University vs Degree Watch

WeekendofWeeknd
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Earlier this week I was worried about choosing what course to apply for at university as the personal statement deadline is fast approaching. My initial concern arose from the fact that I would have to make a hasty half-hearted decision about a course to study at Uni to comply with the PS deadline in my school (which I would later regret). Getting a degree in a course which I have no interest in and the working in that field for the rest of my life wasn't the most appealing thought.

I decided that it would be a sensible idea to speak to my school's careers adviser. I asked her whether I would be able to change my career after getting a degree in a completely different field to the career I may want to change to. She explained that it is very possible to change into a career unrelated to the degree and gave an example of a student that she knew who became a lawyer with a chemistry degree. What I got out of this was that it is possible for a job to be independent of the field of the degree, rather, the focus of acquiring a good job should be on getting a 'good' degree. However, a good degree usually comes from a good university, so i asked her which is more important to an employer. She told me that the University is more important in the eyes of an employer than the actual degree.

Would getting an English degree through a course in University X which requires the grades AAB be the same as getting a Biology degree in University X which also requires the grades AAB, in terms of getting a good job?

Also, does this mean that it would be better to get a 2:1 degree from a good university than a 1st in the same degree from a lower ranked university?

I am asking as I really want to study English at university, however I am unsure whether I would be able to switch to a higher paying job (as most of the jobs in English aren't that well paid) even if I obtain a good English degree from a good university.

Thanks!
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alexp98
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(Original post by WeekendofWeeknd)
Earlier this week I was worried about choosing what course to apply for at university as the personal statement deadline is fast approaching. My initial concern arose from the fact that I would have to make a hasty half-hearted decision about a course to study at Uni to comply with the PS deadline in my school (which I would later regret). Getting a degree in a course which I have no interest in and the working in that field for the rest of my life wasn't the most appealing thought.

I decided that it would be a sensible idea to speak to my school's careers adviser. I asked her whether I would be able to change my career after getting a degree in a completely different field to the career I may want to change to. She explained that it is very possible to change into a career unrelated to the degree and gave an example of a student that she knew who became a lawyer with a chemistry degree. What I got out of this was that it is possible for a job to be independent of the field of the degree, rather, the focus of acquiring a good job should be on getting a 'good' degree. However, a good degree usually comes from a good university, so i asked her which is more important to an employer. She told me that the University is more important in the eyes of an employer than the actual degree.

Would getting an English degree through a course in University X which requires the grades AAB be the same as getting a Biology degree in University X which also requires the grades AAB, in terms of getting a good job?

Also, does this mean that it would be better to get a 2:1 degree from a good university than a 1st in the same degree from a lower ranked university?

I am asking as I really want to study English at university, however I am unsure whether I would be able to switch to a higher paying job (as most of the jobs in English aren't that well paid) even if I obtain a good English degree from a good university.

Thanks!
'Also, does this mean that it would be better to get a 2:1 degree from a good university than a 1st in the same degree from a lower ranked university?'

This is a really interesting point that I wander too. However you career advisor is wrong in saying the University is more important than the course. It would depend on the job you're applying for but certain degrees like Economics, Computer science, Pharmacy are very solid degrees regardless of where you go. Law is the only course really where employers rely on league rankings and favour RG.

It's all about the course. This is what you need to start thinking about (or confirming your choice of English) and then tailor your 5 university's to the grades your likely to achieve.

It's would be incredibly stupid to go to a better ranked University doing a course you wouldn't want to do, many employers don't care about university's and don't check rankings every year or every day like TSR members... It's all about relevant work experience these days.

Put it this way, it's better doing a respectable degree at a 'lower ranked' university than doing an average degree at a better university.
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Smack
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Your careers advisor is talking nonsense. Employers don't play top trumps with applicants' universities. Few people who don't almost religiously follow TSR really have much of an awareness of which universities are "better" than other universities, with the exception of the famous universities of Oxford and Cambridge, because most people have far better and more relevant things to do than worry about such trivialities.

But you certainly should not underestimate the relevance of the degree you study in finding future employment... whilst there is no single, "be-all end-all" factor in getting a job, to study a degree is to embark upon a several year journey in educating yourself to a higher level in a certain field and gaining a suite of suitable skills to study said subject. Different degrees provide different skills and knowledge of different things, which in turn makes them suitable for different jobs.
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WeekendofWeeknd
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(Original post by alexp98)
'Also, does this mean that it would be better to get a 2:1 degree from a good university than a 1st in the same degree from a lower ranked university?'

This is a really interesting point that I wander too. However you career advisor is wrong in saying the University is more important than the course. It would depend on the job you're applying for but certain degrees like Economics, Computer science, Pharmacy are very solid degrees regardless of where you go. Law is the only course really where employers rely on league rankings and favour RG.

It's all about the course. This is what you need to start thinking about (or confirming your choice of English) and then tailor your 5 university's to the grades your likely to achieve.

It's would be incredibly stupid to go to a better ranked University doing a course you wouldn't want to do, many employers don't care about university's and don't check rankings every year or every day like TSR members... It's all about relevant work experience these days.

Put it this way, it's better doing a respectable degree at a 'lower ranked' university than doing an average degree at a better university.
In your opinion, if i get a good English degree from a good university, would I be able to change my career to a high paid one outside the field of English?
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WeekendofWeeknd
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(Original post by Smack)
Your careers advisor is talking nonsense. Employers don't play top trumps with applicants' universities. Few people who don't almost religiously follow TSR really have much of an awareness of which universities are "better" than other universities, with the exception of the famous universities of Oxford and Cambridge, because most people have far better and more relevant things to do than worry about such trivialities.

But you certainly should not underestimate the relevance of the degree you study in finding future employment... whilst there is no single, "be-all end-all" factor in getting a job, to study a degree is to embark upon a several year journey in educating yourself to a higher level in a certain field and gaining a suite of suitable skills to study said subject. Different degrees provide different skills and knowledge of different things, which in turn makes them suitable for different jobs.
Do you know whether I would be able to get a well paid job with a good English degree?
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Smack
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(Original post by WeekendofWeeknd)
Do you know whether I would be able to get a well paid job with a good English degree?
You can get a well paid job without a degree, so I imagine it would be possible to get on with an English degree.
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WeekendofWeeknd
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(Original post by Smack)
You can get a well paid job without a degree, so I imagine it would be possible to get on with an English degree.
Would the job need to be related to the field of 'English' or could I go for a completely unrelated job? Thanks
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Smack
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(Original post by WeekendofWeeknd)
Would the job need to be related to the field of 'English' or could I go for a completely unrelated job? Thanks
I don't know.
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WeekendofWeeknd
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(Original post by Smack)
I don't know.
The system of getting jobs is sooo stupid.....
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Smack
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(Original post by WeekendofWeeknd)
The system of getting jobs is sooo stupid.....
Elaborate.
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WeekendofWeeknd
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Why would universities, such as The University of Manchester, make the requirement of courses such as English Literature AAA if it won't get you a good job in the end?
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alexp98
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(Original post by WeekendofWeeknd)
In your opinion, if i get a good English degree from a good university, would I be able to change my career to a high paid one outside the field of English?
Yeah, with a conversion course you could even do Law. Do you have any career in mind though? As I wouldn't normally associate English degrees with high paying jobs tbh.
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WeekendofWeeknd
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(Original post by Smack)
Elaborate.
You spend your whole life studying a course such as Chemistry - from GCSE, AS, A2, then finally you get a Degree - only to become a lawyer in the end....
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Princepieman
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(Original post by WeekendofWeeknd)
Would the job need to be related to the field of 'English' or could I go for a completely unrelated job? Thanks
You could go for most grad jobs that don't require specifc domain knowledge. Upwards of 70% of grad jobs don't require a specifc degree. I think if you can pass the easy peasy numerical/logical tests for these schemes, you'll have a decent shot if the rest of your profile stacks up.

Jobs more closely related to English would still require some evidence of skill (either through a portfolio of prior work) or experience (or through internships, work placements) - the same goes for most grad jobs tbh.
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WeekendofWeeknd
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(Original post by alexp98)
Yeah, with a conversion course you could even do Law. Do you have any career in mind though? As I wouldn't normally associate English degrees with high paying jobs tbh.
Then why does Manchester Uni have courses in English that require AAA grades?? You would be stupid to work soooo hard at A2 to get those grades and get a low paying job.
I don't have any jobs in mind unfortunately, which is why I have left the personal statement so late.
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Princepieman
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(Original post by WeekendofWeeknd)
You spend your whole life studying a course such as Chemistry - from GCSE, AS, A2, then finally you get a Degree - only to become a lawyer in the end....
Welcome to the real world...

What did you expect? English students immediately landing well-paying careers as authors and bibliographers? It just doesn't work that way. Sure, you can earn well if your book sells, but that only happens to a very minute proportion of authors.
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WeekendofWeeknd
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(Original post by Princepieman)
You could go for most grad jobs that don't require specifc domain knowledge. Upwards of 70% of grad jobs don't require a specifc degree. I think if you can pass the easy peasy numerical/logical tests for these schemes, you'll have a decent shot if the rest of your profile stacks up.

Jobs more closely related to English would still require some evidence of skill (either through a portfolio of prior work) or experience (or through internships, work placements) - the same goes for most grad jobs tbh.
Do you have any examples of grad jobs that are well paid? Thanks
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Princepieman
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(Original post by WeekendofWeeknd)
Then why does Manchester Uni have courses in English that require AAA grades?? You would be stupid to work soooo hard at A2 to get those grades and get a low paying job.
I don't have any jobs in mind unfortunately, which is why I have left the personal statement so late.
English is a popular degree.
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WeekendofWeeknd
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(Original post by Princepieman)
Welcome to the real world...

What did you expect? English students immediately landing well-paying careers as authors and bibliographers? It just doesn't work that way. Sure, you can earn well if your book sells, but that only happens to a very minute proportion of authors.
Yeah, but using the same example of a chemist, surely he could get a career in chemistry where his LIFELONG skills would actually be useful....
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Smack
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(Original post by WeekendofWeeknd)
Why would universities, such as The University of Manchester, make the requirement of courses such as English Literature AAA if it won't get you a good job in the end?
Because entry requirements have nothing to do with whether or not you'll get a job in the end.

(Original post by WeekendofWeeknd)
You spend your whole life studying a course such as Chemistry - from GCSE, AS, A2, then finally you get a Degree - only to become a lawyer in the end....
That doesn't usually happen, and there are patent lawyers who will need a very intimate knowledge of chemistry.
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