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    So I chose my a levels around 3 months ago and i'm studying philosophy, history and sociology. Hopefully after i leave i want to go to university and study philosophy (i don't know if it's a bit early to be thinking of that?). However, i've been thinking recently about the job prospects. Is it useless to take this degree if i want to have a secure career? I do enjoy subjects like philosophy so I know i would enjoy the degree, i'm just not sure if the job prospects are any good!
    Also, is there anything else i could do with my choice of a levels as an alternative to philosophy?
    p.s. I have found threads like this before but they're over 10 years old and i just wondered if anything had changed since then!

    Thank you.
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    (Original post by LJones191)
    So I chose my a levels around 3 months ago and i'm studying philosophy, history and sociology. Hopefully after i leave i want to go to university and study philosophy (i don't know if it's a bit early to be thinking of that?). However, i've been thinking recently about the job prospects. Is it useless to take this degree if i want to have a secure career? I do enjoy subjects like philosophy so I know i would enjoy the degree, i'm just not sure if the job prospects are any good!
    Also, is there anything else i could do with my choice of a levels as an alternative to philosophy?
    p.s. I have found threads like this before but they're over 10 years old and i just wondered if anything had changed since then!

    Thank you.
    For any non vocational course employability depends on what you get out of the degree (the skills you develop, the experiences you have, the extra curricular activities you get involved in and the contacts you make) rather than the degree topic itself.

    A degree that you get a poor classification or drop out of because you're not interested/motivated will damage your employability much more than any perceptions you might have about the "usefulness" of a degree subject.

    http://university.which.co.uk/a-leve...ociology?o=102 is useful to get ideas about which other degrees would be open to you based on your A level subjects (click through to Close and Unexpected matches to see more options). One that isn't listed there is PPE - but whether you'd be able to study that would depend on your maths GCSE grades - many insist on a good grade minimum (and other universities will want an A or AS level in maths to study anything with econ in it).

    https://www.prospects.ac.uk/careers-...ree/philosophy gives an idea of the sorts of careers available to you.
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    Yes it is mostly useless except that it is a degree and therefore qualifies you to apply for all generic and non degree-specific graduate schemes, the civil service and high street banks and so forth. It confers nothing useful beyond this and I definitely wouldn't believe the old flannel about employers valuing the critical thinking skills implied by specifically philosophy and the rest of the guff.

    (Original post by LJones191)
    Also, is there anything else i could do with my choice of a levels as an alternative to philosophy?
    All the rage at the minute is quantitative social science. The Q-step spondoolicks are pouring in, the degrees are being created and you don't need A-level maths.

    Examples:

    http://www.bristol.ac.uk/study/under...tive-research/
    https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/smi/stud...ppliedss#tab00
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-stu...e-methods-bsc/
    http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/under...-analytics-bsc
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    (Original post by I_AM_MR_X)
    I studied philosophy, did well at it in school and then did it at university. I dropped out half way through for several reasons: - I wasn't motivated and kind of realized the degree is useless - The degree is useless - Having done it at school, it wasn't til 2nd/3rd year that any of the course was new to me. While this meant it was easy, it was kind of like groundhog day. the degree is essentially useless. Possibly if you do well in it (and have connections) you could get into something like law, journalism, working for the civil service / local government, be a teacher, etc, but in all honesty most of these courses - especially teaching - either require additional qualifications, or different ones altogether (For example why would a law firm or a newspaper - and good luck getting a job for a newspaper these days - why would they take on a philosophy / sociology / etc graduate when they have law, and journalism grads to call upon? And not only those, but people with relevant experience in the field but less, or no qualifications ? It's very difficult out there. More difficult that you think, and it's going to get harder. I don't mean to frighten you, it's just better to realize this sooner rather than later. Plus if you're not in Scoland, bear in mind you're going to be paying for this degree for years - unless you are well off or it gets paid by a parent, in which case, you're sorted anyway. The thing that we are having to realize is that when you go to study something like philosophy, you really are just doing it for the love of it. That's it. In all probability, it isn't going to get you a job. And the "love of it" thing is quite weird. Only very, very few weirdos actually "love" philosophy, politics, sociology, geography - really. Me for example, I "love" music, I love football, I love drawing. But I certainly don't "love" academic subjects. They are boring. Writing essays is boring, stressful and essentially pointless. You have to consider how much it is you exactly "love" these subjects, or if you just like "like" or "prefer" them or "love them, in as much as you can love an academic subject". If you truly, truly do love the subject (And we are talking autistic-savant level here, you probably don't love it *that* much - enough to go into years / decades of debt and years of your life wasted and not be employable - that level of love) , you love it enough to forgo your youth, then yes, go for it. However, honestly I'd look into what else you can do. If you're only good at arts / humanities subjects, look at the more vocational among them - look into teaching, and actually apply for teacher training colleges. If they require a degree, find out what degree and do that. If you dont want to be a teacher, remember there are usually graduate entry jobs into the councils and civil service, for graduates only (usually ones who have been unemployed for 6 months or more, or something like that). Again, try and vocational-ise your subjects. Also bear in mind, if you have half-decent A Levels and GCSEs, you should get into any college course - including your bricklaying, plumbing, vocational things etc. Don't look down your nose at these things. Most just need English and Maths at GCSE level. And remember people don't tend to stay on the same path all through their lives - people don't study English at school, then English Literature at uni, then become authors and journalists. These skills are transferrable, life is full of surprises, and people embark upon new things all the time. You might not've seen yourself as a bricklayer, but that's what life is like. Actually you're at the perfect age to be beginning something totally new. Just bear in mind what I've said ; the VERY LAST place you want to be is, 5 - 10 years later, on this website, saying "I studied philosophy at uni and I can't get a job".
    Yes, I've seen many people say this since i posted about my a levels. Ive decided to change my a levels to biology, chemistry and history because they're a lot more useful, and i'm getting great grades at them, so i guess when it comes to looking for a job. and you're right, i don't want to be paying for a degree for years to find out that i can't get a job. Thanks though, this helped.
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    (Original post by LJones191)
    Yes, I've seen many people say this since i posted about my a levels. Ive decided to change my a levels to biology, chemistry and history because they're a lot more useful, and i'm getting great grades at them, so i guess when it comes to looking for a job. and you're right, i don't want to be paying for a degree for years to find out that i can't get a job. Thanks though, this helped.
    Those a very good a level choices, you did well to change them


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    (Original post by I_AM_MR_X)
    I studied philosophy, did well at it in school and then did it at university.
    I dropped out half way through for several reasons:
    - I wasn't motivated and kind of realized the degree is useless
    - The degree is useless
    - Having done it at school, it wasn't til 2nd/3rd year that any of the course was new to me. While this meant it was easy, it was kind of like groundhog day.

    the degree is essentially useless. Possibly if you do well in it (and have connections) you could get into something like law, journalism, working for the civil service / local government, be a teacher, etc,
    but in all honesty most of these courses - especially teaching - either require additional qualifications, or different ones altogether (For example why would a law firm or a newspaper - and good luck getting a job for a newspaper these days - why would they take on a philosophy / sociology / etc graduate when they have law, and journalism grads to call upon?
    And not only those, but people with relevant experience in the field but less, or no qualifications ?

    It's very difficult out there. More difficult that you think, and it's going to get harder. I don't mean to frighten you, it's just better to realize this sooner rather than later.
    Plus if you're not in Scoland, bear in mind you're going to be paying for this degree for years - unless you are well off or it gets paid by a parent, in which case, you're sorted anyway.

    The thing that we are having to realize is that when you go to study something like philosophy, you really are just doing it for the love of it. That's it. In all probability, it isn't going to get you a job.
    And the "love of it" thing is quite weird. Only very, very few weirdos actually "love" philosophy, politics, sociology, geography - really. Me for example, I "love" music, I love football, I love drawing. But I certainly don't "love" academic subjects. They are boring. Writing essays is boring, stressful and essentially pointless.
    You have to consider how much it is you exactly "love" these subjects, or if you just like "like" or "prefer" them or "love them, in as much as you can love an academic subject".
    If you truly, truly do love the subject (And we are talking autistic-savant level here, you probably don't love it *that* much - enough to go into years / decades of debt and years of your life wasted and not be employable - that level of love) , you love it enough to forgo your youth, then yes, go for it.

    However, honestly I'd look into what else you can do. If you're only good at arts / humanities subjects, look at the more vocational among them - look into teaching, and actually apply for teacher training colleges. If they require a degree, find out what degree and do that.
    If you dont want to be a teacher, remember there are usually graduate entry jobs into the councils and civil service, for graduates only (usually ones who have been unemployed for 6 months or more, or something like that).

    Again, try and vocational-ise your subjects.
    Also bear in mind, if you have half-decent A Levels and GCSEs, you should get into any college course - including your bricklaying, plumbing, vocational things etc. Don't look down your nose at these things. Most just need English and Maths at GCSE level.

    And remember people don't tend to stay on the same path all through their lives - people don't study English at school, then English Literature at uni, then become authors and journalists. These skills are transferrable, life is full of surprises, and people embark upon new things all the time.
    You might not've seen yourself as a bricklayer, but that's what life is like. Actually you're at the perfect age to be beginning something totally new.

    Just bear in mind what I've said ; the VERY LAST place you want to be is, 5 - 10 years later, on this website, saying "I studied philosophy at uni and I can't get a job".
    You posted this 3 days ago - why have you reposted it?
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    (Original post by LJones191)
    So I chose my a levels around 3 months ago and i'm studying philosophy, history and sociology. Hopefully after i leave i want to go to university and study philosophy (i don't know if it's a bit early to be thinking of that?). However, i've been thinking recently about the job prospects. Is it useless to take this degree if i want to have a secure career? I do enjoy subjects like philosophy so I know i would enjoy the degree, i'm just not sure if the job prospects are any good!
    Also, is there anything else i could do with my choice of a levels as an alternative to philosophy?
    p.s. I have found threads like this before but they're over 10 years old and i just wondered if anything had changed since then!

    Thank you.
    I think it's great you're thinking about what you wanna do at university already at this stage of your life, if only more young people were this mature. As for studying philosophy, i haven't done it, I'm on a biomedical science course, very different topic but am contemplating switching over to philosophy myself. I agree with some of the others' comments about how it's the transferable skills, connections you will develop which are really what is gonna get you the job.

    Speaking from experience, i left sixth form college with poor grades in subjects i didn't enjoy, except Biology, kinda (hence my highest grade - C haha) and did all sorts of jobs, admin, construction, found a good one at the age of 20 as a document controller, started on a £8-9/hr and then moved onto £160 daily rates after i proved myself. This was for an engineering/construction company and i had never done anything like that before, but it was my work ethic which impressed the managers.
    So at the age of 24 i was earning the equivalent of a £30-40k salary in a sector i had zero qualifications in. You can find a well paid, stable job even without A levels xD

    It also rings true for me that doing something you don't really enjoy for three years to end up getting less than a 2.1 is not the way to go. It's still early, if after a year or two you find you still want to do philosophy at degree level because that's what floats your boat, i say go for it.

    Good luck and best wishes,
    dharma
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    (Original post by LJones191)
    So I chose my a levels around 3 months ago and i'm studying philosophy, history and sociology. Hopefully after i leave i want to go to university and study philosophy (i don't know if it's a bit early to be thinking of that?). However, i've been thinking recently about the job prospects. Is it useless to take this degree if i want to have a secure career? I do enjoy subjects like philosophy so I know i would enjoy the degree, i'm just not sure if the job prospects are any good!
    Also, is there anything else i could do with my choice of a levels as an alternative to philosophy?
    p.s. I have found threads like this before but they're over 10 years old and i just wondered if anything had changed since then!

    Thank you.
    Also i would recommend throwing a STEM A level in there like physics or maths/ maths with statistics, unless you really don't want to! The kind of thinking required for these mathematical subjects will boost your prospects but also provide very useful skills which you might end up using years, decades into your future. Just a suggestion.
 
 
 
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