biomed or geo

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lilyrose270
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#1
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#1
I'm in a dilemma and I'm not sure what to do.
I'm deciding between a STEM (biomed) and a geography degree but knowing the job prospects of the latter makes me question the worth of a humanities degree.

I've heard any degree from a target university holds you in a good position to apply for finance jobs, but how true is that? Surely an Economics grad from a Russel Group uni will possess an advantage over a History grad from Cambridge?

Another q: I see far more graduate schemes that require a specific or at least a STEM degree than those that don't require a degree discipline. So should I play it safe by sticking to a stem degree?
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AS190
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#2
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#2
I'm in my final year of Biomed at a non-target uni (I think lol) and i've got a graduate job offer for audit (accounting) at PwC

From the experience i've had with applying to finance nobody cares about your degree subject or what uni you went to if i'm honest, they just wanna see you're predicted a 2:1.

As someone who is doing Biomed though I would recommend you to only do the degree if you actually like it, it's a lot of hard work (currently writing my dissertation and i c b a lol) so if you enjoy geography more I would do that if i'm honest.

Hope this helps
Last edited by AS190; 3 months ago
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artful_lounger
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#3
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#3
(Original post by lilyrose270)
I'm in a dilemma and I'm not sure what to do.
I'm deciding between a STEM (biomed) and a geography degree but knowing the job prospects of the latter makes me question the worth of a humanities degree.

I've heard any degree from a target university holds you in a good position to apply for finance jobs, but how true is that? Surely an Economics grad from a Russel Group uni will possess an advantage over a History grad from Cambridge?

Another q: I see far more graduate schemes that require a specific or at least a STEM degree than those that don't require a degree discipline. So should I play it safe by sticking to a stem degree?
That's not how it works.

Generally employers don't care what subject you studied. For most jobs, they don't even care where you studied. Pretty much the "target uni" thing only applies to investment banking and management consulting - in that case a history grad from Cambridge would likely be preferred/not filtered compared to an economics grad from a non-target uni.

However beyond this in all cases work experience is the critical differentiator between applicants, not what subject they studied or (outside of IBanking/consulting) where they studied. A Cambridge grad in applied financial econometrics (NB this course does not exist) who did nothing but turn up to exams for three years is not going to be more employable than someone going to a non-Oxbridge uni doing underwater basket weaving but who got internships every summer, some kind of work placement/shadowing/taster scheme every other vacation, and did a year in industry.

A STEM degree in of itself does not guarantee any kind of job prospects. In fact, no degree in any subject from any uni does this, except medicine due to the nature of that specific profession and the training route for it.
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lilyrose270
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#4
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#4
(Original post by artful_lounger)
That's not how it works.

Generally employers don't care what subject you studied. For most jobs, they don't even care where you studied. Pretty much the "target uni" thing only applies to investment banking and management consulting - in that case a history grad from Cambridge would likely be preferred/not filtered compared to an economics grad from a non-target uni.

However beyond this in all cases work experience is the critical differentiator between applicants, not what subject they studied or (outside of IBanking/consulting) where they studied. A Cambridge grad in applied financial econometrics (NB this course does not exist) who did nothing but turn up to exams for three years is not going to be more employable than someone going to a non-Oxbridge uni doing underwater basket weaving but who got internships every summer, some kind of work placement/shadowing/taster scheme every other vacation, and did a year in industry.

A STEM degree in of itself does not guarantee any kind of job prospects. In fact, no degree in any subject from any uni does this, except medicine due to the nature of that specific profession and the training route for it.
Hi thank you so much for replying!
When I mentioned finance I was referring to IB/management consulting so I'm correct in that the concept of 'target unis' is applicable in those sectors.
It's interesting that you've emphasised work experience through internships/placement..etc but don't some internships have a prerequisite? e.g https://www.brightnetwork.co.uk/grad...nternship-2022 or this SWE one https://g.co/kgs/Pf6Ae3

Your last point is so important. I was in a mindset that completely overestimated the value of a degree and it doesn't help that my sixth form pushed it on us so forcefully.
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scg123
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#5
Biomed is sometimes unfairly looked down upon as a kind of "b-tec medicine" but I have no doubt it is hard. I would suggest that you select whichever one you enjoy more.

If you would prefer to be learning about G-protein coupled receptors and how antagonising beta-1 adrenoceptors will lead to an intracellular signalling cascade to increase heart rate then choose biomed. If you prefer learning about the world, conservation etc. then geo might be better.

I'd assume that you can do a PhD in both if you wanted and then you could become an academic. If you just wanted the degree then you could go into teaching with both - I'd say there's a shortage of both science and geography teachers. There are so many jobs you could go into with both. If it's about money then maybe stick with the science but it's a lot of hard work. Just go for whichever one you prefer.
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lilyrose270
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#6
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#6
(Original post by AS190)
I'm in my final year of Biomed at a non-target uni (I think lol) and i've got a graduate job offer for audit (accounting) at PwC

From the experience i've had with applying to finance nobody cares about your degree subject or what uni you went to if i'm honest, they just wanna see you're predicted a 2:1.

As someone who is doing Biomed though I would recommend you to only do the degree if you actually like it, it's a lot of hard work (currently writing my dissertation and i c b a lol) so if you enjoy geography more I would do that if i'm honest.

Hope this helps
Thank you for your reply! Aww good luck with the dissertation and congrats on the audit job! Your experience has definitely reassured me about my worries regarding degree choice. Tbh I don't really think I'd enjoy biomed more than geo- it just seemed like a relevant course that matched my a-levels (bio,chem.geo).
Also could I ask did you apply for the buldge bracket banks (e.g JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley...etc)
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lilyrose270
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#7
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#7
(Original post by scg123)
Biomed is sometimes unfairly looked down upon as a kind of "b-tec medicine" but I have no doubt it is hard. I would suggest that you select whichever one you enjoy more.
You're definitely right. The other coined term is 'med reject' but it does seem like an equally vigorous degree just like any other stem degree. I am money-driven but I have more of a preference over geo than Biomed.
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artful_lounger
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#8
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#8
(Original post by lilyrose270)
Hi thank you so much for replying!
When I mentioned finance I was referring to IB/management consulting so I'm correct in that the concept of 'target unis' is applicable in those sectors.
It's interesting that you've emphasised work experience through internships/placement..etc but don't some internships have a prerequisite? e.g https://www.brightnetwork.co.uk/grad...nternship-2022 or this SWE one https://g.co/kgs/Pf6Ae3

Your last point is so important. I was in a mindset that completely overestimated the value of a degree and it doesn't help that my sixth form pushed it on us so forcefully.
Economist roles are not investment banking roles, and are a pretty small range of roles (and internships) available. Likewise software engineering is a totally different field. I said "generally" not "always" and common sense dictates that a specialist role will require a specialist background. You can't apply to be a sonographer without a relevant health professions degree and background either.

Investment banking, management consulting, accountancy, and the vast majority of roles in media, the civil service, and general "business"/corporate jobs are generalist roles requiring no specific background. If you want to become a software engineer then you need a particular background. If you want to become a hedge fund manager you do not.
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AS190
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#9
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#9
(Original post by lilyrose270)
Thank you for your reply! Aww good luck with the dissertation and congrats on the audit job! Your experience has definitely reassured me about my worries regarding degree choice. Tbh I don't really think I'd enjoy biomed more than geo- it just seemed like a relevant course that matched my a-levels (bio,chem.geo).
Also could I ask did you apply for the buldge bracket banks (e.g JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley...etc)
Biomed is actually a great course, i've really enjoyed the content but there is a lot to learn in comparison to most degrees

Yes i did apply to them
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