Turn on thread page Beta

Is it weird to choose a degree subject only because you find it fascinating? watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    For my undergraduate studies I chose to study Criminology. I must admit, my choice was not based on anything concrete, just on the fact that I found the subject quite fascinating (I know, kinda reckless) even though I didn't know much about it. I ended up loving the subject (it made me more critical and increased my awareness of global issues) and graduating with a first class. Studying Criminology and analysing aspects such as cybercrime and financial crime encouraged my interest in the field of Cybersecurity. And guess what? I chose to continue my postgraduate studies in the aforementioned field. Again, my decision was based on my fascination with the subject, rather than personal aptitude or anything else. My question is: is interest in the subject, coupled with effort and hard work, enough for becoming good at it? Or is something as technical as Cybersecurity only suitable for programming or math geniuses?

    In addition: why did you choose your university degree subject? Was it because you found it interesting or because you were already good at it in high school? Or any other reason?
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Interest is arguably more important than anything else in my opinion. If you don't have the drive for your subject, you won't do as well as someone who actively reads or enjoys it.

    Can't speak much for cyber security but I know it has number theory in it and other pure mathsy type stuff. Best advice would be to speak to someone in that area.

    Some people choose their subject based in pay or what others want them to do. I think that how not to choose a subject. Make sure you control your life and not money or other people.

    I chose Chemistry because:

    1. I loved it at A level.
    2. It's highly respected and challenging.
    3. The applications of it are endless.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    Yeah , I defo went for my interests which wasn’t necessary playing to my strengths. I’d be naturally better doing English language but I think I’d be in a better position having my
    Human rights law degree and my masters in medical law and ethics now (in progress at least) its a bit more niche than English and the market isn’t quite saturated as it is with English oxox
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by stellaluna24)
    For my undergraduate studies I chose to study Criminology. I must admit, my choice was not based on anything concrete, just on the fact that I found the subject quite fascinating (I know, kinda reckless) even though I didn't know much about it. I ended up loving the subject (it made me more critical and increased my awareness of global issues) and graduating with a first class. Studying Criminology and analysing aspects such as cybercrime and financial crime encouraged my interest in the field of Cybersecurity. And guess what? I chose to continue my postgraduate studies in the aforementioned field. Again, my decision was based on my fascination with the subject, rather than personal aptitude or anything else. My question is: is interest in the subject, coupled with effort and hard work, enough for becoming good at it? Or is something as technical as Cybersecurity only suitable for programming or math geniuses?

    In addition: why did you choose your university degree subject? Was it because you found it interesting or because you were already good at it in high school? Or any other reason?
    You need to have a degree of technical ability for an InfoSec role. That's not to say you have to get a Double First in Mathematics at Cambridge with loads of cryptography experience though.

    I chose CompSci because I'd like to think I'm decent at it, and I also enjoy it.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    It was the only local place offering a module in Indian philosophy (for a few reasons I couldn't move away), and I'd been into (mainly) Buddhist and (also) Hindu philosophy for a little bit. When I found out who was responsible for running the Indian philosophy module, I went all-in and that same bloke is my PhD supervisor now.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    I chose my undergraduate degree (forensic chemistry) because I was interested in it but realised during final year that although I enjoyed it, it wasn't what I had a true passion for. Now my postgraduate studies are in forensic psychology, so not too dissimilar in terms of background, but where my full passions lie.
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    I'm choosing my degree subject (neuroscience) because I think it's fascinating, and because I'm enjoying biology and chemistry at secondary school. It's not necessarily what I'm good at, I'm better at languages and humanities, but I think it's better to study something slightly more challenging that you love, than something you're good at that you don't love that much.
    Offline

    18
    ReputationRep:
    I've chosen my maths degree because I love maths.
    I am good at maths but I wouldn't say I was a natural. there are some concepts which just don't come easy.
    I've chosen the open university as I cannot study full time.
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    One would hope this is the only consideration people would make in choosing a degree subject. Alas...
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    One would hope this is the only consideration people would make in choosing a degree subject. Alas...
    It's better to choose a degree subject which will give you a job that is useful to society. Doctors, lawyers, engineers are all useful. A degree in English, Sociology, History or other arts subject is pretty useless to wider society. Doesn't stop people doing them of course, but they are essentially pointless.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by snowman77)
    It's better to choose a degree subject which will give you a job that is useful to society. Doctors, lawyers, engineers are all useful. A degree in English, Sociology, History or other arts subject is pretty useless to wider society. Doesn't stop people doing them of course, but they are essentially pointless.
    So we should just not do anything that makes life worth living, and simply exist as slaves to capitalism?

    I certainly hope you don't end up becoming a doctor, lawyer, or engineer with that attitude...I would hope the people in "useful" jobs would be able to empathise with those who do anything else.

    I'm going to call it though, and say this is the dumbest thing I'll read today...
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by snowman77)
    It's better to choose a degree subject which will give you a job that is useful to society. Doctors, lawyers, engineers are all useful. A degree in English, Sociology, History or other arts subject is pretty useless to wider society. Doesn't stop people doing them of course, but they are essentially pointless.
    I don't see why those degrees are ever picked but maybe they have some plan for them.
    Posted on the TSR App. Download from Apple or Google Play
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by snowman77)
    It's better to choose a degree subject which will give you a job that is useful to society. Doctors, lawyers, engineers are all useful. A degree in English, Sociology, History or other arts subject is pretty useless to wider society. Doesn't stop people doing them of course, but they are essentially pointless.

    I think we don't realise how useful actually are those 'useless' degrees. Think about it: an English major can become a teacher, and this teacher can teach your kids how to read and write. Is knowing how to read and write useless? A sociology major can produce statistics on crimes committed in a certain neighbourhood. Is knowing which part of a city is safest, useless? We are made to think that certain degrees are useless because there are fewer jobs offered in those areas. I don't think jobs are offered according to the actual needs of society, they are offered according to what sells more. People are more interested in getting a new iPhone than in getting a better education for their children. Ergo, it is more profitable to hire an engineer than a teacher. Of course, both engineers and teachers are needed, and their demand should be balanced.

    I get that young people are scared of not finding a job if they pursue a 'useless' degree, but I think it's important to remember that not everyone can be a doctor or a lawyer. For example, a friend of mine once went to a doctor who had to google her symptoms: that should explain what I mean. There are jobs you can't pursue just for the salary prospects. To be a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer, one needs to have extreme passion, as for the vast majority of jobs in the world.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by stellaluna24)
    For my undergraduate studies I chose to study Criminology. I must admit, my choice was not based on anything concrete, just on the fact that I found the subject quite fascinating (I know, kinda reckless) even though I didn't know much about it. I ended up loving the subject (it made me more critical and increased my awareness of global issues) and graduating with a first class. Studying Criminology and analysing aspects such as cybercrime and financial crime encouraged my interest in the field of Cybersecurity. And guess what? I chose to continue my postgraduate studies in the aforementioned field. Again, my decision was based on my fascination with the subject, rather than personal aptitude or anything else. My question is: is interest in the subject, coupled with effort and hard work, enough for becoming good at it? Or is something as technical as Cybersecurity only suitable for programming or math geniuses?

    In addition: why did you choose your university degree subject? Was it because you found it interesting or because you were already good at it in high school? Or any other reason?


    criminology does sound interesting.


    now that you've got your degree how easy/hard is it to get a job in this field?
    Offline

    21
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    So we should just not do anything that makes life worth living, and simply exist as slaves to capitalism?

    I certainly hope you don't end up becoming a doctor, lawyer, or engineer with that attitude...I would hope the people in "useful" jobs would be able to empathise with those who do anything else.

    I'm going to call it though, and say this is the dumbest thing I'll read today...
    tbf while I dont agree with snowman77, your statement isnt that far off being as dumb as theirs either. Picking a subject based solely on your interest for it is silly for academic subjects as you need to make sure it leads to a career you think you will enjoy as most people dont work in the sector relevant to their degree when doing academic subjects.

    (note I still think you should enjoy what you study but it shouldnt be the only factor when choosing a subject)
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by madmadmax321)
    tbf while I dont agree with snowman77, your statement isnt that far off being as dumb as theirs either. Picking a subject based solely on your interest for it is silly for academic subjects as you need to make sure it leads to a career you think you will enjoy as most people dont work in the sector relevant to their degree when doing academic subjects.

    (note I still think you should enjoy what you study but it shouldnt be the only factor when choosing a subject)
    The fact you accept for a given that a degree is required for a career is part of the problem. A degree isn't, and shouldn't be, required for a stable career. There are roles that require specific prior training, but the vast majority of these grad schemes which require a degree to apply for could just as well take school leavers, or people who have been working after leaving school for a while, and do just as well with them.

    When you view a degree as training either for one of those specific vocations which requires formal academic study, such as engineering and medicine (law is somewhat debatable as to whether solicitors really require that), or training to become an academic in that field. You will obviously want to be choosing the area you are most interested in for the latter area, and for the former you should be motivated by something other than money given the huge level of accountability.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    Loads (and I mean loads) of jobs aren't arsed abut what specific degree you have, so unless you have some direct route in mind, who gives a ****?

    Loads of people comment on these things with the perspective of a 16 year old that's never worked. Funny.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    4
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ANM775)
    criminology does sound interesting.


    now that you've got your degree how easy/hard is it to get a job in this field?
    To be honest, it hasn't been very easy. I did get an internship for the NCA for a counter cybercrime role which specifically required a degree in criminology or similar (international relations, political science), which I was very enthusiastic about. Unfortunately, I was not granted the security clearance because of residential issues (I'm an EU resident and I completed my undergraduate degree in the UK, but couldn't get the documents to prove that I actually lived in the UK for those 3 years), so I did not get the chance to work. I also got a job in a navigation agency which wasn't directly related to my degree, but which required knowledge of the British legal system.
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    One would hope this is the only consideration people would make in choosing a degree subject. Alas...
    Wrong.
    • Community Assistant
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Community Assistant
    (Original post by stellaluna24)
    For my undergraduate studies I chose to study Criminology. I must admit, my choice was not based on anything concrete, just on the fact that I found the subject quite fascinating (I know, kinda reckless) even though I didn't know much about it. I ended up loving the subject (it made me more critical and increased my awareness of global issues) and graduating with a first class. Studying Criminology and analysing aspects such as cybercrime and financial crime encouraged my interest in the field of Cybersecurity. And guess what? I chose to continue my postgraduate studies in the aforementioned field. Again, my decision was based on my fascination with the subject, rather than personal aptitude or anything else. My question is: is interest in the subject, coupled with effort and hard work, enough for becoming good at it? Or is something as technical as Cybersecurity only suitable for programming or math geniuses?

    In addition: why did you choose your university degree subject? Was it because you found it interesting or because you were already good at it in high school? Or any other reason?
    The same reason as you. I enjoyed the subject and I had some experience with it. It was the first topic that had ever made me consider going to university so it made sense to do it when the time was right. You're obviously very good at the topic and I think that's largely due to your interest!

    I'm studying Psychology but will include forensics/crime. If I do well in my degree and I feel up to it, I might do a postgraduate in forensics/criminology - or something completely different seeing as psychology covers a lot of things!

    I am enjoying what I'm studying - it is really opening up my mind to everything, just like what you experienced. Every time I study, I feel like I'm learning something interesting, valuable or something that can be applied to life. I genuinely think I'll graduate a slightly different person (in a good way!) than when I first began. I'm also thinking about my future and things I'd be interested in doing as a career. I didn't realise studying a degree could cause such a feeling.

    I'm studying with the OU and there's thousands of people who are retired or do not work who are studying Open degrees, simply studying to learn about new things and to keep their brain active! Degrees are not always about career progression.
 
 
 

University open days

  1. University of Bradford
    University-wide Postgraduate
    Wed, 25 Jul '18
  2. University of Buckingham
    Psychology Taster Tutorial Undergraduate
    Wed, 25 Jul '18
  3. Bournemouth University
    Clearing Campus Visit Undergraduate
    Wed, 1 Aug '18
Poll
How are you feeling in the run-up to Results Day 2018?

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.