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how can i be certain that i want to do this degree and get a job watch

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    i am still uncertain about the degree i want to do at uni and so i cant write my personal statement. i am stuck between a biology related degree and a chemistry related degree as i like both of these subjects equally. i want to know what the end goal is because that would be my motivation to study and get a first in uni. at the moment my motivation to study is that i want to get into university and study a course that i really enjoy. help
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    Try and find some work experience asap for over summer. Any sort of chemical or biological related company, if you can. It's difficult to find, but might offer you some insight.

    You must have some idea - as in, why do you want to do chemistry particularly, and why do you want to do biology? There's also the obvious... biochemistry? It depends on what aspects of each you like though.

    There's some ideas here (biology) and here (chemistry) which might help.
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    (Original post by toonervoustotalk)
    i am still uncertain about the degree i want to do at uni and so i cant write my personal statement. i am stuck between a biology related degree and a chemistry related degree as i like both of these subjects equally. i want to know what the end goal is because that would be my motivation to study and get a first in uni. at the moment my motivation to study is that i want to get into university and study a course that i really enjoy. help
    Well, firstly don't go to university until you know what you want to do. To help decide, write two separate personal statements. It will help you sort out in your mind how you feel about each one.
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    Have you considered biochemistry?
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    Don't go to university for the sake of it or because everyone else is - please don't rush into it. If you don't know what career you want my advice is to leave your application until next year. I know this might seem like the last thing you want to do if all of your peers are applying to uni and you feel like you're being left behind but life is not a race and not everyone goes to uni at 18.

    Take a year (I wouldn't advise only taking the summer) to get as much work experience as possible in fields that interest you. You'll probably have to do it as a volunteer or generally as work experience - so you'll need a part-time job unless your parents don't mind supporting you. There is no point in committing yourself to 3 years of something that you're not sure about - it's a massive amount of work, effort, time and money that could amount to little if you graduate and don't know what to do/graduate and change your mind or figure out your real calling or worse still - graduate with a low class degree due to lack of interest.

    It's best to go to uni when you have a clear idea of how it will benefit your life and career goals, unless of course you just want to educate yourself further and you're not viewing university as a means to any particular end other than broadening your mind (most people who fall into this category are older people who study for the sheer joy of it - not 18 year olds).

    This might sound odd, but graduating with a degree that you don't know what to do with is often a hindrance NOT a help. I know a lot of people are of the view that even if you don't know what career you want, you still ought to go to uni and by the time you've graduated you'll have a degree and a better idea - but that is terrible advice. Graduating with a degree that you don't know what to do with can actually hold you back because you cannot do apprenticeships (no funding for grads) if you find a vocation that would suit you, you cannot go back to FE college to train in something more relevant to your career goals (no funding due to being a grad) and cannot go back and do a more relevant degree (unless your family is rich or you win the lottery). In other words, it becomes very difficult to 'change your mind' regarding your future career if you're qualified in something that doesn't particularly match up with your career goals. This is what schools DON'T tell you (because it looks better for them to have 99% of their pupils heading to uni on their prospectuses).

    There will always be general grad schemes that you can apply to with 'any' 2:1 degree - but they are fiercely competitive at the moment due to the recession and subsequent state of the economy (so don't put all your eggs in one basket) and many of them are retail management/recruitment - which in reality are not exciting jobs at all. Just because a job title has 'graduate' as the prefix doesn't necessarily mean it's amazing or well paid - many similar positions can be reached if you get an entry level position as a college leaver and work your way up (in other words - you don't need a degree for a £19k admin role!). You could get to the same salary/level of responsibility with 3 years working your way up as with 3 years at uni + entry onto grad scheme. So a degree isn't necessarily a fast track to a well paid senior position.

    Having a degree when you KNOW what you want to do with it, on the other hand, is incredibly useful - especially if the subject is something that is in demand. Vocational degrees lead into jobs, academic degrees require the graduate to have a clear idea of what they are trying to achieve afterwards, if you don't know then you will be starting in entry level work that you could have done without the degree OR rushing into grad schemes just to secure a grad level job that you don't know will suit you.

    Don't rush it. You have time on your side, do some research, get some work experience, get a P/T job and experience adult life enough to make you realize what you don't enjoy (I found eliminating careers easier than choosing them). It's more daunting to enter the world of work after A-levels because it's less structured than the life you experience in education - that's probably why a lot of people just go to uni because it's familiar and 'safe' for 3 years - but it's only prolonging the inevitable if you don't know what you're going for.

    A quick Google search of 'unemployed/underemployed graduates' will make you see that a degree isn't the be all and end all. It's great if you know what you're doing with it, but it's soul destroying during and afterwards if you don't.

    I wish someone had given me this advice when I was 18 - take what you like from it, life's not a race, find your calling and don't follow the crowd. Good luck!
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    (Original post by toonervoustotalk)
    i am still uncertain about the degree i want to do at uni and so i cant write my personal statement. i am stuck between a biology related degree and a chemistry related degree as i like both of these subjects equally. i want to know what the end goal is because that would be my motivation to study and get a first in uni. at the moment my motivation to study is that i want to get into university and study a course that i really enjoy. help
    According to UCAS, there are 78 options that offer biochemistry. You don't have to have your entire life planned out right this second. But figuring out what course you want to study will definitely be a step in the right direction. A friend of mine is studying biochemistry and she wants to work for a pharmaceutical company, helping to make drugs (the good kind).
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    I am repeating year 12 because I didn't get the grades I wanted so I essentially have another year to think about my uni courses and get some work experience.

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    (Original post by toonervoustotalk)
    I am repeating year 12 because I didn't get the grades I wanted so I essentially have another year to think about my uni courses and get some work experience.

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    What grades did you get? Bare in mind that some universities will not accept you if you take your A-levels in three years by repeating year 12.
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    (Original post by Pectorac)
    What grades did you get? Bare in mind that some universities will not accept you if you take your A-levels in three years by repeating year 12.
    I got straight D in my AS. I am aware about that but it would be better than not getting any uni places this year because my college uses the AS grades as A2 predicted grades and most of the colleges I want to apply to require a minimum of AABB at AS.

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    (Original post by somethingbeautiful)
    Don't go to university for the sake of it or because everyone else is - please don't rush into it. If you don't know what career you want my advice is to leave your application until next year. I know this might seem like the last thing you want to do if all of your peers are applying to uni and you feel like you're being left behind but life is not a race and not everyone goes to uni at 18.

    Take a year (I wouldn't advise only taking the summer) to get as much work experience as possible in fields that interest you. You'll probably have to do it as a volunteer or generally as work experience - so you'll need a part-time job unless your parents don't mind supporting you. There is no point in committing yourself to 3 years of something that you're not sure about - it's a massive amount of work, effort, time and money that could amount to little if you graduate and don't know what to do/graduate and change your mind or figure out your real calling or worse still - graduate with a low class degree due to lack of interest.

    It's best to go to uni when you have a clear idea of how it will benefit your life and career goals, unless of course you just want to educate yourself further and you're not viewing university as a means to any particular end other than broadening your mind (most people who fall into this category are older people who study for the sheer joy of it - not 18 year olds).

    This might sound odd, but graduating with a degree that you don't know what to do with is often a hindrance NOT a help. I know a lot of people are of the view that even if you don't know what career you want, you still ought to go to uni and by the time you've graduated you'll have a degree and a better idea - but that is terrible advice. Graduating with a degree that you don't know what to do with can actually hold you back because you cannot do apprenticeships (no funding for grads) if you find a vocation that would suit you, you cannot go back to FE college to train in something more relevant to your career goals (no funding due to being a grad) and cannot go back and do a more relevant degree (unless your family is rich or you win the lottery). In other words, it becomes very difficult to 'change your mind' regarding your future career if you're qualified in something that doesn't particularly match up with your career goals. This is what schools DON'T tell you (because it looks better for them to have 99% of their pupils heading to uni on their prospectuses).

    There will always be general grad schemes that you can apply to with 'any' 2:1 degree - but they are fiercely competitive at the moment due to the recession and subsequent state of the economy (so don't put all your eggs in one basket) and many of them are retail management/recruitment - which in reality are not exciting jobs at all. Just because a job title has 'graduate' as the prefix doesn't necessarily mean it's amazing or well paid - many similar positions can be reached if you get an entry level position as a college leaver and work your way up (in other words - you don't need a degree for a £19k admin role!). You could get to the same salary/level of responsibility with 3 years working your way up as with 3 years at uni + entry onto grad scheme. So a degree isn't necessarily a fast track to a well paid senior position.

    Having a degree when you KNOW what you want to do with it, on the other hand, is incredibly useful - especially if the subject is something that is in demand. Vocational degrees lead into jobs, academic degrees require the graduate to have a clear idea of what they are trying to achieve afterwards, if you don't know then you will be starting in entry level work that you could have done without the degree OR rushing into grad schemes just to secure a grad level job that you don't know will suit you.

    Don't rush it. You have time on your side, do some research, get some work experience, get a P/T job and experience adult life enough to make you realize what you don't enjoy (I found eliminating careers easier than choosing them). It's more daunting to enter the world of work after A-levels because it's less structured than the life you experience in education - that's probably why a lot of people just go to uni because it's familiar and 'safe' for 3 years - but it's only prolonging the inevitable if you don't know what you're going for.

    A quick Google search of 'unemployed/underemployed graduates' will make you see that a degree isn't the be all and end all. It's great if you know what you're doing with it, but it's soul destroying during and afterwards if you don't.

    I wish someone had given me this advice when I was 18 - take what you like from it, life's not a race, find your calling and don't follow the crowd. Good luck!
    This is similar to what my family are saying. Thanks. I have to write a CV before I can look for volunteering jobs and part time jobs. I have one more year to think about what uni course I want to do as I am repeating year 12.

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