Will People Please Stop Saying, "There's Always Postgrad..." Watch

Fossi2
Badges: 0
#21
Report 11 years ago
#21
Jonesy i totally get what your saying and support the notion that anyobne who gives that advice should be shot
0
quote
reply
KwungSun
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#22
Report 11 years ago
#22
(Original post by Niccolo)
Hmm, I'm not trying to be Anglo-Saxon-centric (if that is even a phrase) but I think that what you have mentioned is the case because of the generally much lower quality of higher education outside of the UK and US (and to some extent, Australia, possibly France as well); the masters requirement for graduate jobs in these places is probably owing to this. If you tried to get a job outside of the English speaking world with a BA from a top 20 UK university, or a top 30 US one, I certainly do not think you would run into the same problems. After all, someone with a British LLB from a top 10 uni is vastly overqualified to do a hell of a lot of the work in UK commercial law firms, from what I've seen.
The UK and the US undoubtedly account for 90% of the world's best universities, but I don't think the only reason Cont. European degrees are longer is because they're worse. To my mind a big part of it is also that there is a lot less on the job training in Europe, and university graduates are expected to know a lot more than in the UK. A lot of jobs in the UK will take you with any degree because they reason that as long as you can think they can teach you all the relevant stuff on the job. In Europe this is less the case, where you pretty much need to bring the necessary skills with you in the first place.
0
quote
reply
Niccolo
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#23
Report 11 years ago
#23
(Original post by KwungSun)
The UK and the US undoubtedly account for 90% of the world's best universities, but I don't think the only reason Cont. European degrees are longer is because they're worse. To my mind a big part of it is also that there is a lot less on the job training in Europe, and university graduates are expected to know a lot more than in the UK. A lot of jobs in the UK will take you with any degree because they reason that as long as you can think they can teach you all the relevant stuff on the job. In Europe this is less the case, where you pretty much need to bring the necessary skills with you in the first place.
If what you are saying is true (and I am not sure that it is), then this is a shameful, hateful system; so education is useful only insofar as it prepares you for some specific job, like a mindless little automoton? This seems so outrageous and indicative of the mindset of a vastly underdeveloped country absolutely desperate to industrialize as fast as possible that I find it hard to believe, especially with reference to continental Europe...
0
quote
reply
KwungSun
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#24
Report 11 years ago
#24
(Original post by Niccolo)
If what you are saying is true (and I am not sure that it is), then this is a shameful, hateful system; so education is useful only insofar as it prepares you for some specific job, like a mindless little automoton? This seems so outrageous and indicative of the mindset of a vastly underdeveloped country absolutely desperate to industrialize as fast as possible that I find it hard to believe, especially with reference to continental Europe...
No it just means that rather than go to university to gain "transferable skills" and enjoy yourself for three years you go to university because you actually want to get vocational training. I'm not saying I favour either system over the other, but the system is not "hateful" or "shameful", it's just based more on the belief that you go to university to become something, rather than just by default. I wouldn't say it only trains you for one specific job, because the skills you gain on a course of study can often be applied to a very wide variety of jobs (hard skills that is, as in computing, mathematical modelling etc.), but there certainly is less of an idea that any degree is good as long as you do well in it. People in continental Europe from "soft" degrees have a comparatively harder time than their counterparts in the UK.

NB this applies mainly for starting jobs. Once you've established yourself in your field there's probably as much flexibility as anywhere else.
0
quote
reply
Jonesy_LJ
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#25
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#25
(Original post by edders)
Hmm, I see what the OP is trying to get at, but in my case at least

1) I always wanted to go to Oxbridge and
2) Oxford happens to be rather good at economics, which is the subject I wanted to do

So applying for postgrad happened to satisfy both. Does that mean I should be ashamed somehow of 1? :confused:
Let me make myself clear, I have no problem with people who want to go to Oxbridge, I am one of them, and I certainly have no problem with people wanting to study postgraduate degrees there.

In fact, as long as their academic ability is suitable, I would wholeheartedly support the suggestion that those who wish to do postgraduate degrees apply there, particularly if they have been unsuccessful there in the past.

What I do not support is the blanket giving of advice, which is wholely unsuitable for the majority of people receiving it, especially when that advice serves to further what can often be an unhealthy Oxbridge obsession amongst many.

Indeed it can often result in people taking postgraduate courses and spending exhorbitant amounts of money to do so in search an Oxbridge 'tag', which is of significantly less value than they imagine it to be.
0
quote
reply
tim.baker
Badges: 0
#26
Report 11 years ago
#26
(Original post by KwungSun)
I think it also depends on where you want to work. Bachelor's degrees are next to non-existent in some parts of the world (continental Europe in particular) where you either go and do a min. 5 yr undergrad+masters (though usually at the same uni) or you don't go to university at all. If you want to work in an graduate position outside the english speaking world you will find yourself with next to no opportunities with a Bachelor's only.
This is true: a German student returning from Oxford with a high first-class degree in PPE would have trouble finding an internship on the German job market. Whether long degrees are good or bad is debatable, but you need to understand that UK culture values institutional affiliation very highly, often at the expense of other factors. This may be good in that it gives talented people from modest backgrounds the chance to 'prove' themselves by gaining a degree from Oxford, but it also creates is a (sometimes rather blind obsession) with institutional labels. Some cultures are simply sceptical of creating elite institutions (which serve, among other things, to dish out the 'I am officially clever'-label), rather than fostering elite groups within different institutions. The latter has the same effect (strong students work together), without causing the divisions that come from building elite institutions as such. Don't assume everyone wants the Oxbridge system, with all the bitterness and divisions it can create when 17/18-year olds put themselves to the 'big test', wrongly believing it means so much. The consolation from Oxbridge students that other unis are also fine doesn't mean much when the general culture tells them something v. different.
0
quote
reply
ChemistBoy
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#27
Report 11 years ago
#27
(Original post by Siddhartha)
The mere fact that you get to call yourself Dr. makes up for the 15 grand
Not with a master's degree, sunshine. Most people do PhDs in this country (and many others) with funding so it is completely different. Anyone who swanks around calling themselves Dr outside of academic circles is probably going to get phone calls on holiday at 4 am from the concierge asking them if they will look a someone's sick baby.
0
quote
reply
coffeym
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#28
Report 11 years ago
#28
WoW there's a lot of sunshine in this thread...
0
quote
reply
KwungSun
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#29
Report 11 years ago
#29
(Original post by tim.baker)
This is true: a German student returning from Oxford with a high first-class degree in PPE would have trouble finding an internship on the German job market. Whether long degrees are good or bad is debatable, but you need to understand that UK culture values institutional affiliation very highly, often at the expense of other factors. This may be good in that it gives talented people from modest backgrounds the chance to 'prove' themselves by gaining a degree from Oxford, but it also creates is a (sometimes rather blind obsession) with institutional labels. Some cultures are simply sceptical of creating elite institutions (which serve, among other things, to dish out the 'I am officially clever'-label), rather than fostering elite groups within different institutions. The latter has the same effect (strong students work together), without causing the divisions that come from building elite institutions as such. Don't assume everyone wants the Oxbridge system, with all the bitterness and divisions it can create when 17/18-year olds put themselves to the 'big test', wrongly believing it means so much. The consolation from Oxbridge students that other unis are also fine doesn't mean much when the general culture tells them something v. different.
Agreed. And so given that Master's degrees are the norm in Europe a master's for the sake of it probably pays off if you want to get a job there. Since Oxford and Cambridge are the only UK universities that have any widespread recognition across Europe it would probably also pay to get your masters there, possibly even at the expense of it not being the greatest research department in the world or whatever. Even in countries that are highly sceptical of elite education the fact that you went to one of the world's most famous universities will still impress people.
0
quote
reply
tinypony
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#30
Report 11 years ago
#30
(Original post by ChemistBoy)
Not with a master's degree, sunshine. Most people do PhDs in this country (and many others) with funding so it is completely different. Anyone who swanks around calling themselves Dr outside of academic circles is probably going to get phone calls on holiday at 4 am from the concierge asking them if they will look a someone's sick baby.
My comment was made with humoristic purposes only .
0
quote
reply
Niccolo
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#31
Report 11 years ago
#31
(Original post by KwungSun)
Agreed. And so given that Master's degrees are the norm in Europe a master's for the sake of it probably pays off if you want to get a job there. Since Oxford and Cambridge are the only UK universities that have any widespread recognition across Europe it would probably also pay to get your masters there, possibly even at the expense of it not being the greatest research department in the world or whatever. Even in countries that are highly sceptical of elite education the fact that you went to one of the world's most famous universities will still impress people.
Yeah, but wouldn't what you said previously mean that it would be pointless in doing a masters unless it was in something VERY specific that was designed to prepare you for a job in any of the countries you mention? And aside from a few medicine/Real Estate/teaching degrees offered at Oxbridge at masters level, masters degrees in these places are very much 'education for the sake of education', preparing you for an academic career in a chosen field. I suppose there are always advanced mathematical modelling type degrees, but again, in terms of direct preparation for employment these are suited only really to scientific jobs or perhaps highly quantitative investment banking. So would it be worth doing a masters 'for the sake of it' in one of the fields most people do a masters for the sake of it in, such as Politics, general (non-applied) Physics/Chemistry, history, philosophy etc?
0
quote
reply
the_alba
Badges: 12
Rep:
?
#32
Report 11 years ago
#32
(Original post by Jonesy_LJ)
Indeed it can often result in people taking postgraduate courses and spending exhorbitant amounts of money to do so in search an Oxbridge 'tag', which is of significantly less value than they imagine it to be.
This is Oxford's favourite scam. Taking on rich postgrads, many of them international students, who are academically pretty shoddy but thirst after the Oxford tag, is a major source of revenue. Hoardes of these students swarm in every year: the tutors think 'Jesus Christ, another illiterate ****wit I have to prevent from failing', but the governing body just thinks 'Kerching!'

In many senses this is not Oxford's fault: if it wants to compete with Harvard it has to get the money from somewhere, and lack of realistic government funding only exacerbates the need for Oxbridge to shed some of its scruples and standards. I don't, however, have any sympathy for the students who DO pay over all their cash for an Oxford label.
0
quote
reply
ChemistBoy
Badges: 14
Rep:
?
#33
Report 11 years ago
#33
(Original post by Niccolo)
Yeah, but wouldn't what you said previously mean that it would be pointless in doing a masters unless it was in something VERY specific that was designed to prepare you for a job in any of the countries you mention? And aside from a few medicine/Real Estate/teaching degrees offered at Oxbridge at masters level, masters degrees in these places are very much 'education for the sake of education', preparing you for an academic career in a chosen field. I suppose there are always advanced mathematical modelling type degrees, but again, in terms of direct preparation for employment these are suited only really to scientific jobs or perhaps highly quantitative investment banking. So would it be worth doing a masters 'for the sake of it' in one of the fields most people do a masters for the sake of it in, such as Politics, general (non-applied) Physics/Chemistry, history, philosophy etc?
Master's degrees in such subjects aren't actually that common considering the relative ease at which you can get on a fully-funded PhD programme with an undergraduate degree and the general expectation for you to have a PhD if you wish to make a career in the physical sciences (combined with the fact that very few people actually study these subjects in the first place). Specific, more applied master's are far more prevelent in the physical sciences.
0
quote
reply
KwungSun
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#34
Report 11 years ago
#34
(Original post by Niccolo)
So would it be worth doing a masters 'for the sake of it' in one of the fields most people do a masters for the sake of it in, such as Politics, general (non-applied) Physics/Chemistry, history, philosophy etc?
I would say a lot of graduates of these disciplines would have a harder time finding work in continental Europe, or almost anywhere outside of the UK for that matter. Nonetheless a master's would still be advisable if you choose to go down these routes. Quite a few continental European countries didn't even offer bachelor's degrees until very recently so it's still seen as somewhat of a non-qualification. So if you want secure and immediate employment in continental Europe I would not recommend a politics, history or philosophy degree in the first place (non-applied science is possibly less risky), but if you have your heart set on these things then a general masters would be pretty much essential to have any prospect for graduate type employment either way.
0
quote
reply
shady lane
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#35
Report 11 years ago
#35
(Original post by KwungSun)
I would say a lot of graduates of these disciplines would have a harder time finding work in continental Europe, or almost anywhere outside of the UK for that matter.
There are an absurd number of LSE MSc graduates in politics/IR off to work in Brussels for the EU this September. I know at least 10 friends and acquaintances who are going. And there are plenty of people getting work in continental Europe as well.
0
quote
reply
KwungSun
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#36
Report 11 years ago
#36
(Original post by shady lane)
There are an absurd number of LSE MSc graduates in politics/IR off to work in Brussels for the EU this September. I know at least 10 friends and acquaintances who are going. And there are plenty of people getting work in continental Europe as well.
Maybe so, but a politcs degree from the University of Aachen is less likely to get you a graduate job in Germany than a similar degree from Warwick is in the UK. Also the EU/UN etc. are not really conventional graduate employers. I would not recommend doing a degree in the sole hope that one day you'll work for an IO.
0
quote
reply
shady lane
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#37
Report 11 years ago
#37
(Original post by KwungSun)
Maybe so, but a politcs degree from the University of Aachen is less likely to get you a graduate job in Germany than a similar degree from Warwick is in the UK. Also the EU/UN etc. are not really conventional graduate employers. I would not recommend doing a degree in the sole hope that one day you'll work for an IO.
Oh are you saying doing a masters in Politics for a graduate job not in politics? OK, then I agree. A masters in Politics from Oxford would be useless for a business job in Germany.
0
quote
reply
KwungSun
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#38
Report 11 years ago
#38
(Original post by shady lane)
Oh are you saying doing a masters in Politics for a graduate job not in politics? OK, then I agree. A masters in Politics from Oxford would be useless for a business job in Germany.
Yea that's exactly what I meant. If you do politics in the UK there's nothing stopping you from becoming CEO of BP. I think this would be harder in Germany (if BP were German).
0
quote
reply
hungry_hog
Badges: 9
Rep:
?
#39
Report 11 years ago
#39
To people that say "you should choose (lower ranked) uni x as it has a better research supervisor than Cam/Ox".
I think this is an "eggs in one basket" strategy. If the student decides not to pursue academia they are in a dodgy position. At least with Oxbridge you have the brand to fall back on.
A straw poll of my contemporaries (Cambridge)

PhD maths - management consultancy
PhD Chem Eng - quants at investment bank
PhD Geology - GCHQ
PhD Geology - man con
MPhil History - trading desk at ibank
PhD musicology - solicitor
PhD chem - man con
BSc, PhD pharma (Aston), BA Economics (cam) - man con

can't see how the PhD has does these guys any harm...
0
quote
reply
Niccolo
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#40
Report 11 years ago
#40
(Original post by hungry_hog)
To people that say "you should choose (lower ranked) uni x as it has a better research supervisor than Cam/Ox".
I think this is an "eggs in one basket" strategy. If the student decides not to pursue academia they are in a dodgy position. At least with Oxbridge you have the brand to fall back on.
A straw poll of my contemporaries (Cambridge)

PhD maths - management consultancy
PhD Chem Eng - quants at investment bank
PhD Geology - GCHQ
PhD Geology - man con
MPhil History - trading desk at ibank
PhD musicology - solicitor
PhD chem - man con
BSc, PhD pharma (Aston), BA Economics (cam) - man con

can't see how the PhD has does these guys any harm...
Yes, I agree, I only suggested picking the better rated research department if you are dead set on academia; otherwise, if you have a masters in musicology from Oxford, nobody at an investment bank or law firm will give two hoots that it is not (for example) as good as the one at Univ of Liverpool when it comes to handing out jobs; you would obviously have a massively increased chance of getting the job with the former than the latter despite its superiority in terms of research quality.

(NB i am being completely hypothetical with regards department; I have no idea of its strengths and weaknesses in each institution)
0
quote
reply
X

Reply to thread

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • University of Lincoln
    Brayford Campus Undergraduate
    Wed, 12 Dec '18
  • Bournemouth University
    Midwifery Open Day at Portsmouth Campus Undergraduate
    Wed, 12 Dec '18
  • Buckinghamshire New University
    All undergraduate Undergraduate
    Wed, 12 Dec '18

Do you like exams?

Yes (166)
18.57%
No (543)
60.74%
Not really bothered about them (185)
20.69%

Watched Threads

View All
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise