Turn on thread page Beta

I want to start all over again on a different degree. Is it possible? watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Hi there! I’m new to this, so please bear with me (if you think I'm posting on the wrong thread, let me know).

    I am a 21-year-old undergraduate studying Politics and IR, starting my final year in September, after completing a (disappointing) placement year. I have an A level equivalent qualification (the European Baccalaureate, similar to the IB) of AAAC+ in Biology, Geography, Italian and Maths.

    I am seriously considering the idea of re-starting my further education, and applying to an undergraduate course in Economics.

    My concern is I face a real job insecurity coming out of uni, with no likely offer of employment. My basic skill set will have me stuck in a pool of competitive, maybe unpaid internships indefinitely. Surely starting again, with the aim of gaining a more specific skill set in a field I enjoy, is the solution.

    In my current degree, I have put in very little effort into thinking about or planning what career I want to chase and what professional prospects I’ll have leaving university. I had a naïve and arrogant attitude towards work life in my first two years, disliking the idea of working in the private sector and corporate culture on principle.

    I now take it far more seriously, and am very interested in several grad programmes, both in private and public sector, but I lack key employable skills, namely numeracy and data analysis, beyond the basics of what my 'squishy' academic degree’s given me (teamwork, literacy, critical thinking etc).

    I have ‘sleep walked’ through university. I have not engaged with tutors or careers advisors. I have not been active in societies. I grossly misspent a placement year working as a research assistant in academia/journalism. But I have a projected grade of a comfortable 2:1. I want to do start again, only differently: I want more marketable work experience and skills, and better contacts; in short, to be in a better starting position at the beginning of my career.

    Here’s what I’m thinking: would it be worth completing my current degree and then applying for a second undergrad course in economics (which I have a genuine interest in)?

    In my mind, the way to do this would take a year to study for a Maths A level, and then apply for an undergrad course in Economics around 2020. This could mean I would be completing my second undergrad degree in 2022/3, at the age of 25 or 26.

    Is this strategy possible? How would I do this: are there A level courses for adults in my situation? Can you have two undergrad degrees? I really don't know what is out there.

    Is this worth it even, at my age and stage in the game? Would I be better off taking a Masters, or just making due with what I’ve got and starting low?

    I’ve sobered up, I’m willing to make difficult choices now, have embarrassing conversations, and put myself through the pain of starting from zero if I’m sure it’s the right thing to do. I’m thinking strictly in the long term: cut my losses and start again, or keep calm and carry on?


    If you have any thoughts, advice or comments you want to share, it would mean a lot.

    Thanks -R
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RichardJones1)
    Hi there! I’m new to this, so please bear with me (if you think I'm posting on the wrong thread, let me know).

    I am a 21-year-old undergraduate studying Politics and IR, starting my final year in September, after completing a (disappointing) placement year. I have an A level equivalent qualification (the European Baccalaureate, similar to the IB) of AAAC+ in Biology, Geography, Italian and Maths.

    I am seriously considering the idea of re-starting my further education, and applying to an undergraduate course in Economics.

    My concern is I face a real job insecurity coming out of uni, with no likely offer of employment. My basic skill set will have me stuck in a pool of competitive, maybe unpaid internships indefinitely. Surely starting again, with the aim of gaining a more specific skill set in a field I enjoy, is the solution.

    In my current degree, I have put in very little effort into thinking about or planning what career I want to chase and what professional prospects I’ll have leaving university. I had a naïve and arrogant attitude towards work life in my first two years, disliking the idea of working in the private sector and corporate culture on principle.

    I now take it far more seriously, and am very interested in several grad programmes, both in private and public sector, but I lack key employable skills, namely numeracy and data analysis, beyond the basics of what my 'squishy' academic degree’s given me (teamwork, literacy, critical thinking etc).

    I have ‘sleep walked’ through university. I have not engaged with tutors or careers advisors. I have not been active in societies. I grossly misspent a placement year working as a research assistant in academia/journalism. But I have a projected grade of a comfortable 2:1. I want to do start again, only differently: I want more marketable work experience and skills, and better contacts; in short, to be in a better starting position at the beginning of my career.

    Here’s what I’m thinking: would it be worth completing my current degree and then applying for a second undergrad course in economics (which I have a genuine interest in)?

    In my mind, the way to do this would take a year to study for a Maths A level, and then apply for an undergrad course in Economics around 2020. This could mean I would be completing my second undergrad degree in 2022/3, at the age of 25 or 26.

    Is this strategy possible? How would I do this: are there A level courses for adults in my situation? Can you have two undergrad degrees? I really don't know what is out there.

    Is this worth it even, at my age and stage in the game? Would I be better off taking a Masters, or just making due with what I’ve got and starting low?

    I’ve sobered up, I’m willing to make difficult choices now, have embarrassing conversations, and put myself through the pain of starting from zero if I’m sure it’s the right thing to do. I’m thinking strictly in the long term: cut my losses and start again, or keep calm and carry on?


    If you have any thoughts, advice or comments you want to share, it would mean a lot.

    Thanks -R
    Given that you are so close to finishing, i'd finish your current degree so that it's not all been a waste.

    You absolutely can have 2 undergraduate degrees.

    You may find that your politics degree is a good compliment to an economics degree and you will have a more unique skillset than somebody possessing one degree.

    Depending on the university the criteria will change; given that you would be current alumni they might give you the benefit of the doubt and enrol in economics or you may have to complete a summer school to prove that your mathematics skills are up to par. Best bet is to speak to your course advisor.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Try and look for a MSc in Economics, if they don't let you, which 75% of them won't. You can do a Postgraduate diploma in Economics and then a MSc in Economics. This means you save a year and get a masters qualification. And become a hell of a lot more employable.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    MSc Economics will be tough no doubt, a lot of math and econometrics. So I do hope your maths is up to scratch.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Friffinghell)
    Given that you are so close to finishing, i'd finish your current degree so that it's not all been a waste.

    You absolutely can have 2 undergraduate degrees.

    You may find that your politics degree is a good compliment to an economics degree and you will have a more unique skillset than somebody possessing one degree.

    Depending on the university the criteria will change; given that you would be current alumni they might give you the benefit of the doubt and enrol in economics or you may have to complete a summer school to prove that your mathematics skills are up to par. Best bet is to speak to your course advisor.
    Thanks for helping me out. I very much like the idea of having two degrees that complement each other, is this uncommon though?

    Hadn't considered the alumni advantage, I will contact my course adviser. My mathematics skills were once very much to scratch, but it has been so long since I've practised that some re-freshers course is necessary. I thought this would mean re-taking an A level, a year commitment, but are there summer schools that would fit the bill instead? What are these like?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jhgjhgg)
    Try and look for a MSc in Economics, if they don't let you, which 75% of them won't. You can do a Postgraduate diploma in Economics and then a MSc in Economics. This means you save a year and get a masters qualification. And become a hell of a lot more employable.
    (Original post by jhgjhgg)
    MSc Economics will be tough no doubt, a lot of math and econometrics. So I do hope your maths is up to scratch.
    Thanks, love your suggestions. I'll do my own research, but what does would a post graduate economics degree look like? Is this effectively the same thing as taking a second undergrad degree as a mature student (same number of years, course content etc)?

    Do you mean if I applied for an Economics Masters after a politics degree, 75% would turn me down? I wouldn't consider this, as my maths is just not up to scratch, and I like the idea of learning from the 'beginning'. But certainly applying an Economics masters after a postgrad is a great idea.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RichardJones1)
    Thanks, love your suggestions. I'll do my own research, but what does would a post graduate economics degree look like? Is this effectively the same thing as taking a second undergrad degree as a mature student (same number of years, course content etc)?

    Do you mean if I applied for an Economics Masters after a politics degree, 75% would turn me down? I wouldn't consider this, as my maths is just not up to scratch, and I like the idea of learning from the 'beginning'. But certainly applying an Economics masters after a postgrad is a great idea.
    I have a MSc in finance and econometrics, but I did do a lot of modules which crossover for the MSc economics at the university I went to. I have also done PhD economics modules during my first PhD, which are on a whole different level.

    MSc economics involves a lot of math, half of your modules will be econometrics and statistics. So stuff like regression analysis, instrument variables, time series, generalized method of moments, bootstrap, fixed effect and random effect models, binary choice models. You would need a minimum of A Level math to even survive, ideally a good grounding in university level statistics and linear algebra.

    The other half of the Msc economics will focus on macroeconomics and microeconomics, but again with heavy math. You will be looking at rational expectation models in macroeconomics and consumer + producer theory in microeconomics. You may also do game theory in microeconomics, but with heavy math content. So this is where being able to understand set notation and real analysis helps.

    A postgrad diploma in economics will be like a Bsc in economics but fastracked, you will do 2 years of work in a year and they will move fast. They may not teach the true fundamentals or skip over them fast.

    I advise looking for a postgraduate diploma in economics and then transition to the msc in economics. During the postgraduate diploma you need to get your math up, so do a lot of linear algebra, statistics and optimisation if you can.

    I'm a finance PhD student now, but my first degree was in mathematics. You need a solid math background to do any social science at the highest level.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by jhgjhgg)
    I have a MSc in finance and econometrics, but I did do a lot of modules which crossover for the MSc economics at the university I went to. I have also done PhD economics modules during my first PhD, which are on a whole different level.

    MSc economics involves a lot of math, half of your modules will be econometrics and statistics. So stuff like regression analysis, instrument variables, time series, generalized method of moments, bootstrap, fixed effect and random effect models, binary choice models. You would need a minimum of A Level math to even survive, ideally a good grounding in university level statistics and linear algebra.

    The other half of the Msc economics will focus on macroeconomics and microeconomics, but again with heavy math. You will be looking at rational expectation models in macroeconomics and consumer + producer theory in microeconomics. You may also do game theory in microeconomics, but with heavy math content. So this is where being able to understand set notation and real analysis helps.

    A postgrad diploma in economics will be like a Bsc in economics but fastracked, you will do 2 years of work in a year and they will move fast. They may not teach the true fundamentals or skip over them fast.

    I advise looking for a postgraduate diploma in economics and then transition to the msc in economics. During the postgraduate diploma you need to get your math up, so do a lot of linear algebra, statistics and optimisation if you can.

    I'm a finance PhD student now, but my first degree was in mathematics. You need a solid math background to do any social science at the highest level.
    Awesome, thanks for the insight. I wouldn't remotely consider diving into an MSc without the proper grounding in Maths first. So a graduate degree (or another undergraduate degree, which would be an extra year but far more expensive), would be a given.

    Were I to commit to those, I'm confident I could get my Maths up to the necessary standard, whatever it takes. It would take hard work, a lot of independent study and private tutoring, but absolutely achievable. The purpose of this whole endeavour would be exactly to gain a strong footing in maths and econometrics

    Have you enjoyed your studies, both in finance, maths and economics? Do you know anyone who has taken the 'fast track' graduate degree?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RichardJones1)
    Awesome, thanks for the insight. I wouldn't remotely consider diving into an MSc without the proper grounding in Maths first. So a graduate degree (or another undergraduate degree, which would be an extra year but far more expensive), would be a given.

    Were I to commit to those, I'm confident I could get my Maths up to the necessary standard, whatever it takes. It would take hard work, a lot of independent study and private tutoring, but absolutely achievable. The purpose of this whole endeavour would be exactly to gain a strong footing in maths and econometrics

    Have you enjoyed your studies, both in finance, maths and economics? Do you know anyone who has taken the 'fast track' graduate degree?
    I do like finance, I invest myself and have so far managed get £40,000 into the market. So I always learn from that either way, by simply watching the market since I am invested in it. Out of the three, I probably least liked macroeconomics mainly because the first time I did macroeconomics was at PhD level. So I didn't even know basic stuff like a Phillips Curve or Euler Equation or Taylor Rule etc.

    Math has always helped and is probably the most important thing you need to succeed in economics. Politics and international relations is not a bad start to get onto an economics degree, the first question they will ask is to prove to them your math is up to scratch.

    I don't know anyone per say, but I have seen the stuff they study. I was actually offered a post grad diploma in math at kings college london, but I turned it down for the MSc in finance and econometrics. I'm happy I didn't do the Msc in Math at kings college london, that would have killed me.

    If you are expecting to do a Msc in economics and expect theory, you will be shocked. Economics theory is usually taught in year 1 and year 2 of undergrad, for masters its going to be a lot of proof and math.
    • TSR Support Team
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    (Original post by RichardJones1)
    Is this worth it even, at my age and stage in the game? Would I be better off taking a Masters, or just making due with what I’ve got and starting low?
    You won't be able to get funding for a second full-time undergraduate degree. The only way you can get a tuition fee loan for a second undergraduate degree is if you study a STEM subject part-time. Some universities consider Economics STEM, others may not - I suspect it depends on the module makeup and how much math content there is. I know Birkbeck's four year part-time Economics and/with Mathematics BSc is considered STEM, for example. I think Birkbeck is your best option because all lectures and seminars take place in the evening, which gives you time to work during the day - so you wouldn't have to put your career on hold to do another degree.

    I believe there are graduate diploma conversion courses for people with no previous qualifications in economics, after completing one of these then you can do an MSc.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Snufkin)
    You won't be able to get funding for a second full-time undergraduate degree. The only way you can get a tuition fee loan for a second undergraduate degree is if you study a STEM subject part-time. Some universities consider Economics STEM, others may not - I suspect it depends on the module makeup and how much math content there is. I know Birkbeck's four year part-time Economics and/with Mathematics BSc is considered STEM, for example. I think Birkbeck is your best option because all lectures and seminars take place in the evening, which gives you time to work during the day - so you wouldn't have to put your career on hold to do another degree.

    I believe there are graduate diploma conversion courses for people with no previous qualifications in economics, after completing one of these then you can do an MSc.
    Thanks a lot for the post and info on funding, I wasn't aware.

    I think the Birkbeck evening conversion course is the way to go here, thanks for putting me onto it. Can choose either a one year full time course or two year part time. The two year programme would allow me to gain some work experience in the meantime. With enough hard work, I can perform well at this course and aim to do a Masters in economics at the end of it.

    I'd love to hear from anyone who has chosen this path.
 
 
 

University open days

  • Heriot-Watt University
    School of Textiles and Design Undergraduate
    Fri, 16 Nov '18
  • University of Roehampton
    All departments Undergraduate
    Sat, 17 Nov '18
  • Edge Hill University
    Faculty of Health and Social Care Undergraduate
    Sat, 17 Nov '18
Poll
Black Friday: Yay or Nay?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.