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    Ok, it seems apparent that degrees can be grouped into two main types: vocational and non vocational. As far as i understand, vocational courses lead to specific careers/jobs, whereas non vocational degrees dont really lead to any distinct career/jobs.


    What i want to know is if Psychology is regarded as a vocational or non vocational degree? I would much rather prefere it being a non vocational degree as career-wise, this would lead to more doors being left open in the future.

    I started Uni for the first time this sept and hated the course so i dropped out (although not officially yet). Im considering doing Psychology next year instead but really dont want to make the same mistake of choosing the wrong course again.

    If psyc is percieved as a non vocational degree, then this would work in my favour as im not too sure what i want to do in terms of a career.

    Any help/advice is much appreciated...
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    I'd say non-vocational, because it opens precisely zero doors.*





    *please forgive my stereotypical blatant pig headed dislike for social sciences.
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    (Original post by Iscariot)
    I'd say non-vocational, because it opens precisely zero doors.*





    *please forgive my stereotypical blatant pig headed dislike for social sciences.

    Why do you say that, What dont you like abotu the social sciences??
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    I don't know, they just irk me somehow. People who study sociology and other 'soft' sciences just fit this general stereotype of the girl who isn't really that smart but is trying desperately hard to impress people or the artistic young male who wears all black but can think of nothing more fun than arguing over the wording of one of philosophy's fine scholars essays. I know quite a few people who've graduated from courses such as philosophy, history, sociology, human relations, international conflict and psychology who have said that they've found it difficult to find jobs because the subjects aren't really associated with any practical uses within society.

    While I think psychology definately is a work in progress, especially with regards to biochemistry and neuroscience, a lot of people view psychology as just studying Milgram's experiment and discussing how interesting the results are - humans are influnenced by what people tell them to do - then what? Where next?

    Maybe I'm just old fashioned and need to get with the times, but I just think social sciences, of which I'm going to include psychology, are basically useless in finding a job. While some people say they aren't going to university to further their job prospects, I think that really is the point in university, to find a better job, and I don't believe social sciences really contribute to that goal.
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    Vocational degrees generally lead to 'a job'..not 'a job in _____' so it doesn't really matter that you don't know what you want to do yet. Everyone wants to do psychology - allegedly 1 in 12 students at my university! I'm not exactly sure why! If you look at any university's info on what psychology students do after graduation you will find that a lot are in non-graduate level jobs or jobs that don't really relate to psychology; of course there are exceptions - I'm sure quite a few psychology students have been successful in finding suitable jobs.
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    (Original post by b_lineaddict)
    Why do you say that, What dont you like abotu the social sciences??
    Don't get people started! They claim to be all things to all people for a start. They are NOT sciences, they are quasi-scientific and they tolerate the absurd at times.
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    (Original post by ChemistBoy)
    quasi
    pronounced "crazy"
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    (Original post by ThePenguinMafia)
    pronounced "crazy"
    Or "Completely bow locks"
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    I think that vocational courses have no place in the university. The university should be a place where a liberal education (which includes both the arts and sciences) is given. Business Studies, Tourism Management Studies, Wine Studies and so on are not, in my opinion, really worth space in the university.

    Take Marketing. How exactly can one write an academic paper on marketing? Well, one could analyse whether or not advertising actually does anything - this requires surveying people, understanding the psychological aspects of advertising. Or perhaps you could ask whether or not marketing is ethical? You'd need to have the theoretical basis of ethical philosophy.

    But why bother? If you want to know how to become a good marketer, how relevant is any of this stuff? Why not just spend a few years under the wing of somebody who works in marketing or advertising or whatever field you want to go in to?

    £3,000 a year, for three years, is a lot of money. Why spend it on a course which is not particularly good either academically or vocationally?

    Go to university, as Penn and Teller said, "because you love learning or because you love drinking" or because the career you want to demands that you have a degree (like Law or Medicine). Don't go because you think that your degree in Golf Course Management will improve your ability to either understand the, no doubt, hugely complex theoretical concerns that stem from managing a golf course (no doubt, the placement of sand traps has a link with Aristotle's conception of virtue ethics and French Modernist poetry, and it is only because of my ignorance that I can not see this stunningly simple link) or that your degree will help you actually manage a golf course.

    If I was choosing between someone who knew their stuff and someone who knew their stuff and had a pretentious degree in the subject (a degree in philosophy is not pretentious, the suggestion that the Philosophy of Car Mechanics has some real use when you've got to repair an engine is pretentious), I'd choose the one who decided not to waste three years of his life (and many thousands of pounds) studying the pseudo-academic nonsense that pads out many vocational courses.

    Milton Friedman recognised the difference (in Capitalism and Freedom, if I recall correctly) between drill training and continuing imaginative / exploratory education. The processes are so fundamentally different between drilling a skill, like operating a computer, doing one's accounts and performing open heart surgery, and exploring ideas, like trying to get your head around either particle physics or Plato. We ought to, as well.
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    "I think that vocational courses have no place in the university".
    So you think that very academic subjects (and possibly the hardest subjects in uni), such as Medicine, Engineering or law, have no place at a university. Right......
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    (Original post by Go Go Go!)
    So you think that very academic subjects (and possibly the hardest subjects in uni), such as Medicine, Engineering or law, have no place at a university. Right......
    I would make an exception for courses like these, where there is a substantial body of information which needs to be understood. This is out of practicality - the university can teach these reasonably well within it's own structure, and the teaching of law and medicine et al. doesn't affect the teaching of biology and philosophy and so on.

    But just because something is hard doesn't mean we should teach it in a university. Running 100m in under 10 seconds is probably one of the most difficult things that human beings can possibly do, but that doesn't mean that we can make a university module out of it.
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    Philosophy isn't a social science.
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    (Original post by Icy Ghost)
    Philosophy isn't a social science.
    I wasn't aware history was either, I think it's in with the humanities here anyway...

    Might be wrong though. Ho hum.
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    i think this thread has gone a bit off course.

    My degree (civil engineering) i think would be classified as vocational, because it prepares me for a career in engineering. Like medicine it is not possible to go into this career without a degree.

    But this doesn't make it any less academic, infact my course is probably harder intellectualy than many pure academic subjects, for example i get much more work and harder work that many core science students.

    I like the fact my degree caters for a specific job because it gives everything a greater sense of purpose, but it doesn't close any doors off either. It is still quite possible to go into any generic graduate level job with an engineering degree.

    Some degrees like wine production are blatantly best learnt "on the job" - but this a different issue. More to do with the "mickey mouse degree" argument
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    I guess my degree is a mix of the two - 75% of my course is Computing, 25% is a combination of Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics. Most of those who study my degree spend the rest of their working life in academia though...
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    hmm, if anything, this thread has confused me even more. So most of you dont really liek the idea of Psychology as a degree - ok, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

    But if it is that Psychology is one of those degrees that dont really do anything for you in the future, why are there so many grad jobs that are open to graduates from all backgrounds? I mean, I've heard that 60% of grad jobs are open to grads from all backgrounds. Surely this means that with a degree such as psychology, it offers a good wide, eclectic range of skills which is more likely to get a job which makes part of that 60% stat????


    Oh yeah, having experienced my previous uni course that ive decided to pull out of (computer science) I've thought about it, and really dont like the idea of doing a 'hard-science' type subject. In my case, the only options i have interms of reapplying to uni for 06 entry is a Music degree followed by a PGCE and then obviously teaching, or a Psychology degree and then possibly going into something Psyc related or maybe join that 60% of grads. Sometimes i think that the psyc degree is the better option because out of the two, Psychology is much more academic. Plus (as much as i would enjoy music), other than teaching, i dont think a degree in music will be handy at getting a stable job that will pay the bills in the future
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    You've got to remember, about only 70% of university graduates end up getting a job straight out of university, so that 60% figure may be misleading.
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    To answer the OP's original question, Psychology is regarded as a non-vocational degree - it does not prepare you, in itself, for a specific career.

    There are certain careers (such as Clinical Psychology) for which a bachelor's degree in Psychology will be a pre-requisite, but Psychology as a degree subject covers far more than just the clinical side, for example, Social Psychology (how people interact with each other, behaviour in groups etc), Cognitive Psychology (aspects of language, communication, problem solving).

    If you want a career in something that contains the word "Psychology" (e.g. Clinical/Educational/Organizational Psychology) then you will have to do further training (possibly a Masters) after the first degree, but if you want to apply for general "graduate" jobs then you can highlight the transferable skills that the degree gives you (essay-writing, data analysis, statistics etc).

    It's not a bad degree to have - I think the problem is that so many people are now coming out of Uni with a Psychology degree who don't want to be Clinical Psychologists that employers don't quite know what to make of them all, or what they have to offer!!
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    YAY! Let's get me started

    (Original post by Iscariot)
    I don't know, they just irk me somehow. People who study sociology and other 'soft' sciences just fit this general stereotype of the girl who isn't really that smart but is trying desperately hard to impress people or the artistic young male who wears all black but can think of nothing more fun than arguing over the wording of one of philosophy's fine scholars essays. I know quite a few people who've graduated from courses such as philosophy, history, sociology, human relations, international conflict and psychology who have said that they've found it difficult to find jobs because the subjects aren't really associated with any practical uses within society.
    Don't know about the others, but with psychology you learn stats, critical thinking, giving presentations, biology, some medical knowledge and a bunch of other skills I hardly see as non-transferrable. And I've heard from most people at graduate employment fairs that regards it as a highly flexible degree. But then again, that might depend on the Country...
    and yes, we are all girly girls who are not smart enough to do science (too bad I was second best chemist in my county in high school, went to a science school and got top marks)...I'm lacking an artistic young male to fancy though...Any volunteers?

    While I think psychology definately is a work in progress, especially with regards to biochemistry and neuroscience, a lot of people view psychology as just studying Milgram's experiment and discussing how interesting the results are - humans are influnenced by what people tell them to do - then what? Where next?
    That is true...especially of people who hold the stereotype of psychology as 'soft science' or confound social psychology for psychology in its wholeness. Milgram exp. is social psychology, not psychology. But that's not all you do at uni AT ALL. If someone's picking psychology hoping to wish wash about how people conform in groups, than you're going to be disappointed once that one lecture is over. I hate social psychology as well, it's just giving names to common sense, imho (no offense to those who like it, it seems I keep bashing it a lot :rolleyes: )

    Maybe I'm just old fashioned and need to get with the times, but I just think social sciences, of which I'm going to include psychology, are basically useless in finding a job. While some people say they aren't going to university to further their job prospects, I think that really is the point in university, to find a better job, and I don't believe social sciences really contribute to that goal.
    I think the point of going to uni if to do (or to become passionate about) a subject you enjoy. If that's the starting point, you are likely to be a good student, get a good degree and consequently a good job you'll enjoy and will satisfy you as a person.
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    (Original post by Zakatu)
    But this doesn't make it any less academic, infact my course is probably harder intellectualy than many pure academic subjects, for example i get much more work and harder work that many core science students.
    The fact that something is difficult - even intellectually difficult - does not automatically make it academic. As I said above, athletic performance is difficult but that doesn't mean we should offer a degree in Football or Rugby. Similarly, completing cryptic crossword puzzles is a complex intellectual task, but that doesn't mean we should offer a degree in Crossword, Su Doku and Wordsearch Studies.

    Engineering, Law and Medicine should be on campus, but not because they are academic subjects - compare the content of study undertaken for an LL.B degree and the subject of research undertaken by law professors and you will find a wide difference: what a lawyer needs to know is rarely what a law professor is researching. They should be on the university campus because it is practical for them to be there. They have some crossover with the arts or sciences that are the mainstay of academic study.

    As for Equine Sports Science (according to UCAS, available at UWE, Lincoln, Wolverhampton and, at Nottingham Trent, available with Equine Psychology as an option), Golf Studies with Management (Guildford College) and Homeopathy (Central Lancashire, Westminster), they're totally non-academic (I mean, Homeopathy doesn't do anything beyond the bleeding placebo effect - how can you have a three year course on nothing? Might as well have a BSc in Astrology!). Their only purpose is to try to meet Blair's 50% target. And that's not a good reason.
 
 
 
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