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Why does the government fund pointless degrees Watch

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    [QUOTE=flippantri;62289329]
    (Original post by Juichiro)
    No, they aren't. Some humanities degrees are good for some teaching jobs just like some STEM (if not all) are good for teaching jobs. Anyway, the vast majority of humanities grads aren't going into teaching. Else, there wouldn't be a recruitment crisis.

    According to whatuni, most of them go into teaching, then research. Every degree can be good for teaching, STEM is better for practical jobs. I understand you have the STEM master race mentality, but try have a bit of compassion.
    lol I don't have the STEM race mentality. Not every degree can be good for teaching. Teaching, like any other profession, requires a very specific skill set. To imply that any degree gives you this skill set is to denigrate the teaching profession (more than it currently is). I am not trying to be mean nor am I siding with OP.

    (Original post by Rascacielos)
    What exactly counts as "a pointless degree"? Physics is pointless if you later decide you want to be a chef. Alternatively, I imagine a history degree would be incredibly useful if you plan to teach it.
    Agree. That being said, physics gives you skills that are in shortage in our economy so it still makes sense to give funding for physics. On the other hand, history does not give you skills that are in shortage in our economy so it is not necessarily relevant for the funding policymakers if your career requires a history degree (unless history teachers or those with history skills - whatever that might mean - are in shortage). This being said, I think that what OP means by "pointless" is "subject that does not provide skills that are in shortage".
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    I'm still not clear exactly what a pointless degree is? How would you determine which degrees are to be funded and which aren't?
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    (Original post by Dopesmoker)
    I lol'd at this.

    Its becoming more popular with graduates because its all they can get.

    Nobody, LITERALLY NOBODY, goes to uni with the intent of getting an admin job after.

    I also call BS on your claim of making bank in admin. Admin does not in the slightest have the percpetion of a field you go into to make money. Plus, completely goes against intuition - if it was a lucrative career it wouldnt have the stigma that it does.

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    Depends. Some Personal Assistants and Executive Assistants well and truly 'make bank'.

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    F*ck you.

    Tibetan Sock Weaving is not a pointless degree.
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    (Original post by flippantri)
    Because, whilst these degrees may seem irrelevant to you, they may be relevant to others.

    either way , they aren't relevant to society
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    If you think about it, STEM subjects would cost the university a lot of money, not just in terms of space and teaching staff, but also lab equipment and materials.

    It is hardly likely that a University will even begin to break even on each student paying £9000 for STEM subjects, with the vast majority on some kind of reduced fees or bursary.


    On the other hand, a "pointless degree" doesn't cost that much to run, contact time is mainly limited and overall, it provides a net income for the University.

    The students who are attaining these "pointless degrees" are effectively being ripped off but they are also subsidizing the extra costs incurred for those who are on STEM courses.



    So the next time you want to knock these "pointless degrees", just be thankful that your own STEM degree isn't costing you what it is really supposed to cost because I can assure you, you'll be paying a lot more than £9000.
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    (Original post by Juichiro)
    Yes, you are right. More grads than non-grads are getting jobs. Surely that has nothing to do with the poor state of vocational training funding and employers asking for degrees (often any subject) in jobs that don't require them, isn't it?
    What has really changed in the economy over the last 50 years is not the availability of vocational training but the availability of jobs for school leaving.

    If you go back 25-30 years a junior manager's position in a bank (not an investment bank but a high street bank) was a position to which someone who started in the bank at 16 would be promoted. Now it is a graduate entry position. hat has changed is not that the bank is no longer training bankers. What has happened in the bank no longer has jobs for 16 year olds. A modern bank branch will now have no non-customer facing positions but realistic 16 is too young to have the social skills to deal with bank customers alone.

    A degree is something to do whilst a person matures sufficiently to do the jobs the economy has.

    An enormous amount of waiting and bar work has become student work, but if you think about it, students are hospitality staff without career needs. It is a lot harder if you have to provide all your waiting staff with enough shifts to meet career and income ambitions. Students will move on.




    Plus, you didn't address most of my answer:

    Not so great. Most unis are underfunded and the student finance system is not it for purpose. Meanwhile, the value of degrees keep falling, uni assessments keep getting easier
    Universities are not underfunded. Universities are awash with more cash than at any tim since the Victorian era certainly and possibly the high medieval period. Universities are probably the only public service that is not bleating about lack of money.
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    (Original post by Juichiro)
    said, physics gives you skills that are in shortage in our economy so it still makes sense to give funding for physics. On the other hand, history does not give you skills that are in shortage in our economy so it is not necessarily relevant for the funding policymakers if your career requires a history degree (unless history teachers or those with history skills - whatever that might mean - are in shortage). This being said, I think that what OP means by "pointless" is "subject that does not provide skills that are in shortage".
    On a narrow view of the skills you require from a history degree, perhaps yes, but I don't think "history skills" (whatever they are) are the only benefit you get out of arts/humanities degrees. You will see people with arts degrees in political, legal, business, marketing, PR, teaching and tourism, all of which are as important to our economy as the sorts of careers in which you might expect to find people with STEM degrees. In any event, arts degrees usually teach students fundamental analytical, critical thinking and problem solving skills that I'm sure are high up on the list of "useful" skills that you would expect in a STEM graduate, so the two aren't necessarily separate.

    My degree is a good example I think. I am studying graduate medicine and the entry requirements for the course were not limited to science degrees. In fact, they accept any degree and students with arts/humanities degrees apparently do just as well statistically as those from science backgrounds. Evidence, I hope, that the skills graduates have acquired from their non-science first degree are relevant and useful in progressing in a completely different (dare I say, STEM-based?!) career later.
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    (Original post by TheArtofProtest)
    If you think about it, STEM subjects would cost the university a lot of money, not just in terms of space and teaching staff, but also lab equipment and materials.

    It is hardly likely that a University will even begin to break even on each student paying £9000 for STEM subjects, with the vast majority on some kind of reduced fees or bursary.


    On the other hand, a "pointless degree" doesn't cost that much to run, contact time is mainly limited and overall, it provides a net income for the University.

    The students who are attaining these "pointless degrees" are effectively being ripped off but they are also subsidizing the extra costs incurred for those who are on STEM courses.



    So the next time you want to knock these "pointless degrees", just be thankful that your own STEM degree isn't costing you what it is really supposed to cost because I can assure you, you'll be paying a lot more than £9000.
    Maths doesn't cost more than what a pointless degree would cost, and it's a lot more useful.
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    (Original post by hoping4Astars)
    Maths doesn't cost more than what a pointless degree would cost, and it's a lot more useful.
    Not everyone is clever or interested enough to want to take a Maths course.
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    Im an illustraymtion and believe that when we go to university we should have a plan of what we intend to after our degree. Personally i plan to become an art therapist which i do not view as pointless however there are people on my course who decided to go to university as they thought it would be easier than getting a job. I work as a freelance graphic designer part time and my tutor has worked freelance also, while it is possible to make a good wage doing this i dont think it should be anyones plan when they leave uni as it super difficult to earn a decent living doing so and pay back part of thier loans. The degree i peronally find most pointless in media studies, you leave the course knowing very little about a wide range of subjects, as you know so little it makes it very hard to compete with students with much more targeted and sensible learning.
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    A degree is only pointless if you have no sensible and realistic plans as to how to use it when you graduate.
 
 
 
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