Happiness vs stability - English degree or nursing degree Watch

username2628955
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I have to decide what I want to do at uni very soon but I'm genuinely stuck. I love English and I would take an English literature course in a heartbeat. However, I've heard that having an English degree makes it difficult to find jobs. Not impossible, but very, very difficult. Of course I want to "follow my heart" and all that, but I don't want to find myself jobless after three years. Just a note that I do not want to become a teacher.

Then there's nursing. Being a nurse has always appealed to me but I've read so many horror stories about the amount of stress it entails. It seems like a lot of nurses become very tired of their job, even start to hate it. I do like caring for people, but I don't think I'd be able to stand the environment and the long working hours. I'm not great at handling stress; I CAN handle it, but it's very easy for me to go overboard with too much pressure. I wonder if the course itself may interfere with uni life.

Moreover, I'm shy and quite an introvert. Like I said, I love helping people, but for 12 hours a day....?

It might sound weird, but I actually like monotony. Working in an office in front of stacks of paper actually sounds like my dream job haha. But how would I get there? Would the pay for those kinds of jobs even be substantial?

Please help me out here. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
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T134O2L5E6
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I would have thought that you could have got loads of jobs with a degree in English. Teaching, Branching into Law, Journalism to name a few.
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Kelsey123X
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I am doing a Business Administration apprenticeship which gives me lots of paper work. I'd say have a look into the Business/IT uni courses
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by Anygy)
I have to decide what I want to do at uni very soon but I'm genuinely stuck. I love English and I would take an English literature course in a heartbeat. However, I've heard that having an English degree makes it difficult to find jobs. Not impossible, but very, very difficult. Of course I want to "follow my heart" and all that, but I don't want to find myself jobless after three years. Just a note that I do not want to become a teacher.

Then there's nursing. Being a nurse has always appealed to me but I've read so many horror stories about the amount of stress it entails. It seems like a lot of nurses become very tired of their job, even start to hate it. I do like caring for people, but I don't think I'd be able to stand the environment and the long working hours. I'm not great at handling stress; I CAN handle it, but it's very easy for me to go overboard with too much pressure. I wonder if the course itself may interfere with uni life.

Moreover, I'm shy and quite an introvert. Like I said, I love helping people, but for 12 hours a day....?

It might sound weird, but I actually like monotony. Working in an office in front of stacks of paper actually sounds like my dream job haha. But how would I get there? Would the pay for those kinds of jobs even be substantial?

Please help me out here. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
It seems as though you love English so why not pick it? A non-vocational degree like English can give you a lot of transferable skills that any kind of non-vocational jobs wants. Regardless of your degree; you will be up against people and that's why people can't get jobs, because of the immense competition, not your degree.

A degree doesn't automatically entitle you to a job and the same with a nursing degree; that could heavily depend on where you live and study - whether there's jobs available.

If you don't have your heart set in a Nursing degree from the start and you feel some kind of disdain and anxiety over the long, grueling hours nurses have to put up with, then maybe it isn't for you. Because, if you were passionate about nursing, you'd see that as a challenge, not as hitting a brick wall that you cannot climb over.

Part of being a nurse is to be confident and out-going. That could all change if you study your degree. If you're thinking only about money, then nursing is definitely not going to help that.

There's loads of office jobs you can do. You need to do the research for that one.

You can go into a bunch of different stuff with English because as I mentioned above, it gives you a lot of transferable skills that are desirable for graduate jobs. Remember, it's not all about your degree. You have that, but you must have other stuff on your CV that makes you stand out from the crowd. That's what companies and employers want to see, not just a degree.
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username2628955
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(Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
It seems as though you love English so why not pick it? A non-vocational degree like English can give you a lot of transferable skills that any kind of non-vocational jobs wants. Regardless of your degree; you will be up against people and that's why people can't get jobs, because of the immense competition, not your degree.

A degree doesn't automatically entitle you to a job and the same with a nursing degree; that could heavily depend on where you live and study - whether there's jobs available.

If you don't have your heart set in a Nursing degree from the start and you feel some kind of disdain and anxiety over the long, grueling hours nurses have to put up with, then maybe it isn't for you. Because, if you were passionate about nursing, you'd see that as a challenge, not as hitting a brick wall that you cannot climb over.

Part of being a nurse is to be confident and out-going. That could all change if you study your degree. If you're thinking only about money, then nursing is definitely not going to help that.

There's loads of office jobs you can do. You need to do the research for that one.

You can go into a bunch of different stuff with English because as I mentioned above, it gives you a lot of transferable skills that are desirable for graduate jobs. Remember, it's not all about your degree. You have that, but you must have other stuff on your CV that makes you stand out from the crowd. That's what companies and employers want to see, not just a degree.

Thanks so much for the advice! Really appreciate it. Yes, I guess I just don't have the passion for nursing as I do for English. I just have so many close relatives who've gotten and English degree and have had nowhere to go, but back to school. Being shy and introverted; that's another problem not just with nursing but English, I'm not sure as the kind of person I am, I'd be able to hold up against that kind of competition. I feel like at least with nursing, sure I'll probably come out dead and emotionless, but I'll be able to find a stable job, at least.

I'm also kind of worried about getting into the course in the first place. Most requirements for nursing are set out as BBB, which ill probably be able to meet. However, for English, it's AAA/AAB in a lot of the uni's I'm looking at. I can only hope for a ABD at most... wonder if they'll still let me in?
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by Anygy)
Thanks so much for the advice! Really appreciate it. Yes, I guess I just don't have the passion for nursing as I do for English. I just have so many close relatives who've gotten and English degree and have had nowhere to go, but back to school. Being shy and introverted; that's another problem not just with nursing but English, I'm not sure as the kind of person I am, I'd be able to hold up against that kind of competition. I feel like at least with nursing, sure I'll probably come out dead and emotionless, but I'll be able to find a stable job, at least.

I'm also kind of worried about getting into the course in the first place. Most requirements for nursing are set out as BBB, which ill probably be able to meet. However, for English, it's AAA/AAB in a lot of the uni's I'm looking at. I can only hope for a ABD at most... wonder if they'll still let me in?
Sweetheart,

you cannot place blame on the English degrees, you place blame on the people who got them and had no idea what they wanted to do with their degree. If they left uni with an English degree, having no idea what job they wanted to go into after they graduated, then you can't hold the degree accountable. It's the people who only think "oh I have a degree, therefore I'm entitled to get any job out there". It doesn't work like that. You have to make sure you CV is good and stands out and make sure you can relate your degree to the outside world. For example, me studying Shakespeare, Medieval Philosophy and Philosophy of Language modules helps me understand complex language structures and concepts - ideal for working the advertising business. It's things like that you have to understand. It's what you get out of your degree and apply it to the real world.

Just because your family members didn't know how their English degree could help them, or they had no idea what career they wanted, you cannot fault the English degree.

Well you uni is the perfect time to not feel shy and like an introvert. Uni is a great opportunity to get out your comfort zone and etc. But you won't get very far if you think "I'm a shy and introverted person - that will do". You have to try harder in life. Nursing is not stable at all. With all the NHS cuts and it being in a crisis because they need more nurses and etc, you will have hell to pay. That means your job isn't secure just because you work for NHS and it means you'll be working even more horrendous hours because they can't find anymore people to work. It's not a stable job at all and you're quite naive to think that.

If you are not predicted the grades for the unis you are looking at, then you need to be a lot more realistic and sensible and look at the unis that are around your grades.

There's no point in applying/looking at unis with AAA/BBB if you are not anywhere close to that symmetry of grades.

ABD is a not an even whole. You should be looking at BBC, or BCC universities. No uni asking for AAA-BBB will let you in with ABD. But just because universities have lower entry requirements, doesn't mean they are rubbish universities. It's not all about league tables.
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(Original post by The Empire Odyssey)
Sweetheart,

you cannot place blame on the English degrees, you place blame on the people who got them and had no idea what they wanted to do with their degree. If they left uni with an English degree, having no idea what job they wanted to go into after they graduated, then you can't hold the degree accountable. It's the people who only think "oh I have a degree, therefore I'm entitled to get any job out there". It doesn't work like that. You have to make sure you CV is good and stands out and make sure you can relate your degree to the outside world. For example, me studying Shakespeare, Medieval Philosophy and Philosophy of Language modules helps me understand complex language structures and concepts - ideal for working the advertising business. It's things like that you have to understand. It's what you get out of your degree and apply it to the real world.

Just because your family members didn't know how their English degree could help them, or they had no idea what career they wanted, you cannot fault the English degree.

Well you uni is the perfect time to not feel shy and like an introvert. Uni is a great opportunity to get out your comfort zone and etc. But you won't get very far if you think "I'm a shy and introverted person - that will do". You have to try harder in life. Nursing is not stable at all. With all the NHS cuts and it being in a crisis because they need more nurses and etc, you will have hell to pay. That means your job isn't secure just because you work for NHS and it means you'll be working even more horrendous hours because they can't find anymore people to work. It's not a stable job at all and you're quite naive to think that.

If you are not predicted the grades for the unis you are looking at, then you need to be a lot more realistic and sensible and look at the unis that are around your grades.

There's no point in applying/looking at unis with AAA/BBB if you are not anywhere close to that symmetry of grades.

ABD is a not an even whole. You should be looking at BBC, or BCC universities. No uni asking for AAA-BBB will let you in with ABD. But just because universities have lower entry requirements, doesn't mean they are rubbish universities. It's not all about league tables.
Hm, guess I am quite naive. But when everyone, both online and in real life (minus one) suggests a nursing degree over an English degree, it does sway your opinion.

I thought it was worth asking about the grades considering i know someone who got into biology at Royal Holloway; an ABB/BBB school with BCD grades. Considering biology is a pretty competitive subject, I don't blame myself for asking haha
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by Anygy)
Hm, guess I am quite naive. But when everyone, both online and in real life (minus one) suggests a nursing degree over an English degree, it does sway your opinion.

I thought it was worth asking about the grades considering i know someone who got into biology at Royal Holloway; an ABB/BBB school with BCD grades. Considering biology is a pretty competitive subject, I don't blame myself for asking haha
But that's the thing - it shouldn't be about people's opinion in order to sway your conclusion. If they aren't telling you the ups and downs to both degrees, then they are biased in one shape or form. Which isn't good advice. They (and you) should be looking into the positives and negatives of both degrees. At the end of the day, it's your own choice, no one elses. Rather than asking for an opinion, you should ask for advice. Then you will not have a biased answer.

No, asking is fine. But remember, this could be down to a number of different reasons. They could have had something personal happen to them during exams, their reference from teachers/headteacher could have been amazing, their personal statement could have been amazing, their background could have been the reason as to why RH accepted them, RH could have accepted them because their numbers for Biology were low so they picked a number of people who failed to hit their grades, or the mark/grade boundaries could have been incredibly high/difficult so unis set the bar a little lower, etc. There could literally be a handful of reasons and each case that is taken into consideration is of a different merit. Just because one person got in, doesn't mean everybody else who applied and didn't get their predicted grades got into their 1st or insurance choice.
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princessmaire80
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I've just completed an English degree- I'm pretty focused on what I want to do- I want to work in lecturing. It's took me until the age of 36 to actually get to what I've always wanted to do as I've never had the chance.
Nursing is a very difficult job. I've done nursing myself and if your heart isn't in it- forget it. If you're still adamant you want to do nursing I would suggest you take a few years out and go and get some work experience- perhaps as an HCA. If you are naive nursing is not the place for you! I waited until I was 25 to do nursing so I had a bit more life experience behind me and it still hit me like a juggernaut. It's a very very hard job!
I would personally suggest you go for the English degree. There's all kinds you can do with an English degree- if you go in unprepared as it sounds like you are to nursing I guarantee you won't last long- my cohort at Nottingham Uni started off in the sixties in numbers and by the end of the first year had dwindled to 34. That will tell you what the drop out rate is.
Take it from someone who has done both- nursing is a vocation and if you're not completely sure, don't do it.
I loved nursing and I miss it terribly- although I loved my English degree I read the threads on here and I wistfully wish that I was still nursing. I trained in the DipHe days- I would have loved to have been a doctor but I'm far too thick for that haha- I don't even know how I managed to make it onto nursing!
Good luck with whatever you decide x
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