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    (Original post by Hariex)
    Suppose somebody is in the situation where they have no idea what they want to do in the future. All they know is that they are extremely passionate about one subject: History, say. They also have a keen interest - but not a passion - in Physics.

    In this event, should they invest £27,000 in a degree in History, a subject in which they are passionate, or invest the same money in a degree in Physics, something that has more demand and prospects?

    Should they follow their heart or their head

    EDIT: Suppose this declared passion was in Latin, not History. Would your opinion change?
    Why not both? Do a Joint/Combined Honours in History and Physics. Plenty of people do two subjects during their undergrad. Have your cake and eat it.
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    (Original post by Coffeetime)
    Heart. Then again, any job would be better than the dead end one I'm in now.
    What are you doing now, Ms. Coffee?
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    (Original post by Juichiro)
    What are you doing now, Ms. Coffee?
    Job wise? I work for Starbucks...

    I'll be studying Ancient History next September though!
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    To draw a distinction between heart and head confuses the matter: the heart is part of what the head has to take into account, it cannot be divorced from any kind of consideration - there is no such distinction.

    So really, you have to weigh up your interest in the impractical subject against the possible benefits of the practical subject. It is worth bearing in mind, perhaps, that pure science degrees are (I hear) not as lucrative as they once were.
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    (Original post by Hariex)
    Even at the risk of not enjoying your course, affecting your grade in your final year?
    1st in media studies
    Vs
    2:2 in nursing

    Who's more likely to get a job?
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    (Original post by sydneybridge)
    And your experience of the adult job market is what exactly?
    23 years old
    6 months, 300+ job applications
    Wish I had done a vocational rather than academic course

    Brother 22 years old
    Same amount of time, no luck with jobs either and his degree in drama (his passion) is no help when looking for a job
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    You have to think more about what will happen after the three years and where you want to be then. The rest of your life is considerably longer than your period of study.
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    (Original post by grassntai)
    Both degrees are useless so neither. I'd choose Media Studies instead.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    That's typical STEM snobbery. I do history at Oxford and I'm always being taken out to dinner and balls etc. by law firms, investment banks and there's also a chance for me to enter publishing, art restoration / conservation... Etc. I hate this assumption that a respected arts subject will close doors, it's absolute ****!
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    Too many people assume that Arts and other degrees without a clear vocational application are 'useless' - in fact History grads are noticeably highly employable because employers realise its a good 'all round' training.

    They also often assume that because they, or their brother/cousin/friend, have an Arts degree and can't get a job that it must be the degree's fault. They forget that its them that can't a job - and that the degree subject is frequently irrelevant, or that they have already mentally pigeon holed themselves as wanting a big-bucks 'graduate' job straight out of Uni or only in a 'relevant' area. A degree isn't the 'answer' - its the personality behind it that really counts.
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    (Original post by colourtheory)
    That's typical STEM snobbery. I do history at Oxford and I'm always being taken out to dinner and balls etc. by law firms, investment banks and there's also a chance for me to enter publishing, art restoration / conservation... Etc. I hate this assumption that a respected arts subject will close doors, it's absolute ****!
    Is this the same for your other friends, regardless of subject?
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    It depends on the situation. I did my first degree in English partly because I really love reading and partly because it was far and away my strongest subject (I took my A-level in one year and got the highest mark in the country for it). My school wasn't exactly pressuring me into anything, but teachers just assumed that because of my aptitude and because I always had my head in a book I'd be applying for English at Oxbridge. So that's what I did, although even back then I had an inkling that I'd like to be a speech and language therapist. Nine years later, I'm preparing to apply for a Master's that will qualify me to be a SLT. I don't regret the time that's elapsed in between - I've had jobs that have given me lots of solid relevant experience for SLT, I'm finishing a fully funded PhD on a fascinating topic, I've had the opportunity to travel - and I think I probably did make a good choice. However, I'm eventually going to be joining the same profession that I thought about joining at the age of seventeen, and if I'd done SLT as an undergrad I could probably be a senior specialist by now. Sometimes I do wonder 'what if', and ask myself if I let myself feel pressured by people's expectations and by the appeal and status of Cambridge. But does it matter? You can't spend your life second-guessing all the choices you make - sometimes it's not a choice between a good and a bad option, but two options that are equally strong in their own way.
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    (Original post by Hariex)
    Is this the same for your other friends, regardless of subject?
    Yes (at least to my knowledge); there was a law firm dinner especially for my college and the alumni who hosted the dinner studied Law and Earth Sciences and there were other students studying subjects such as English.
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    I study both Latin and Physics. Both have good job prospects, so I'd go for the one I liked more.
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    (Original post by opalescent)
    It depends on the situation. I did my first degree in English partly because I really love reading and partly because it was far and away my strongest subject (I took my A-level in one year and got the highest mark in the country for it). My school wasn't exactly pressuring me into anything, but teachers just assumed that because of my aptitude and because I always had my head in a book I'd be applying for English at Oxbridge. So that's what I did, although even back then I had an inkling that I'd like to be a speech and language therapist. Nine years later, I'm preparing to apply for a Master's that will qualify me to be a SLT. I don't regret the time that's elapsed in between - I've had jobs that have given me lots of solid relevant experience for SLT, I'm finishing a fully funded PhD on a fascinating topic, I've had the opportunity to travel - and I think I probably did make a good choice. However, I'm eventually going to be joining the same profession that I thought about joining at the age of seventeen, and if I'd done SLT as an undergrad I could probably be a senior specialist by now. Sometimes I do wonder 'what if', and ask myself if I let myself feel pressured by people's expectations and by the appeal and status of Cambridge. But does it matter? You can't spend your life second-guessing all the choices you make - sometimes it's not a choice between a good and a bad option, but two options that are equally strong in their own way.
    First of all, (though you've heard it many times before) congratulations for getting the top in the country!

    I am in a similar situation described by my OP, just with different subjects. I know that if I pursued the STEM option I would not be able to apply for top five universities. I often forget that I have 40+ years of work at my disposal and a degree is only about 7% of my working life. Thus, there is still plenty of time to set my career on track regardless of which degree I do.

    Though it is not directly relevant, I assume you picked your A Levels in accordance with your desire to study English? Were there any A Levels that, had they not been taken, have hindered your study at university?

    Thanks for your time.
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    Or take a year off - and think about what you want to do.


    You don't HAVE to go to Uni straight from school and for many people some time off after A levels to think/breathe is the best thing possible.
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    (Original post by colourtheory)
    That's typical STEM snobbery. I do history at Oxford and I'm always being taken out to dinner and balls etc. by law firms, investment banks and there's also a chance for me to enter publishing, art restoration / conservation... Etc. I hate this assumption that a respected arts subject will close doors, it's absolute ****!
    Yeah, but that's Oxford. You are incredibly privileged when compared to the "average" history undergrad in the UK when it comes to networking and job opportunities, so your example can't just 'disprove' OP, if that makes sense.
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    (Original post by молодой гений)
    Yeah, but that's Oxford. You are incredibly privileged when compared to the "average" history undergrad in the UK when it comes to networking and job opportunities, so your example can't just 'disprove' OP, if that makes sense.
    I'm using my own experience to undermine the massive generalisation made by the OP. Why should my argument therefore be any less 'correct' or typical? The OP can't disprove that arts students have a wide ran of opportunities open to them when I literally have law firms tripping over themselves to get my attention. From what I hear arts students from most Russell Group universities seem to do well in life and although my situation may be a privileged one it comes with a lot of hard work and that level of ability is recognised by employers. Any top university is likely to produce graduates of a high calibre suitable for a whole host of jobs. There is massive skill and ability that goes into attaining an arts degree and just because it isn't as quantifiable in the things we know (e.g. how to do advanced calculus or work out market fluctuations or whatever) it doesn't mean that were not as valuable. I'm really bored of STEM snobbery and I think that too many persuasive arguments have been made to justify the existence of continued prejudice against us (and in fact this criticism always comes from people studying STEM subjects!! It just goes to show that there is a lack of creative thinking evident; they love logic and order and the idea that someone with an indefinable skill set should be prized as equally as someone with a clear skill set alludes them).
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    (Original post by colourtheory)
    I'm using my own experience to undermine the massive generalisation made by the OP. Why should my argument therefore be any less 'correct' or typical? The OP can't disprove that arts students have a wide ran of opportunities open to them when I literally have law firms tripping over themselves to get my attention. From what I hear arts students from most Russell Group universities seem to do well in life and although my situation may be a privileged one it comes with a lot of hard work and that level of ability is recognised by employers. Any top university is likely to produce graduates of a high calibre suitable for a whole host of jobs. There is massive skill and ability that goes into attaining an arts degree and just because it isn't as quantifiable in the things we know (e.g. how to do advanced calculus or work out market fluctuations or whatever) it doesn't mean that were not as valuable. I'm really bored of STEM snobbery and I think that too many persuasive arguments have been made to justify the existence of continued prejudice against us (and in fact this criticism always comes from people studying STEM subjects!! It just goes to show that there is a lack of creative thinking evident; they love logic and order and the idea that someone with an indefinable skill set should be prized as equally as someone with a clear skill set alludes them).
    Yeah, I'm not disputing any of that. I'm just saying that pointing out that, say, a theology graduate from Oxford will be fawned over wherever they go is because of Oxford, not the theology knowledge (otherwise a theology graduate from Manchester Met would also be overwhelmed by 30k+ job opportunities).
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    I think the important point, for any A-level student, is too do the subject they enjoy. In my experience, it makes the university course much more enjoyable and you will find that you get a higher grade. In fact, it is this entire argument of going to university to get a job that I think needs to be discussed. As a physics graduate, I think their needs to be huge changes in the current ideology of how to pick degrees. From my experience, I found that more than 50% of the undergraduates are not there because they wanted to study physics, but instead were there because they believed it would get them a good job (mainly in banking). As a consequence of this, (and tuition fees) I find that STEM subjects are in rapid decline in difficulty and quality in the UK. Now, this may seem like a strange point but, by increasing tuition fees this seems to have brought with it the incorrect view that the student has a say in what should be taught. What I mean by this is that because people are paying so much money for a degree, they believe that they should be able to pass the course, regardless of their ability. This is shown by the lack of drop out rate in universities, in stark contrast to most European universities.

    My point of view is that you should go to university to learn more about the subject you love. Whether it be a STEM subject or an art subject, it does not matter. Then, the university should teach you, in detail, about that subject. Take physics for example, this should simply reduce to a study of how the world works. You, as a student, should be presented with the current thoughts and models on how we believe the universe works, and from this you will develop the skills that are useful in industry (and also the facts to be used in academia, should you wish to pursue it). It should not be the other way around. It is completely wrong to try and isolate the skills from the subject and then try to teach them separately. This is what is happening today. Unfortunately, I cannot speak for the arts subjects (most subjects in fact) but, what I have seen is extremely worrying and I think it starts with the question you ask. Is my degree going to be useful to get a job? The answer, most likely (and irrelevantly), is no. But, university is a great place to learn more about a subject you love, meet new people, have fun and find yourself. In is not a military training ground in which, at your graduation, you are slingshotted into the city with a piece of paper to thrust into someones face in order to "get a job" (at least in my opinion).

    As a quick note, I know their are obvious exceptions to this, i.e. Medicine, Law etc. Apologies for the rant, but I think it is an important question to address. One that students are disillusioned by the current educational system.
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    If in any doubt at this stage about what you want to do at Uni - or even if you want t go to Uni at all - think seriously about taking a year out to do some calm thinking away from the hysteria of A levels.

    Nowhere does it say you can only apply to Uni this year!
 
 
 
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