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True or false - non-STEM degrees are a waste of time?

Is it true that a non-STEM degree, say English for instance, is a waste of time and won't lead to a good career?
(edited 10 months ago)

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Original post by ELAL2023
Is it true that a non-STEM degree, say in English, is a waste of time and won't lead to a career?

No. You can get a job without a STEM degree. Can you imagine a biology graduate becoming an english teacher?
Is there an advantage in doing an English degree or is it viewed as being a waste of time, like other humanities subjects?
Original post by TypicalNerd
No. You can get a job without a STEM degree. Can you imagine a biology graduate becoming an english teacher?


Yes that's what I thought, but people have told me that an English degree, outside teaching, won't lead to an 'established' career because it's a humanities subject with poor employment prospects.
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by ELAL2023
Yes that's what I thought, but people have told me that an English degree, outside teaching, won't lead to an 'established' career because it's a humanities subject with poor employment prospects.

It depends really.

I have an auntie who studied history at uni (she was told countless times it would be a useless degree) and ended up working as an accountant (presumably because she had an A level in maths and because she picked up plenty of transferrable skills in her degree studies).
(edited 10 months ago)
Reply 5
It depends on the subject. Econ, law, accounting and finance, all are decent options. Provided you do them at a reputable university of course.
Reply 6
I’ll

Original post by TypicalNerd
It depends really.

I have an auntie who studied history at uni (she was told countless times it would be a useless degree) and ended up working as an accountant (presumably because she had an A level in maths and because she picked up plenty of transferrable skills in her degree studies).


yeah but let’s not act like the job market is the same as 20-30 years ago, whenever your auntie started to work.
Original post by MrSoloDolo
I’ll



yeah but let’s not act like the job market is the same as 20-30 years ago, whenever your auntie started to work.


It’s a fair point. The job market has changed, though I still imagine to some extent that if you have a degree and xyz set of transferrable skills, it may make you employable in other sectors.
Original post by TypicalNerd
It depends really.

I have an auntie who studied history at uni (she was told countless times it would be a useless degree) and ended up working as an accountant (presumably because she had an A level in maths and because she picked up plenty of transferrable skills in her degree studies).

Really? A history graduate going into accounting, that seems unusual. I didn't think you needed a degree for accounting, considering how many apprenticeships there are in that industry. But if someone was to be an accountant, I would have thought they'd study a degree in accounting or finance. People going into jobs that are completely unrelated to their degrees makes no sense to me, but I never went to uni. I was just wanted to know why so many think lowly of non-STEM degrees.
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by ELAL2023
Really? A history graduate going into accounting, that seems unusual. I didn't think you needed a degree for accounting, considering how many apprenticeships there are in that industry. But if someone was to be an accountant, I would have thought they'd study a degree in accounting or finance.


Yes. Though she did go to Cambridge and it was about 20 years ago she started studying there.
Original post by TypicalNerd
Yes. Though she did go to Cambridge and it was about 20 years ago she started studying there.


Ah ok, well I guess Oxbridge students are more academic.
Doing a quick google search for “can you go into accounting with a history degree”, I found the following:

Students from degree disciplines such as engineering, philosophy, law, history and modern languages can all qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in three years. Graduates do not require a finance-related degree or even maths at A-level to start their rewarding career as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.
Original post by TypicalNerd
It’s a fair point. The job market has changed, though I still imagine to some extent that if you have a degree and xyz set of transferrable skills, it may make you employable in other sectors.

no dispute from me, but your auntie isn’t the typical applicant, she went to Cambridge and started 20 years ago.
Original post by MrSoloDolo
no dispute from me, but your auntie isn’t the typical applicant, she went to Cambridge and started 20 years ago.

I do agree. It was a poor example to use.
Reply 14
Original post by TypicalNerd
It depends really.

I have an auntie who studied history at uni (she was told countless times it would be a useless degree) and ended up working as an accountant (presumably because she had an A level in maths and because she picked up plenty of transferrable skills in her degree studies).


To become a chartered accountant you don’t need A level maths. Any degree STEM or arts makes no difference as long as it’s achieved at a reasonable level from a reasonable uni. ( I didn’t do A level maths and got offers from all of the big 4 in London)
Original post by TypicalNerd
Doing a quick google search for “can you go into accounting with a history degree”, I found the following:

Students from degree disciplines such as engineering, philosophy, law, history and modern languages can all qualify as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant in three years. Graduates do not require a finance-related degree or even maths at A-level to start their rewarding career as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

Wow, that has really surprised me. I've always believed that industry experience is more important than qualifications and to be honest, I'm not really a fan of universities or degrees but I understand and respect people's choice of wanting to go if it's in their best interests (though I don't have a degree).
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by Euapp
To become a chartered accountant you don’t need A level maths. Any degree STEM or arts makes no difference as long as it’s achieved at a reasonable level from a reasonable uni. ( I didn’t do A level maths and got offers from all of the big 4 in London)

Fair. I was largely speculating as I am a soon to be STEM student myself and haven’t considered accounting as a career, so I knew next to nothing about it.
Reply 18
Degrees in the humanities are worth less now because there are a lot more students going to uni. Please choose your degree based on what job you want to do. Don't pay £40k for something that won't improve your long term earning potential.

I can't think of a job outside of teaching or education that would have an English degree as a requirement.

I'm not saying this to slate English students, obviously if you can afford to study something that just for the passion that's the ideal situation, but if you are one of the majority that will have to work for a living you should think about what job you will be doing post uni like right now.
(edited 10 months ago)
Original post by johndenver
Degrees in the humanities are worth less now because there are a lot more students going to uni. Please choose your degree based on what job you want to do. Don't pay £40k for something that won't improve your long term earning potential.

I can't think of a job outside of teaching or education that would have an English degree as a requirement.

I'm not saying this to slate English students, obviously if you can afford to study something that just for the passion that's the ideal situation, but if you are one of the majority that will have to work for a living you should think about what job you will be doing post uni like right now.

Yes that's a good point. I didn't go to uni because I had little interest in wanting to pursue a degree. What you say is very true - you have to be sure it's going to lead you somewhere. Going to uni is not cheap (unless you're rich) so committing to it for 3 years is a waste of time if it leads you nowhere. I know a couple of people who went to uni and are struggling to find a job, other than in retail stacking shelves with a lot of debt.

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