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"soft" subjects conning poor students watch

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    (Original post by Quady)
    Its more than a liveable subsidy. Usually 14k, sometimes 16k. Remember thats tax/NI free so its comprable to 20k and no/reduced council tax. If you get 14k pre tax at Maccy Ds you'd be doing pretty well.

    Arrrgggg! Anoying I can't find the salary by degree data on the HESA site, I know it must be there...
    Yeah, well for what they consider your 'living allowance' whilst completing the PhD, that's pretty good then.

    I haven't seen it by specific degree, only degree type, if that helps. The thing is, I'm sure they collect it on the survey, but they don't have enough surveys in the years after you graduate to make it relevant (eg salary at year 5, year 10). And, given how long careers take to develop, it's pretty ridiculous to expect the data from newer subjects to be properly reflective yet.

    Basically, how the HECK did he make these assumptions? If we can use evidence to show that all degrees add significant value in the years directly after completing them, but clearly that degrees such as accountancy have greater monetary reward, where is the counter-argument? Apart from rhetoric there is just no point to what he is saying. Everybody knows that being a doctor or doing accountancy earns a lot.... not everyone wants to do it.
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    (Original post by cfc1992)
    Well my media studies A-level isn't a complete waste of time, because it's in the conditions that I need to get a good grade to go to univeristy. There goes your arguement in a sentence.

    baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaa
    Are you an idiot, or just unable to read? Try reading my origonal post again.
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    (Original post by candytreeman)
    You have no point?

    If maths / science graduates are under-developed in such areas, it is particularly unfair to pick on essay-based arts subjects as being 'soft'. They are clearly difficult and worthwhile in different ways.
    You are quite incorrect. People working in science have to do essays, I did when I was doing my degree and they have to write a lot of papers for journals to describe their work and also to apply for resarch grants where one has to be able to put a convincing case for money to support their work.

    Being able to write well is certainly important but not well paid unless one can bring other skills. If learning to write well was so important, then one should do a short course in it rather than spend 3 years just learning such a basic and easily learned skill.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    You are quite incorrect. People working in science have to do essays, I did when I was doing my degree and they have to write a lot of papers for journals to describe their work and also to apply for resarch grants where one has to be able to put a convincing case for money to support their work.

    Being able to write well is certainly important but not well paid unless one can bring other skills. If learning to write well was so important, then one should do a short course in it rather than spend 3 years just learning such a basic and easily learned skill.
    You mistake the meaning of 'writing'. I am not talking about basic written English. Rather, the act of writing essays -the ability to construct strong written arguments and express yourself clearly, and the ability to research and extract relevant information from many different types of sources.

    I'm incorrect? This was from a Physics professor, whose opinion I trust more than yours. My girlfriend does Chemistry at UCL and they barely ever get extensive written work. Lab reports, yes, but it isn't the same. The essays they do get are short and rely mainly on only a couple of sources. She happens to be good at them, because she continued arts subjects up to A Level, but many students do not have any essay based subjects after GCSE. For other science courses, I am aware that the written component is much less than what I have described.

    You do not spend 3 years learning to write. Nor is it easily learnt. You spend 3 years learning to argue at the same level as the sources you are absorbing, and throughout that time you hone the skill of writing as a form of expression.

    In a History degree you don't spend three years learning to write English, you spend three years learning the subject. High writing proficiency is merely a side effect, just as good numerical skills are of any maths based subject.

    It is basically like me turning around and saying you could just as easily go and do a short course in basic maths. Obviously, this is not what I'm talking about. My point is that you can't accuse one area of lacking the fundamental skills of the other, when the true is same vice versa.
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    Writing 5000 word essays is fine but most people will never read such things. The point of the article in the Guardian is there are too many students doing subjects which do not help them advance their careers and the contributor specifically mentions the sciences as subjects that would help people get on.

    If people think being able to write essays well will help them advance their careers, they are mistaken because very few people can make money from it however well they write.
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    (Original post by candytreeman)
    You mistake the meaning of 'writing'. I am not talking about basic written English. Rather, the act of writing essays -the ability to construct strong written arguments and express yourself clearly, and the ability to research and extract relevant information from many different types of sources.

    I'm incorrect? This was from a Physics professor, whose opinion I trust more than yours. My girlfriend does Chemistry at UCL and they barely ever get extensive written work. Lab reports, yes, but it isn't the same. The essays they do get are short and rely mainly on only a couple of sources. She happens to be good at them, because she continued arts subjects up to A Level, but many students do not have any essay based subjects after GCSE. For other science courses, I am aware that the written component is much less than what I have described.

    You do not spend 3 years learning to write. Nor is it easily learnt. You spend 3 years learning to argue at the same level as the sources you are absorbing, and throughout that time you hone the skill of writing as a form of expression.

    In a History degree you don't spend three years learning to write English, you spend three years learning the subject. High writing proficiency is merely a side effect, just as good numerical skills are of any maths based subject.

    It is basically like me turning around and saying you could just as easily go and do a short course in basic maths. Obviously, this is not what I'm talking about. My point is that you can't accuse one area of lacking the fundamental skills of the other, when the true is same vice versa.
    Where is it useful for a single person to write an something over 2,000 words?
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Where is it useful for a single person to write an something over 2,000 words?
    Most places really. If you go into law, if you work in the civil service, government, business reports, audits, case studies, market research...

    And the skills required to write such a piece are useful in any kind of employment (mentioned below)
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Writing 5000 word essays is fine but most people will never read such things. The point of the article in the Guardian is there are too many students doing subjects which do not help them advance their careers and the contributor specifically mentions the sciences as subjects that would help people get on.

    If people think being able to write essays well will help them advance their careers, they are mistaken because very few people can make money from it however well they write.
    Nobody is suggesting that writing essays will earn money :rolleyes: :confused: . Yes, you can go into academia in your subject, but that's not what I'm talking about..

    The skills you learn from the courses earn you money. And sciences are not subjects that would help people get on in a lot of careers. If you want to go into politics or international relations, for example, or media.

    Strong, ordered, concise arguments, original thought, research and evaluation of information from multiple complex sources. All of the skills from an Arts degree are directly useful and relevant to work environments. And employers recognize this.

    The subjects DO advance your careers, obviously. About 70% of my uni friends are in graduate jobs at the minute, the rest studying more..

    Come on people, a little bit of common sense here.. :woo:


    The point (again):
    - science subjects are not the be all and end all of university degrees, in fact, they are often inadequate in some major areas that are directly relevant to working environments
    - arts subjects also have inadequacies
    - both can be great for employment in certain areas; neither does not improve your career prospects.
    - some career areas require non-science or vocational subjects, which some people class as 'soft'. clearly, this is ********.
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    What really annoys me about this whole "soft" and "hard" subject fiasco, is that "hard" subjects are usually sciences, yes, I know there may be others. If everyone did all the "hard" subjects, then there wouldn't be diversity!
    My advice to the article: GET OVER IT. If someone wants to pursue a career in Media or take Business Studies, LET THEM!!!!!!!
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    (Original post by c0nfus3d)
    If someone wants to pursue a career in Media or take Business Studies, LET THEM!!!!!!!
    No-one's objecting to people pursuing careers in the Media, but studying Media Studies isn't going to help you get a career in the media and colleges/sixth-forms should be explicit about letting students know that.
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    (Original post by ttx)
    No-one's objecting to people pursuing careers in the Media, but studying Media Studies isn't going to help you get a career in the media and colleges/sixth-forms should be explicit about letting students know that.
    I know, but if they want to take up a subject for interest, surely there's no harm in doing that? Doesn't it encourage a whole variety of skills? With sciences and maths, although I have taken Maths, I find that some of the skills are repetitive, i.e. logic, abstract reasoning, understanding
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    (Original post by c0nfus3d)
    I know, but if they want to take up a subject for interest, surely there's no harm in doing that? Doesn't it encourage a whole variety of skills? With sciences and maths, although I have taken Maths, I find that some of the skills are repetitive, i.e. logic, abstract reasoning, understanding
    Sure that's fine. As long as they have suitable careers advice explaining the long-term implication of their A-Level choice then I've no problem students studying whatever they want to study.

    The problem is when students don't get suitable careers advice and end up not picking suitable A-Levels for their choice of university/career/life simply because no-one told them what the implications of their choice were.
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    (Original post by ttx)
    Sure that's fine. As long as they have suitable careers advice explaining the long-term implication of their A-Level choice then I've no problem students studying whatever they want to study.

    The problem is when students don't get suitable careers advice and end up not picking suitable A-Levels for their choice of university/career/life simply because no-one told them what the implications of their choice were.
    You A-level choices don't always determine your career path! I know many, who have undertaken a science, PHOTOGRAPHY, and something like ICT and have ended up quite far!
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    (Original post by c0nfus3d)
    What really annoys me about this whole "soft" and "hard" subject fiasco, is that "hard" subjects are usually sciences, yes, I know there may be others. If everyone did all the "hard" subjects, then there wouldn't be diversity!
    My advice to the article: GET OVER IT. If someone wants to pursue a career in Media or take Business Studies, LET THEM!!!!!!!
    Its quite an indulgent attitude and short sighted to say people should be allowed to study what they want and what interest them.

    I have 2 concerns about this attitude. Firstly, these "soft" subjects are not very useful in getting people reasonably paid jobs because they do not teach the skills and knowledge employers want or there is an over supply of people with these skills and knowledge.

    Secondly, the provision of these "soft" subjects pushes out subjects that would teach students the skills and knowledge employers want but they are not as "enjoyable" as more traditional subjects so are less popular.

    I'm all for people enjoying what they are studying but if they choose a subject that is seen as "soft" by employers, they will certainly not enjoy the resulting unemployment or low paid dead end job that their qualification means they have to do.

    You could counter by saying its the job of employers to take people with none specific skills and little work experience and provide them with job based training. But the trend is for increasing temporary and contract work where employers expect a certain amount of basic skills and knowledge and little or no on the job training is provided.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Its quite an indulgent attitude and short sighted to say people should be allowed to study what they want and what interest them.

    I have 2 concerns about this attitude. Firstly, these "soft" subjects are not very useful in getting people reasonably paid jobs because they do not teach the skills and knowledge employers want or there is an over supply of people with these skills and knowledge.

    Secondly, the provision of these "soft" subjects pushes out subjects that would teach students the skills and knowledge employers want but they are not as "enjoyable" as more traditional subjects so are less popular.

    I'm all for people enjoying what they are studying but if they choose a subject that is seen as "soft" by employers, they will certainly not enjoy the resulting unemployment or low paid dead end job that their qualification means they have to do.

    You could counter by saying its the job of employers to take people with none specific skills and little work experience and provide them with job based training. But the trend is for increasing temporary and contract work where employers expect a certain amount of basic skills and knowledge and little or no on the job training is provided.
    Are you trying to say that subjects like Biology will equip people with skills for the world of work? Say if someone went into Management, where face-to-face contact is needed on a regular basis, how would this subject help? Or any "hard" subject? Also, what is your view on Apprenticeships? I think diversity is important, and isn't it a British value?
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    (Original post by c0nfus3d)
    Are you trying to say that subjects like Biology will equip people with skills for the world of work? Say if someone went into Management, where face-to-face contact is needed on a regular basis, how would this subject help? Or any "hard" subject? Also, what is your view on Apprenticeships? I think diversity is important, and isn't it a British value?
    I think you are not well informed about the way science works. Nearly all science is now a team effort. For example, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN employs thousands of people with all sorts of skills and knowledge in many areas like physics and engineering but also nutrition and medicine. People have to work in large teams interacting with others in and outside their own fields.

    Science is very sociable as any science conference will show because people have to discuss and swap ideas and information and work together and argue their corner.

    The image of the lonely bloke in a white coat working on his own in a lab is rather cliched and virtually unknown nowdays.
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    (Original post by c0nfus3d)
    You A-level choices don't always determine your career path! I know many, who have undertaken a science, PHOTOGRAPHY, and something like ICT and have ended up quite far!
    No, but it's undeniable they have a significant impact. For example if you don't have Maths A-Level than doing Engineering degree is pretty impossible without further pre-degree study.
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    "Soft" subjects, should not be labelled for POOR (working class) students, get a grip

    Lots of "Rich or Middle Class" students are studying soft subjects ....

    Social Class does not always equate with intelligence.

    Natural ability, determination, hard work and resilience, should matter more.
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    (Original post by ttx)
    No-one's objecting to people pursuing careers in the Media, but studying Media Studies isn't going to help you get a career in the media and colleges/sixth-forms should be explicit about letting students know that.
    However, you then STILL get misconceptions such as yours.
    A Media Studies A-Level led to my having a career in the media. Yes, other subjects could have done as well, but Media Studies was more relevant, suitable and enjoyable than others at that level.
    I'd massively object to people being told NOT to do certain subjects. That's the kind of un-necessary interfering that shouldn't happen with regards to someone's future. Again, I believe that people should make their own choices. Unfortunately, they rarely seem to.

    (Original post by Maker)
    Its quite an indulgent attitude and short sighted to say people should be allowed to study what they want and what interest them.

    I have 2 concerns about this attitude. Firstly, these "soft" subjects are not very useful in getting people reasonably paid jobs because they do not teach the skills and knowledge employers want or there is an over supply of people with these skills and knowledge.
    Why is that an issue to you? That should be THEIR choice.
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    (Original post by cpj1987)
    However, you then STILL get misconceptions such as yours.
    A Media Studies A-Level led to my having a career in the media. Yes, other subjects could have done as well, but Media Studies was more relevant, suitable and enjoyable than others at that level.
    I'd massively object to people being told NOT to do certain subjects. That's the kind of un-necessary interfering that shouldn't happen with regards to someone's future. Again, I believe that people should make their own choices. Unfortunately, they rarely seem to.



    Why is that an issue to you? That should be THEIR choice.
    Its their choice to study subjects that are not suitable for employment but its my taxes that have to pay for their education and my taxes that will have to support them if they are unable to find a job or they have a low paid job and have to claim benefits and unable to repay their student loans.

    I don't blame the students because some of them are niave enough to think knowing about the social significance of soap operas is at all relevant to 99.9% of reasonablely paid jobs. Its the government, the schools and unis that offer such subjects that are at fault because they should know better and should offer only subjects that have the academic rigor and transferable skills that graduates can use to get themselves into reasonable jobs if they choose.

    Students should be told the world of work is very tough and competitive and if they don't have the skills employers want, they will not get good jobs. Its OK to say you should do subjects you enjoy but if that is going to saddle you with a big student debt and constant rejections when applying for jobs, having 3 years of fun would seem like a bad trade off.
 
 
 
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