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Are all Arts degrees less worthwhile than Science degrees? Watch

  • View Poll Results: Do Arts degrees have less employment prospects than Science degrees?
    Yes
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    34.78%
    No
    15
    65.22%

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    Dear Mods - Please if possible keep this here for a bit before moving, as I would like a good range of responses.

    So I was talking today to someone studying a scientific degree who became quite flared up when I said that a BA degree such as History was on par with his. I am quite a softly spoken person, so I must admit, I didn't really argue my case well for BAs and just let him have his moment. Is it true, or was what he was saying nonsense? Is an Arts degree such as History/English (even from Oxbridge, Durham, LSE etc.) really inferior in terms of graduate prospects to those who study scientific degrees?
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    (Original post by Churchill1945)
    Dear Mods - Please if possible keep this here for a bit before moving, as I would like a good range of responses.

    So I was talking today to someone studying a scientific degree who became quite flared up when I said that a BA degree such as History was on par with his. I am quite a softly spoken person, so I must admit, I didn't really argue my case well for BAs and just let him have his moment. Is it true, or was what he was saying nonsense? Is an Arts degree such as History/English (even from Oxbridge, Durham, LSE etc.) really inferior in terms of graduate prospects to those who study scientific degrees?
    Worthwhile to whom? this is all about stem supremacy again. Science degrees tend t have more jobs where course content is directly applicable and so can be more in demand. A good arts degree can be more valuable to the individual and an employer in certain circumstances so its horses for courses and it depends.

    So to say ALL Arts degrees are worth less is too much of a generality and you need to more tightly define what you mean. Its not something you should lose sleep over bit it gets the stem supremacists excited.
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    (Original post by Churchill1945)
    Dear Mods - Please if possible keep this here for a bit before moving, as I would like a good range of responses.

    So I was talking today to someone studying a scientific degree who became quite flared up when I said that a BA degree such as History was on par with his. I am quite a softly spoken person, so I must admit, I didn't really argue my case well for BAs and just let him have his moment. Is it true, or was what he was saying nonsense? Is an Arts degree such as History/English (even from Oxbridge, Durham, LSE etc.) really inferior in terms of graduate prospects to those who study scientific degrees?
    depends on what job you're getting into
    in general, sciencey jobs tend to be more well paid because they ARE seen as harder.

    NOT that subjects like history or english are easy. i'd never think that. but comparing such subjects with science, most people are inclined to say stem subjects are superior

    but if we're comparing a science degree at a normal uni with an arts degree at oxbridge, i'd say the arts degree would trump the science degree in this case.
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    I'm sure Damien Hirst really regrets studying fine art, while all those unemployed computer science graduates found their degrees worthwhile.

    Which is another way of saying it depends.

    Also should add.... a lot of people studying science who wish to work in their scientific field often face comparative poor pay to other graduate careers and really *****y job security.
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    Depends on the sector. Science has a lot of money in it because currently, society needs more scientists.
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    Excluding vocational degrees like engineering, medicine etc then I wouldn't say so, as others have said though the only real answer is it depends.
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    Something that hasn't been given enough attention is that a thesis for a STEM subject contains many graphs, diagrams, tables, and equations along with references in the text to them. Social sciences and humanities theses - including law - are just words, words, and more words.

    Surely STEM graduates should be rewarded for this alone as their theses are harder to put together and they have more transferrable skills in typesetting and using advanced features on a document processor whereas social sciences and humanities students could have created their thesis with WordStar from the 1980s and printed it on a daisywheel printer.
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    Degree subject does not usually equate to career and so your employment prospects are no necessarily driven by your degree.

    Having recruited both scientists and historians into the same graduate jobs (and a range of them), they aren't necessarily better or worse than the other.

    However, if you want a STEM career, you typically need a STEM degree. But there are plenty of non STEM jobs about there.
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    (Original post by Churchill1945)
    Dear Mods - Please if possible keep this here for a bit before moving, as I would like a good range of responses.
    :toofunny:
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    (Original post by Churchill1945)
    Dear Mods - Please if possible keep this here for a bit before moving, as I would like a good range of responses.

    So I was talking today to someone studying a scientific degree who became quite flared up when I said that a BA degree such as History was on par with his. I am quite a softly spoken person, so I must admit, I didn't really argue my case well for BAs and just let him have his moment. Is it true, or was what he was saying nonsense? Is an Arts degree such as History/English (even from Oxbridge, Durham, LSE etc.) really inferior in terms of graduate prospects to those who study scientific degrees?
    Try playing with the table on here (but do be cautious about over extrapolating the results.

    https://www.economist.com/news/brita...duate-salaries

    Average salary 5 years post graduation - Durham uni:

    - English £28k
    - History £33k
    - Maths £36k
    - Engineering £37k

    All 2014 salaries so mid recession. The gap between degree types is somewhat greater in mid rank universities.
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    (Original post by ZiggyStardust_)
    depends on what job you're getting into
    in general, sciencey jobs tend to be more well paid because they ARE seen as harder.
    ......

    but if we're comparing a science degree at a normal uni with an arts degree at oxbridge, i'd say the arts degree would trump the science degree in this case.
    I think its that they are more in demand than seen as harder. Digging holes in the road pays more than the average English graduate earns but has nothing like the intellectual load......

    comparing degrees by income by university (Economist/ Government figures):

    average Oxbridge English graduates 5 years post graduation £30.5k (top 2 for pay)
    about 50 Engineering courses pay more than this, and around 30 maths.

    English is surprisingly low paid - I suspect that many of the top arts/ humanities graduates would see greater pay at the 10/15 year post graduation point.
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      You can't make this judgement without knowing someone's motive for studying an Arts degree. They might have their career planned out and specifically need that degree for it - and therefore, they're successful. Similarly, someone could be studying a STEM subject and have no idea what they want to do with it. So in response to your question, an Arts degree, in this scenario, would be "more worthwhile" and you could say exactly the same for STEM.
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      Doesn't matter. At the end of the day it's down to whether or not a person has the skills and suitability to do the job. The fact is that people without STEM degrees get into STEM jobs (and vice versa), obviously it helps to have a STEM degree for a STEM job but not essential by any means. Especially for a graduate, employers recruit people for their potential, their mindset and suitability. Skills can be learned on the job and most entry level jobs aren't going to be asking too many specialist skills. There are some exception to this by common sense but it's important to remember someone's worth isn't determined by degree alone.
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      It depends on what context you're looking at worthwhile really; wanting to be a history teacher, for example, it's clear one would be considerably more valuable than the other.

      In general, I think people are too dismissive of BA degrees, however - I don't presume to be able to pass one easily, and I think those that do overlook the work and the time that goes into them, which is at least on par with a BSc in my view.
     
     
     
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