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    (Original post by Maker)
    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.
    Why is it the fault of those supplying the courses either?
    If the course is supplied, and people want to do it, excellent. University shouldn't solely be about earning access to high-paying jobs, and fortunately most people who choose their courses ARE sensible enough to research their prospects.

    Students, in my opinion, shouldn't NEED to be told that the world of work is tough. If they do by that age, something is wrong.
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    (Original post by cpj1987)
    Why is it the fault of those supplying the courses either?
    If the course is supplied, and people want to do it, excellent. University shouldn't solely be about earning access to high-paying jobs, and fortunately most people who choose their courses ARE sensible enough to research their prospects.

    Students, in my opinion, shouldn't NEED to be told that the world of work is tough. If they do by that age, something is wrong.
    Unfortunately, a lot of people embark on courses that do not lead them to reasonable jobs, I'm not talking about being paid lots so don't put words in my mouth. I'm saying they should if they choose to, be able to get jobs that at least enable them to repay their student loans.

    For example, there are now over 200 courses in forensics while the opportunities in forensic science is very small. The vast majority of forensics graduates will not be able to work in their area of study. They will also be competing with graduates in more traditional disciplines like chemistry and computing that have a better chance in the field than they do. If they had known that was the case, they would have been better advised to study chemistry or computing instead.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Unfortunately, a lot of people embark on courses that do not lead them to reasonable jobs, I'm not talking about being paid lots so don't put words in my mouth. I'm saying they should if they choose to, be able to get jobs that at least enable them to repay their student loans.

    For example, there are now over 200 courses in forensics while the opportunities in forensic science is very small. The vast majority of forensics graduates will not be able to work in their area of study. They will also be competing with graduates in more traditional disciplines like chemistry and computing that have a better chance in the field than they do. If they had known that was the case, they would have been better advised to study chemistry or computing instead.
    Apologies for the misunderstanding. You had said 'reasonably paid' at one point in your post before saying 'reasonable' later, and I (wrongly) assumed you were carrying on from that.

    Do you have an issue with people studying for the sake of it, then?
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    (Original post by cpj1987)
    Apologies for the misunderstanding. You had said 'reasonably paid' at one point in your post before saying 'reasonable' later, and I (wrongly) assumed you were carrying on from that.

    Do you have an issue with people studying for the sake of it, then?
    No as long as its self funded people should be able to do whatever they want.

    However if they want tax money from binmen then what they should do should add value to the binman by the education adding value to the person in a way that generates extra money for society than them having not done the course.
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    (Original post by cpj1987)
    Apologies for the misunderstanding. You had said 'reasonably paid' at one point in your post before saying 'reasonable' later, and I (wrongly) assumed you were carrying on from that.

    Do you have an issue with people studying for the sake of it, then?
    Accepted.

    I have no issue with people studying whatever they like provided they understand at the outset what it would enable them to do afterwards and they should not be a burden taxpayers if they get it wrong.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    Accepted.

    I have no issue with people studying whatever they like provided they understand at the outset what it would enable them to do afterwards and they should not be a burden taxpayers if they get it wrong.
    :yep: Agreed.
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    (Original post by ttx)
    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.
    Obviously, but how will a Maths degree help a lollipop man?
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    (Original post by c0nfus3d)
    Obviously, but how will a Maths degree help a lollipop man?
    Yeah, intel needs mathematicians, even lolipop men find 'computers' 'useful'
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Yeah, intel needs mathematicians, even lolipop men find 'computers' 'useful'
    Haha, computers as in there eyes or something?!
    LOL
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    (Original post by c0nfus3d)
    Obviously, but how will a Maths degree help a lollipop man?
    It wouldn't, and careers advisers should tell students that most people who are lollipop-men do it as a supplementary job as it generally involves only a few hours of work a week. However the related role of traffic warden might be appealing, and you can become a traffic warden without any specific qualifications.


    I'm not suggesting everyone do Maths, etc. as you seem to think. I'm suggesting that schools should provide careers advice which reflects the recruitment requirements of universities and careers.
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    So true.
    I went to a local comprehensive after my first set of A-Levels and the vast majority of people =

    Them 'I want to do Law/*good subject* at Oxford/*good university*'
    Me 'Great, what a-levels are you doing?'
    Them 'Media, sociology, drama and english'


    I mean, the career advice they've been given is absolutely awful. They get bombarded with this tripe that you should just 'take what you enjoy doing' which is BS. You should take what will make the admission officer wet.
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    (Original post by fox_the_fix)
    So true.
    I went to a local comprehensive after my first set of A-Levels and the vast majority of people =

    Them 'I want to do Law/*good subject* at Oxford/*good university*'
    Me 'Great, what a-levels are you doing?'
    Them 'Media, sociology, drama and english'


    I mean, the career advice they've been given is absolutely awful. They get bombarded with this tripe that you should just 'take what you enjoy doing' which is BS. You should take what will make the admission officer wet.
    Isn't it arguable that that undermines the whole purpose of education, namely that we would simply be using education to tick employer/admissions boxes, rather than to actually learn anything?

    If so, that would personally further deepen my already strained view of the so-called education system. I never thought I'd agree with a Marxist perspective, but in education I find myself increasingly agreeing with them that it seems to be nothing more than a process of ensuring a productive workforce with a very limited set of specialized skills, which we are encouraged to term the 'important' subjects.
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    (Original post by PurpleMonkeyDishwasher)
    Exactly, and it seems to be the same at the majority of state schools. You cannot blame the kids for poor A level choice when they have absolutely no guidance whatsoever! Most go into sixth form/college thinking "I'll just study some subjects I enjoy, work hard and hopefully go to uni if I get good results!" They're encouraged to think like that and don't realise subject choices matter as much as they do. :mad:
    This is exactly what has happened to me. I finished college last year with good grades, but I have two A levels that are considered "soft, the 3rd being English which I only got a B in. I intended to do journalism at university but now I have absolutely no idea what to do since I've only recently discovered that my chosen subjects are considered worthless by the majority. I never enjoyed maths or science at school - I was terrible at them and just wanted to forget them, and now I've discovered that they're pretty much the only worthwhile subjects. Nobody told me at school that the subjects I was interested in were pretty much useless, and I was just encouraged to do what I enjoy.
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    (Original post by NietzschanGuy)
    Isn't it arguable that that undermines the whole purpose of education, namely that we would simply be using education to tick employer/admissions boxes, rather than to actually learn anything?

    If so, that would personally further deepen my already strained view of the so-called education system. I never thought I'd agree with a Marxist perspective, but in education I find myself increasingly agreeing with them that it seems to be nothing more than a process of ensuring a productive workforce with a very limited set of specialized skills, which we are encouraged to term the 'important' subjects.
    The reason why some subjects are considered "soft" is they are not mentally challenging or provide important knowledge.

    The reason employers want graduates is they have proved they are capable of understanding and interpreting mentally challenging information and have acquired useful knowledge.

    Compare Shakespeare to X factor or Durer to Wogan and its clear which graduates employers will choose.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    The reason why some subjects are considered "soft" is they are not mentally challenging or provide important knowledge.
    - Both of those are subjective though, therefore by your definition softness is subjective. c00l.
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    (Original post by cfc1992)
    - Both of those are subjective though, therefore by your definition softness is subjective. c00l.
    "Soft" is subjective but so are employers to a certain extent.

    Hard subject = job, Soft subject = dole.
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    (Original post by Maker)
    I think soft subjects are stupid. I'm sure a lot of capable students from poor homes get diverted to soft subjects by schools because they think they can't do the harder ones. I think students need to be stretched and be told they have to compete to get good jobs and have to do the hard subjects because the people they go head to head with will have done.
    Surely the answer is to make harder those A-levels that are perceived as soft?
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Art is very definitely a well-regarded A level for certain courses, even by the likes of Oxford and Cambridge, and should not be thought of as a soft A level.
    I see no reason why Media Studies could not be the same if the course was suitably revised. There are two issues at play here: the usefulness of the subject being studied, and the quality of the A-level course offered on the subject. To my mind not many people on this thread have noted the difference between the two, and that has led to confusion and unnecessary disagreement. One could, for example, design a Media Studies A-level that is harder than any other A-level by a mile. Similarly, one could design a Maths A-level that is child's play. We need to decide whether we are talking about the A-levels or the disciplines themselves. Unfortunately the headmaster's role is merely to assure parents he is meeting social expectations (and hence he reaffirms them); his job is not to challenge the source and validity of the expectations.

    (Original post by Good bloke)
    Well, that is the root of this whole discussion. Just try getting in to Cambridge with media studies, business studies and PE. All A levels are definitely not equal, which is what the headmaster of Harrow (in the link in the OP) is saying, and schools are doing their pupils a disservice in telling them they are.
    Bur just try entering football coaching with maths, further maths, physics! Different A-levels are suited to different purposes. Given that different people have different aspirations, to weigh them up on the same scale is therefore mistaken.
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    (Original post by Kolya)
    Bur just try entering football coaching with maths, further maths, physics! Different A-levels are suited to different purposes. Given that different people have different aspirations, to weigh them up on the same scale is therefore mistaken.
    I agree, the A level and university system is not designed to turn out football coaches. The current wants half of all school leavers to go to university, but many of those would be better suited by a non-university vocational training system where they could learn sskills and knowledge specific to the indistry they wish to enter.
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    (Original post by Good bloke)
    I agree, the A level and university system is not designed to turn out football coaches. The current wants half of all school leavers to go to university, but many of those would be better suited by a non-university vocational training system where they could learn sskills and knowledge specific to the indistry they wish to enter.
    It's a difficult situation because A-levels must include both those with an academic interest in a subject, and those with an interest in a subject for practical purposes (and all those in between). For example, there may be those interested in media studies because of their desire to work in media, but there may also be those interested in media studies as an academic discipline in its own right. But they take the same A-level. Similarly, there are maths students who have a deep interest in mathematics, but there are also students taking A-level maths who only value of it because of its application in the natural/social sciences. But they both take the same A-level in maths.

    Now, one might say "Just increase the number of A-levels (or vocational qualifications) so that everyone can take a course suited to their purposes, stupid!" But that has its own problems: if students take narrow courses then their future options become more limited. For example, if someone takes an applied maths a-level, but then decides they like 'purer' maths instead, they may be stuck (which wouldn't be the case with the broad maths a-level we have now).

    Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Which is preferable? I certainly don't have an answer to that question!
 
 
 
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