances in 11'/12'/13' so I'm not eligible for a lot of schemes anymore. It seems like your degree slowly loses value the longer you're not in grad work.

This is my experience. As I say, I'm not here to scare people or put people off. I'm saying that you should be aware of employablilty before you embark on 3 years of hard work and you should be aware that the above is a reality for many people.

Also, I just like to say - what I've learned about this reality I've experienced for the past 3 years goes against everything I've ever believed in and was taught by my teachers. I was told hard work = success. I worked hard. That is what stings. I don't want other people to experience what I have, that's why I'm talking about it....not so that rude people (not you who I'm quoting) can insult me and tell people I'm somehow lazy or was unprepared. I worked incredibly hard, I always have done.
Then I'm surprised how little it's worked out for you and how far you've fallen after graduation on the job-centre hamster wheel.

I did no extracurricular activities at university past the first 6 months as I basically had a break down after the first Christmas. I got my 2.1 very easily but wish I had spent more time and effort because Philosophy is a subject that I really did love. In April of my final year, I thought oh ****. I applied for a teaching course by end of June and was accepted. I'm an honest person, I became a teacher because I didn't know what else I could do.

It's just a shame I don't like it. I was basically offered a years contract leading to permanent position by a school because the person i was covering for had left and still I turned it down. Sadly I can't make a living from odd days of supply so I do cash in hand jobs in the shadow economy on the fringes. I stay clear of benefits, don't want to be beholden.

(Original post by macromicro)
My username should probably be a hint that I do and it doesn't apply. He has made wild unfounded claims about philosophy being useless for employment bar teaching and then tried to imply that all he has been claiming is how vocational degrees offer higher employment rates. They are two very different and independent claims and I have only argued against the former because it's factually wrong and a common excuse made by those who don't know what they want to do in life until later on - same reason why you're in a profession you don't want to be in.
Again, ceterus paribus is implied. Also, I doubt she choose Philosophy because she wanted to do Physiotherapy at 18 years of age, that's a very odd way of attributing motivations. She probably decided on that later.

Not to take this the wrong way, because I have understood from very early on some of the points you've raised, but people like you is why I dropped Economics after my first year at uni.

I did not understand why the people I saw were happy and motivated not just in their social life but career preparations, I was dying inside. I never aspired to any job in particular, obviously I knew I had to get a job sometime in life as I do not have a trust fund. I didn't get how someone would just know they want to work in corporate tax for PwC. I realised the value of internships and soft experiences and joined AIESEC, a very career orientated student society amongst in my first month at uni. I was to play a leading role in a project we were doing, I can't remember now what, but I went to meetings, conferences weekends at other unis etc. I also took a booklet from PwC recruitment called the 10 key personal competencies, which I still have kept to this day. I looked around me and I did not feel like I was like the others. How could a person who's never had a birthday party and a complete **** up be able to network in the City of London and be that happy driven successful person.

So I withdrew from almost everything after 6 months at uni until I left, only working annoymously in a ****ty restaurant for spare pocket money. I also dropped Economics and switched to Philosophy, which my parents were furious about because I clearly had the intellectual potential as well as the actual subject interest to do well. I got 550/600 at A-Level and 75 in Economics Theory modules in 1st year uni.

Nothing's really changed much after these years, except now I have a piece of paper that says I'm Qualified to do something I don't like.
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somethingbeautiful
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(Original post by thisistheend)
Then I'm surprised how little it's worked out for you and how far you've fallen after graduation on the job-centre hamster wheel.
Me too - well at least at first. The surprise wore off until I was disillusioned and jaded but I'm past that now and have a sense of determination.

(Original post by thisistheend)
I did no extracurricular activities at university past the first 6 months as I basically had a break down after the first Christmas. I got my 2.1 very easily but wish I had spent more time and effort because Philosophy is a subject that I really did love. In April of my final year, I thought oh ****. I applied for a teaching course by end of June and was accepted. I'm an honest person, I became a teacher because I didn't know what else I could do.
Well, despite all of that you managed to get onto and through a PGCE and come out of the other end with a job so even if you don't like it - I wouldn't count that as failure.

(Original post by thisistheend)
It's just a shame I don't like it. I was basically offered a years contract leading to permanent position by a school because the person i was covering for had left and still I turned it down. Sadly I can't make a living from odd days of supply so I do cash in hand jobs in the shadow economy on the fringes. I stay clear of benefits, don't want to be beholden.
I was going to ask if you find better work through an agency but since you don't like teaching that seems like a pointless suggestion. Also, regarding the cash in hand work - I also did that for while last year to avoid having to go on the dole again but the problem is, when you're not in employment and you're not on the dole you aren't making national insurance contributions and this will affect you later on because if there are gaps in your national insurance record you won't get a full pension. Also, I had letters from Student Finance asking for proof of earnings and because I couldn't prove them for myself (which I could have on the dole) they wanted to check the income of my family which would never have to happen if I had singed on. So yes, you might already know but I thought that was worth mentioning since they're both quite stressful issues when they start affecting you.


(Original post by thisistheend)
Again, ceterus paribus is implied. Also, I doubt she choose Philosophy because she wanted to do Physiotherapy at 18 years of age, that's a very odd way of attributing motivations. She probably decided on that later.
Correct. I wanted to study Philosophy when I was 18. I didn't know anything about Physio.

(Original post by thisistheend)
Not to take this the wrong way, because I have understood from very early on some of the points you've raised, but people like you is why I dropped Economics after my first year at uni.

I did not understand why the people I saw were happy and motivated not just in their social life but career preparations, I was dying inside. I never aspired to any job in particular, obviously I knew I had to get a job sometime in life as I do not have a trust fund. I didn't get how someone would just know they want to work in corporate tax for PwC.
I get this 100%. I did really well academically and with my extra currics and work experience but around 2nd year I began to despise university completely (http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=1724985). I don't actually know how I dragged myself through it. I reached a point where I had to take a few months out towards the end of 2nd year and return to complete some modules later because I was completely burnt out and beginning to see the reality of life beyond graduation and realizing that most of us would be in unskilled work within 18 months.

People forget, but at that point (2010/11) every time you turned on the TV, radio, or opened a newspaper, it was recession, recession, recession. I actually started uni at 19 so the people I went to school with had graduated by the time I was in 2nd year and seeing what jobs they'd ended up in (or not) was doing nothing to inspire me. Businesses were going bust, jobs getting cut etc, the papers were full of statistics about unemployment and it dawned on me that I was about to walk into a dismal job market with no practical skill, just literally a piece of paper to prove I read about Plato etc. As much as I tried to put it to the back of my mind, I knew it was a reality that I had to be prepared for but nothing could have prepared me for the subsequent 3 years.

I remember when I started my applications I applied to some less obvious roles in the creative industries which I felt my degree was actually more relevant to than a Retail Management scheme etc (which I also applied to), I didn't even get responses to say 'No', they just ignored me completely - at least I got responses for my rejections from the retail/banking schemes.

(Original post by thisistheend)
I looked around me and I did not feel like I was like the others. How could a person who's never had a birthday party and a complete **** up be able to network in the City of London and be that happy driven successful person.
I can understand this. I think certain people come from particular backgrounds and there's no amount of education that can help you blend into the environment at some companies. There is a definite 'type' of graduate that fits in to those city jobs at well known companies.


(Original post by thisistheend)
Nothing's really changed much after these years, except now I have a piece of paper that says I'm Qualified to do something I don't like.
I think to move forward to have to reach your bull**** quota - I hit that late last year. Once you're there (you sound like you are), it frees you up to take a step back from it all and reevaluate everything. I think the breakthrough for me came when I realized I didn't have to let my degree dictate the trajectory of my life anymore. By 2014 I'd decided I wasn't going to rely on it for my career anymore. That opens up the world, because prior to that you're thinking ''what grad jobs can apply to?''/''what Masters could I do?''/''what post grad qualifications could I do''?/''what companies value X degree?'' etc. All of those were dead ends that I'd pursued and yet I was still wasting my time entertaining them and it was coming up to 2015 and I realized I was flogging a dead horse. So I removed my degree from the equation, created a clean slate and just asked ''what do I want to do?'' regardless of my past or my qualifications. That's when I started making progress.

So once you figure that out, you'll be in a better postion. You may find you can pursue it with the qualification you have, you may find you'll need experience, you may find you need to re-qualify. None of that matters right now, you just need to take a step back and think about what you want. If you find it difficult, think about

- What you enjoyed as a child
- What you enjoy in your spare time
- What your values are


From what I've read, it seems like money/prestige doesn't appeal to you - so maybe you feel like you need to do something meaningful (possibly why you felt teaching was a decent route). You need to figure out, mainly, what is meaningful to you and what you're on this planet to contribute towards and then you need to see if there is a related job that you could get some experience in. You seem to have that existential anxiety (correct me if I'm wrong) that pretty much every Philosopher I've ever encountered has.

Don't try to change your whole life in a day even though that would be fantastic to be able to do. You're facing a mountain and it's daunting as hell - I've lost count of how many times I've just felt like I'm fighting a losing battle but you have to dust yourself off and drag yourself up because no one will do it for you. You can't give up because you'll spend your life doing something you hate. Take it step by step and go back to absolute basics - e.g

- Write a list or a spider diagram of what you enjoy and then what you would like in a job (and another list of 'dislikes'). This helped me to see it in on paper.

- Write a list of what you feel is meaningful work (for me it was caring for others/helping people/contributing to others' well being/making a positive difference)

- Once you've figured out what you like and what you think is meaningful, think of jobs and research jobs that link the two

- Once you have a few jobs jotted down - experience them. Sort out a day of two of work experience.


Just work methodically as above and have patience with yourself and the timing of your life. For example on my 'likes' list I had:

- Like working with my hands
- Like working with people one-to-one
- Like having a team around me but also being able to work independently
- Like using my intellect

My 'meaningful work' list:
- A job that involves helping people
- A job that involves making people feel better
- A job that contributes to people's happiness


So I shortlisted a few jobs and ended up working as a hairdresser. I actually really loved it but the pay wasn't enough to support myself, one of my 'likes' was missing (the final one) and I didn't feel like it really captured my idea of meaningful even though it made other people happy etc - I wanted to do more for someone than give them a good haircut, I wanted to really help them with their lives. So that's how I ended up researching NHS careers.

So there is an element of trial and error and you need to experience things to figure out if they're right for you. If there's any possible way that you could stop working for a couple of months and live with someone who will support you then take a sabbatical and really consider your life and what you want and get some experience even if it's a day or two here and there.

(Original post by 304820)
Join the club. I got a First from Nottingham (Politics….). My GCSE English was good enough to get a picture shaking hands with the local MP. I did an internship working for an MP in Westminster. I was running my JCR putting on events every weekend…not exactly a library hermit. I’ve an interview with my local C.A.B. Thursday just because I want to use my brain again! I know what you mean about the longer you are in “menial” work (for want of a better word) the harder it is to get taken seriously for grad positions.

I can understand why people “victim-blame” for want of a better term. It allows people to think it can’t happen to them. It sounds stupid now but I thought with my background I would likely have a choice of job offers.

It sounds crass but the one positive of graduating into the so-called ‘Great Recession’ is it has taught me the value of money. I realise now that a decent ‘rainy day’ fund can get you through the worst of times. That means no Sky Sports, no foreign holidays etc. To the extent one can prepare for a massive recession I would like to be better prepared for next time...
I totally agree about understanding the value of money. In my 3rd year when I realized that I wasn't getting any responses concerning graduate jobs and realized the reality would be a retail job if I was lucky or more likely the dole so I stopped spending my bursary/grant and loan and moved back home to commute so that I could put everything I had into savings. It wasn't ideal but I'm so glad that I did that or else things would have been even worse than they turned out to be.
I became so good at budgeting and learning how to fix things rather than throwing them away or paying someone else to sort them.

Best of luck at the CAB, also there are a few things on the Princes Trust website that might be relevant/useful to you.

Do you know what you might be interested in moving into? With a 1st, you're in a good position to retry for grad schemes if you're a recent grad and interested in any of them.
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(Original post by somethingbeautiful)


I totally agree about understanding the value of money. In my 3rd year when I realized that I wasn't getting any responses concerning graduate jobs and realized the reality would be a retail job if I was lucky or more likely the dole so I stopped spending my bursary/grant and loan and moved back home to commute so that I could put everything I had into savings. It wasn't ideal but I'm so glad that I did that or else things would have been even worse than they turned out to be.
I became so good at budgeting and learning how to fix things rather than throwing them away or paying someone else to sort them.

Best of luck at the CAB, also there are a few things on the Princes Trust website that might be relevant/useful to you.

Do you know what you might be interested in moving into? With a 1st, you're in a good position to retry for grad schemes if you're a recent grad and interested in any of them.
I just don't understand the people throwing £6,000 at a Masters in History or whatever. That is a car. That is money for a deposit on a flat. Priorities change a bit once you leave education.

My dream is (was?) to work in public affairs for a charity. I’ve got to the point where I’ve accepted it probably won’t happen. I’ve been rejected from two unpaid internships for cancer charities which was a fairly humbling experience. There is a Charity graduate scheme I’m looking at the moment. Hopefully being the C.A.B. will help for that. You have to pass silly maths tests which is a bit of pain though...I'm a humanities grad..

I find the Prince’s Trust is more geared towards non-graduates. I volunteer alongside someone on a Prince’s Trust scheme at the moment. His real barrier to getting into work is dreadful GCSEs – below C in English and Maths. A good worker actually but who takes a chance these days?
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