Is it worth going back to university get a BSc or BE degree after a BA?

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JNewton97
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Hey everyone and anyone. I'm looking for some advice or maybe just to start a conversation about going back to uni for a different degree. If you have a few words on the matter please jump in!

So little back story on my situation. I left school with very poor grades C in maths and English and a handful of passes for my BTECs. Ultimately this was due to what I would consider "late mental maturity" as I would avoid doing things I didn't like and spent my youth playing video games. The only thing I did like was music technology. So I basically went full send into it and did three years at college to get a D*D*D from an extended BTEC diploma in music technology.

This is where my biggest downfall was... I was under overwhelming pressure from my father to just "get any f***ing degree" as "I would be able to walk into any job you wanted". Still suffering from my "late mental maturity" and probably a basket of other unknown mental shortcomings, I took his word for solid gold and could not see any faults in his preachings (to this day, it actually makes me upset and resentful that he both lied to me and that I listened..).
Out of slight panic and desperation, I leapt into the first university that gave me an unconditional offer without ANY research into university, further education, job prospects, loans.. the lot.

I received a First Class award from a BA degree in creative music technology from a low ranking university (104 in my second/third year, sitting at about 90~ now, if anyone really cares). The degree was very art-based with little creditable skills (other than "transferable soft skills".. obviously). The degree feels like it has left me little choice than to either freelance or go into teaching, neither of those are particularly favourable to me. I have been graduated and unemployed since 2019 and struggling to cope. Now, this may be a covid related dry spill of jobs (especially since the arts in the UK are dying with little hope from the government) but I am feeling lower than I ever have in my life.

I am heavily considering going back to university to get a second degree which is still around sound/music/audio but more technical and gives me actual job prospects. The difference this time is I'm actually researching the job field to see the requirements/skills needed, then studying accordingly.

Most of the degrees I'm speculating over require A level maths and science, so it's a given I will have to take a year out to do a foundation year to get my core subjects up to scratch. I think I would like to do this regardless because a lot of my hobbies are getting stunted by my ignorance of mid-level maths.


Basically, does anyone have experience with this kind of situation or simply have wise words or strong opinions on the matter?
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Mhazie
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Omg I feel so sorry for you. I know so many people who got led by their parents' out of date belief in the utility of a degree!

Firstly, ugh, covid ****s literally every single arts career up, so that'll just be tricky across the board I'm guessing.

Secondly - is a degree really going to help you get a more technical sound job? I say that in complete ignorance, maybe it will! In which case, go for it! But like, I know friends who have degrees in performancy type subjects, and apart from the one who went to a really specialist place, all of them see themselves as losing out to people who didn't spend three years at uni and instead did apprenticeships/got in from the ground up.

So, like, idk, my only advice would be to REALLY check that it DOES actually give you those improved job prospects. What do job ads say, etc. And also, how are you going to pay for it? SLC won't fund you for a second undergraduate degree (with a few exceptions.)

But anyway, that sounds like a horrible situation to be in, and I wish you the best of luck!
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by JNewton97)
Hey everyone and anyone. I'm looking for some advice or maybe just to start a conversation about going back to uni for a different degree. If you have a few words on the matter please jump in!

So little back story on my situation. I left school with very poor grades C in maths and English and a handful of passes for my BTECs. Ultimately this was due to what I would consider "late mental maturity" as I would avoid doing things I didn't like and spent my youth playing video games. The only thing I did like was music technology. So I basically went full send into it and did three years at college to get a D*D*D from an extended BTEC diploma in music technology.

This is where my biggest downfall was... I was under overwhelming pressure from my father to just "get any f***ing degree" as "I would be able to walk into any job you wanted". Still suffering from my "late mental maturity" and probably a basket of other unknown mental shortcomings, I took his word for solid gold and could not see any faults in his preachings (to this day, it actually makes me upset and resentful that he both lied to me and that I listened..).
Out of slight panic and desperation, I leapt into the first university that gave me an unconditional offer without ANY research into university, further education, job prospects, loans.. the lot.

I received a First Class award from a BA degree in creative music technology from a low ranking university (104 in my second/third year, sitting at about 90~ now, if anyone really cares). The degree was very art-based with little creditable skills (other than "transferable soft skills".. obviously). The degree feels like it has left me little choice than to either freelance or go into teaching, neither of those are particularly favourable to me. I have been graduated and unemployed since 2019 and struggling to cope. Now, this may be a covid related dry spill of jobs (especially since the arts in the UK are dying with little hope from the government) but I am feeling lower than I ever have in my life.

I am heavily considering going back to university to get a second degree which is still around sound/music/audio but more technical and gives me actual job prospects. The difference this time is I'm actually researching the job field to see the requirements/skills needed, then studying accordingly.

Most of the degrees I'm speculating over require A level maths and science, so it's a given I will have to take a year out to do a foundation year to get my core subjects up to scratch. I think I would like to do this regardless because a lot of my hobbies are getting stunted by my ignorance of mid-level maths.


Basically, does anyone have experience with this kind of situation or simply have wise words or strong opinions on the matter?
I'm afraid it's not going to make any difference. Your whole post displays a mindset that is stopping you. A first in a creative degree, when you still have the desire to work in the creative sector is a soft skills issue and a mindset issue, not a technical one that further qualifications will help.

Stop making excuses and be creative. Make music or whatever your product is, put it out there, volunteer, work with charities, set up your own business, build a profile, join organisations, get noticed. You simply aren't working in a sector where daily reviews of Indeed and Reed etc are going to get you a job. You may not want to freelance permanently, but you are in a sector where freelancing is the one thing you can keep doing and have to do in periods where you aren't formally employed. You have to 'freelance' or at least get yourself out there, or you won't make the connections that get you the income.

Stop blaming your father, your low ranking university, covid, the government etc. You've got excellent results in a creative subject - that's you that did that - get on and do what you have the talent for, and grow your skills, contacts and a job out of that.
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JNewton97
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(Original post by Mhazie)
Omg I feel so sorry for you. I know so many people who got led by their parents' out of date belief in the utility of a degree!

Firstly, ugh, covid ****s literally every single arts career up, so that'll just be tricky across the board I'm guessing.

Secondly - is a degree really going to help you get a more technical sound job? I say that in complete ignorance, maybe it will! In which case, go for it! But like, I know friends who have degrees in performancy type subjects, and apart from the one who went to a really specialist place, all of them see themselves as losing out to people who didn't spend three years at uni and instead did apprenticeships/got in from the ground up.

So, like, idk, my only advice would be to REALLY check that it DOES actually give you those improved job prospects. What do job ads say, etc. And also, how are you going to pay for it? SLC won't fund you for a second undergraduate degree (with a few exceptions.)

But anyway, that sounds like a horrible situation to be in, and I wish you the best of luck!

I was hoping that I would aim my studies towards say, acousticians, audio R&D, software design for audio. It's still audio but not strictly musical. But a huge deciding factor was the funding, I have no way to fund a second degree and now knowing the SLC don't openly hand out a second degree loan has pretty much stopped me in my tracks for now.

Thank you for your your input!
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GabiAbi84
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(Original post by JNewton97)
I was hoping that I would aim my studies towards say, acousticians, audio R&D, software design for audio. It's still audio but not strictly musical. But a huge deciding factor was the funding, I have no way to fund a second degree and now knowing the SLC don't openly hand out a second degree loan has pretty much stopped me in my tracks for now.

Thank you for your your input!
Why not look at masters that will take you in a direction you’d want to go?
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JNewton97
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
I'm afraid it's not going to make any difference. Your whole post displays a mindset that is stopping you. A first in a creative degree, when you still have the desire to work in the creative sector is a soft skills issue and a mindset issue, not a technical one that further qualifications will help.

Stop making excuses and be creative. Make music or whatever your product is, put it out there, volunteer, work with charities, set up your own business, build a profile, join organisations, get noticed. You simply aren't working in a sector where daily reviews of Indeed and Reed etc are going to get you a job. You may not want to freelance permanently, but you are in a sector where freelancing is the one thing you can keep doing and have to do in periods where you aren't formally employed. You have to 'freelance' or at least get yourself out there, or you won't make the connections that get you the income.

Stop blaming your father, your low ranking university, covid, the government etc. You've got excellent results in a creative subject - that's you that did that - get on and do what you have the talent for, and grow your skills, contacts and a job out of that.

I'm glad you picked up on my mindset, I'm not in the best place currently but on my way up.

"A first in a creative degree, when you still have the desire to work in the creative sector......." I'm going to have to agree and disagree with you there, well maybe disagree as I never specific I wanted to remain in a creative sector. Many career paths within audio and music that I'm considering require a high level of alternative non-creative experience or specific degrees in the field.

As for the freelance statement, I simply do not want to freelance, more so I am incapable of doing so. I have been attempting it since 2016 with little to no results. I simply do not have the social ability or drive to keep it up. If I was told at the start of my degree that freelancing would be a central part of my life I would have jumped ship immediately.

I didn't suggest I'm passing the blame onto something that isn't myself. It's just a fact that these are significant occurrence/events in my life that play a huge role in where I am today, whether it's my fault or not. To simply "get on and do what you have the talent for, and grow your skills, contacts and a job out of that" is much easier said than done. There are many, many hurdles that I am trying to overcome and simply "getting on with it" is not exactly a solution.
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JNewton97
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(Original post by GabiAbi84)
Why not look at masters that will take you in a direction you’d want to go?
I am still currently researching into masters. So far they all seem to take me further down the rabbit hole that I'm already stuck in. I have heard that you can do masters that are in something completely different from your degree. That would be something I'd like to consider if it's possible.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by JNewton97)
I'm glad you picked up on my mindset, I'm not in the best place currently but on my way up.

"A first in a creative degree, when you still have the desire to work in the creative sector......." I'm going to have to agree and disagree with you there, well maybe disagree as I never specific I wanted to remain in a creative sector. Many career paths within audio and music that I'm considering require a high level of alternative non-creative experience or specific degrees in the field.

As for the freelance statement, I simply do not want to freelance, more so I am incapable of doing so. I have been attempting it since 2016 with little to no results. I simply do not have the social ability or drive to keep it up. If I was told at the start of my degree that freelancing would be a central part of my life I would have jumped ship immediately.

I didn't suggest I'm passing the blame onto something that isn't myself. It's just a fact that these are significant occurrence/events in my life that play a huge role in where I am today, whether it's my fault or not. To simply "get on and do what you have the talent for, and grow your skills, contacts and a job out of that" is much easier said than done. There are many, many hurdles that I am trying to overcome and simply "getting on with it" is not exactly a solution.
Freelancing is, in some format or another, pretty fundamental to most creative roles, because they are so project based. So freelance work not only fills in the gaps between projects, it creates the experience and networks to enable access to the projects or to long term jobs. It isn't always strictly freelancing, or you can think of it as something else, but it's about spotting opportunities, creating opportunities and not waiting for opportunities to turn up, because they won't.

Everyone has reasons for the journey to where they are now, but you can't let that define you such that is stops you, and the stronger mindset is a forward looking on. it's fantastic that you can see you are on the way up, and the way further upwards is to put the past behind you and look to the future and focus on the active hunt for opportunities.

Can you look towards a 5 year plan, whereby the goal is that in 5 years you will be in X job? Then you've the space and time for 2-3 prior steps. Break that down into something like the necessary training/volunteering you need in year 1, and entry level job in years 2-3, a bit more of an established job, developing skills in year 4 and then hunting for the 5 year plan job thereafter. What would that look like for you?
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GabiAbi84
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(Original post by JNewton97)
I am still currently researching into masters. So far they all seem to take me further down the rabbit hole that I'm already stuck in. I have heard that you can do masters that are in something completely different from your degree. That would be something I'd like to consider if it's possible.
It’s certainly possible (within reason) it just limits your options slightly.
You can look at conversion masters -completely different subject.
Or look at music masters that give a wider variety of degree entry’s.
Findamasters can help narrow down fields.
Since you have a first with your degree that will help open doors.
A masters will allow you to obtain postgrad funding.
Your other option is to find a stem degree that is connected and do it part time which would attract the second degree funding.
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