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Stuck in life don't know what degree to do

Hi my name is Luna I just finished my A levels and on a gap year. I achieved grades ABB in Maths, History and Computer Science respectively.

Looking back I wish I studied more interesting things that I actually care about like Politics, English or Economics. I love all the humanities subjects and Maths was just something that I was good at and didn't mind because it was important to keep my degree options open at the end so here I am.

My biggest dream in life and the thing I have been obsessing over for the past 6 years is to become a film director or a writer in some capacity because I am currently fixated by my current project. I don't think I'll become the next JK Rowling but I know that I will deeply regret it if I don't try because it genuinely brings me happiness to focus on that kind of work.

So I don't know what to do. I know that you can't just expect to make a living off something like this without a solid foundation to fund your dream as I know a lot of artists have a day job to keep their lights on while they work on their passions.

So I was thinking of going for a Maths degree. But I'm actually torn between that or a Politics degree which is another passion of mine that will influence my thinking and style for stories.

I don't really know what jobs I want to do so maybe Maths will help keep more doors open and I should just consume humanities subjects in my own leisure through reading books. I was thinking of saving up and maybe going for a film degree in the US sometime in the future.

I just need someone to be brutally honest with me here.

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Original post by Luna1cat
Hi my name is Luna I just finished my A levels and on a gap year. I achieved grades ABB in Maths, History and Computer Science respectively.

Looking back I wish I studied more interesting things that I actually care about like Politics, English or Economics. I love all the humanities subjects and Maths was just something that I was good at and didn't mind because it was important to keep my degree options open at the end so here I am.

My biggest dream in life and the thing I have been obsessing over for the past 6 years is to become a film director or a writer in some capacity because I am currently fixated by my current project. I don't think I'll become the next JK Rowling but I know that I will deeply regret it if I don't try because it genuinely brings me happiness to focus on that kind of work.

So I don't know what to do. I know that you can't just expect to make a living off something like this without a solid foundation to fund your dream as I know a lot of artists have a day job to keep their lights on while they work on their passions.

So I was thinking of going for a Maths degree. But I'm actually torn between that or a Politics degree which is another passion of mine that will influence my thinking and style for stories.

I don't really know what jobs I want to do so maybe Maths will help keep more doors open and I should just consume humanities subjects in my own leisure through reading books. I was thinking of saving up and maybe going for a film degree in the US sometime in the future.

I just need someone to be brutally honest with me here.


It depends on your life goals. You're likely going to earn more money with a Mathematics degree but that is certainly not the most important factor. If politics is what you are interested in then that's certainly not a bad choice. Yes, the options are more limited when compared to a Mathematics graduate but that does not mean to say it's impossible, or even difficult for that matter to make use of a Politics degree and have a good career.

What I would say to a family member is to focus on film directing/writing. You might live until you're 90+ years old and spending some time seeing if your dream is a good fit for you is certainly not wasted time nor will it take up much of your life relatively speaking. There is certainly the potential that you could be successful in this area and I would hate to potentially rob the world of a JK Rowling.

You also want to be realistic when undertaking this though; make sure that it is not an all-or-nothing pursuit. Have some kind of safety net in place before you jump into it. It's also important to manage your progress and ensure you know when to stop and move on if it happens that writing/directing doesn't suit you.

Basically, no one can answer this for you, it depends on your own aspirations. Trust your own judgement but don't get carried away.
Reply 2
PPE might be a decent course to look at.
Reply 3
Original post by Hoc est Bellum
It depends on your life goals. You're likely going to earn more money with a Mathematics degree but that is certainly not the most important factor. If politics is what you are interested in then that's certainly not a bad choice. Yes, the options are more limited when compared to a Mathematics graduate but that does not mean to say it's impossible, or even difficult for that matter to make use of a Politics degree and have a good career.

What I would say to a family member is to focus on film directing/writing. You might live until you're 90+ years old and spending some time seeing if your dream is a good fit for you is certainly not wasted time nor will it take up much of your life relatively speaking. There is certainly the potential that you could be successful in this area and I would hate to potentially rob the world of a JK Rowling.

You also want to be realistic when undertaking this though; make sure that it is not an all-or-nothing pursuit. Have some kind of safety net in place before you jump into it. It's also important to manage your progress and ensure you know when to stop and move on if it happens that writing/directing doesn't suit you.

Basically, no one can answer this for you, it depends on your own aspirations. Trust your own judgement but don't get carried away.

The thing is I don't know what I'm supposed to trust. I feel like I'm over thinking it and maybe in the end it doesn't matter what degree I go for as long as I keep working on my stuff outside of it regardless of what University teaches me. In that sense Politics seems like a waste of time because I could learn it for free whereas a Maths degree is something I can't get back once I graduate and it will help with employability. I don't know what kind of jobs a Politics degree can get me and if I will be okay with them. Again I don't care what the job is as long as I don't hate it and has good work life balance. Nothing specific stands out to me although this could change once I go through University and learn about what I'm actually good at... Ahhh it's so confusing!

I certainly don't want to be on an all or nothing pursuit it just doesn't make sense for where I am in this creative journey so I definitely don't want to put all eggs in one basket because I want time and stability to work on these things and not feel rushed or pressured to create.
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 4
Original post by ajj2000
PPE might be a decent course to look at.

PPE as in Politics, Philosophy and Economics? That does sound quite the degree. Although I wonder how I would cope with something as rigorous as Philosophy I've heard horror stories of how hard that discipline can be. I'm not one to shy away from a good challenge though 😅. I bet even more so at the elite universities. However, my grades being ABB is not good enough should I want to get onto a target university to improve my employability which I don't mind doing. Economics + Politics sounds like a better fit for me.

What are the benefits of adding Economics to a Politics degree that a Politics degree couldn't have achieved without it?
Reply 5
Original post by Luna1cat
PPE as in Politics, Philosophy and Economics? That does sound quite the degree. Although I wonder how I would cope with something as rigorous as Philosophy I've heard horror stories of how hard that discipline can be. I'm not one to shy away from a good challenge though 😅. I bet even more so at the elite universities. However, my grades being ABB is not good enough should I want to get onto a target university to improve my employability which I don't mind doing. Economics + Politics sounds like a better fit for me.

What are the benefits of adding Economics to a Politics degree that a Politics degree couldn't have achieved without it?

There are no real benefits unless you want to go into government with our dear leaders. But you might find it interesting and enriching.

What people are neglecting to tell you here is that the difference between salaries for STEM and non-STEM graduates is effectively nil in the long-term, and basically any degree will open any door for you as long as it's not for entry into a vocational occupation (i.e. Medicine, nursing, some type of engineering and so on).

Most gigs don't care about the fineries fo your degree, or even what you actually read for. They are simply interested that you have the qualification.

Hoc est has given good advice, I'd think along their lines with the caveat that it largely will not matter whatsoever what you do a degree in unless you want to be a doctor or a vet.
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 6
Original post by gjd800
There are no real benefits unless you want to go into government with our dear leaders. But you might find it interesting and enriching.

What people are neglecting to tell you here is that the difference between salaries for STEM and non-STEM graduates is effectively nil in the long-term, and basically any degree will open any door for you as long as it's not for entry into a vocational occupation (i.e. Medicine, nursing, some type of engineering and so on).

Most gigs don't care about the fineries fo your degree, or even what you actually read for. They are simply interested that you have the qualification.

Hoc est has given good advice, I'd think along their lines with the caveat that it largely will not matter whatsoever what you do a degree in unless you want to be a doctor or a vet.

I'm kind of shocked that a Politics degree would open the same doors as a Maths degree would. Well maybe you're saying not the same doors but more the amount haha. I thought employers sometimes care if your degree was a quantitative one or even stem. I've done a little bit of research on the matter and it appears that a lot of people (at least in the US) really put stem degrees on a pedestal and go as far as to say don't even touch liberal arts unless you're minoring in them. I don't know if it just depends on where you live then or how I'm supposed to feel about that.
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 7
Original post by Luna1cat
I'm kind of shocked that a Politics degree would open the same doors as a Maths degree would. Well maybe you're saying not the same doors but more the amount haha. I thought employers sometimes care if your degree was a quantitative one or even stem. I've done a little bit of research on the matter and it appears that a lot of people (at least in the US) really put stem degrees on a pedestal and go as far as to say don't even touch liberal arts unless you're minoring in them. I don't know if it just depends on where you live then or how I'm supposed to feel about that.

Well, this is a UK forum and I am UK based, so I can't give any insight into the US. But in this country barely anybody is fussed and grad schemes all over the country largely aren't bothered about what your undergrad is in. There are loads and loads and loads of threads on here with endless examples of this. Note I said 'most' and not 'all'.

If you want to be a scientist it obviously helps to have a degree related to that etc. But if you're not fussed about the jobs then there's not much point agonising over degree choice, and it makes more sense to just do something appropriately rigorous that you can enjoy and do well at.
Original post by Luna1cat
I'm kind of shocked that a Politics degree would open the same doors as a Maths degree would. Well maybe you're saying not the same doors but more the amount haha. I thought employers sometimes care if your degree was a quantitative one or even stem. I've done a little bit of research on the matter and it appears that a lot of people (at least in the US) really put stem degrees on a pedestal and go as far as to say don't even touch liberal arts unless you're minoring in them. I don't know if it just depends on where you live then or how I'm supposed to feel about that.


I'm going to play devil's advocate.

In specific professions, a maths degree would open certain doors a politics degree wouldn't. For example: bioinformatics at the NHS, actuarial science (unless you have A Level Maths), research in specific mathematical fields, quants.
You're also more likely to be chosen for programming roles than if you just did a Politics degree, because there's no programming content in politics (so you would have to learn it by yourself outside of uni).

In terms of including economics on top of your politics degree, you can go and work in policy making or become an economist (if you do postgrad in economics).

Otherwise you should be able to go into 600+ roles with either subjects, including becoming a writer, film director, or a politician (should you so wish).
If for any reason you wish to go into politics at postgrad with a maths undergrad, you can sometimes get away with not having to do further qualifications before applying for your MSc, but for a number of degrees you need something in social science or something "relevant".
A number of film degrees at postgrad level won't require you to have done an undergrad in a specific subject, but that is if you want to do the degree at all (you definitely won't need to). This is a similar story with some creative writing postgrads.
Reply 9
Original post by MindMax2000
I'm going to play devil's advocate.

In specific professions, a maths degree would open certain doors a politics degree wouldn't. For example: bioinformatics at the NHS, actuarial science (unless you have A Level Maths), research in specific mathematical fields, quants.
You're also more likely to be chosen for programming roles than if you just did a Politics degree, because there's no programming content in politics (so you would have to learn it by yourself outside of uni).

In terms of including economics on top of your politics degree, you can go and work in policy making or become an economist (if you do postgrad in economics).

Otherwise you should be able to go into 600+ roles with either subjects, including becoming a writer, film director, or a politician (should you so wish).
If for any reason you wish to go into politics at postgrad with a maths undergrad, you can sometimes get away with not having to do further qualifications before applying for your MSc, but for a number of degrees you need something in social science or something "relevant".
A number of film degrees at postgrad level won't require you to have done an undergrad in a specific subject, but that is if you want to do the degree at all (you definitely won't need to). This is a similar story with some creative writing postgrads.

This does give me some confidence in leaning towards a Politics degree. However when you say 600+ roles do you mean just entry level jobs you can get with any degree (I'm kind of blanking what they could be as my knowledge is very limited right now).

I also wanted to know how likely would it be to get into a grad scheme?
(Sorry for the late reply I was just caught up with life)
Original post by Luna1cat
This does give me some confidence in leaning towards a Politics degree. However when you say 600+ roles do you mean just entry level jobs you can get with any degree (I'm kind of blanking what they could be as my knowledge is very limited right now).

I also wanted to know how likely would it be to get into a grad scheme?
(Sorry for the late reply I was just caught up with life)


when you say 600+ roles do you mean just entry level jobs you can get with any degree (I'm kind of blanking what they could be as my knowledge is very limited right now).
Yes, entry level roles that according to sources such as National Careers Service and Career Pilot say that you don't require a degree in any specific subject to get in. If they do allow graduate entry in specific degrees, you can sometimes bypass this by doing a slightly junior role (I can't think of any that is specifically the case at the moment, but there might be a few).

I am not going to list out all 600 roles, but I can give you the categories.

The random careers that you would be eligible for with no further training post A Levels include:

Administration

Government services

Social work

Some areas of healthcare

Most areas of business (HR, marketing, accounting, sales)

IT roles

Some areas of construction

Most areas of property

Most areas of beauty and wellbeing

Creative/design and media (if you're good)

Theatre and film (if you're good)

Music (if you're good)

Anything related to writing (if you're good)

Storage

Logisitics

Armed forces and police force (if you pass certain tests, have a clean record, and are of a certain age range)

Some environmental services

Hospitality

Manufacturing

Management (if you have the relevant experience)

Retail

Care work

Travel and tourism

Charity

Entertainment (if you're good)

Translation (if you are fluent in more than one language)


If you decide to go back to college (adult college), then you can do courses that are relevant to the following:

Animal care (other than vet)

Some areas of construction and certain trades

Some areas of beauty and wellbeing

Some areas of engineering


You can go into the following areas with specific professional qualifications (irrespective of what previous qualifications you have):

Accounting

Actuary (if you have a math background e.g. A Level Maths)

Solicitor (CILEx)

Most areas of finance

Delivery and transport (licences)

Sports coaching



There are also postgrad conversion courses or master's degrees should you need them to change careers, but they are something further down the road.

I also wanted to know how likely would it be to get into a grad scheme?
If the sort of career you want don't specify a specific degree subject, then you're fine to apply for those specific grad schemes. The sort that tend to come to mind include: accounting, most roles in finance, marketing, management, property.
I can't tell you how likely you would get into a grad scheme with a politics degree because there is usually 101 different factors to take into account e.g. level of competition, connections, experience/internships, etc.

(Sorry for the late reply I was just caught up with life)
Know the feeling; been recenetly caught up myself.
Reply 11
Original post by MindMax2000
when you say 600+ roles do you mean just entry level jobs you can get with any degree (I'm kind of blanking what they could be as my knowledge is very limited right now).
Yes, entry level roles that according to sources such as National Careers Service and Career Pilot say that you don't require a degree in any specific subject to get in. If they do allow graduate entry in specific degrees, you can sometimes bypass this by doing a slightly junior role (I can't think of any that is specifically the case at the moment, but there might be a few).

I am not going to list out all 600 roles, but I can give you the categories.

The random careers that you would be eligible for with no further training post A Levels include:

Administration

Government services

Social work

Some areas of healthcare

Most areas of business (HR, marketing, accounting, sales)

IT roles

Some areas of construction

Most areas of property

Most areas of beauty and wellbeing

Creative/design and media (if you're good)

Theatre and film (if you're good)

Music (if you're good)

Anything related to writing (if you're good)

Storage

Logisitics

Armed forces and police force (if you pass certain tests, have a clean record, and are of a certain age range)

Some environmental services

Hospitality

Manufacturing

Management (if you have the relevant experience)

Retail

Care work

Travel and tourism

Charity

Entertainment (if you're good)

Translation (if you are fluent in more than one language)


If you decide to go back to college (adult college), then you can do courses that are relevant to the following:

Animal care (other than vet)

Some areas of construction and certain trades

Some areas of beauty and wellbeing

Some areas of engineering


You can go into the following areas with specific professional qualifications (irrespective of what previous qualifications you have):

Accounting

Actuary (if you have a math background e.g. A Level Maths)

Solicitor (CILEx)

Most areas of finance

Delivery and transport (licences)

Sports coaching



There are also postgrad conversion courses or master's degrees should you need them to change careers, but they are something further down the road.

I also wanted to know how likely would it be to get into a grad scheme?
If the sort of career you want don't specify a specific degree subject, then you're fine to apply for those specific grad schemes. The sort that tend to come to mind include: accounting, most roles in finance, marketing, management, property.
I can't tell you how likely you would get into a grad scheme with a politics degree because there is usually 101 different factors to take into account e.g. level of competition, connections, experience/internships, etc.

(Sorry for the late reply I was just caught up with life)
Know the feeling; been recenetly caught up myself.

Ok so now my debate that I was having is still confusing albeit just got more information than before.
So essentially I'm weighing up the pros and cons of doing a Maths degree vs a Politics degree.

To me a Maths degree seems more versatile and 'safer' considering it is a much more numerative subject compared to a BA in Politics. Due to this it would mean the jobs that like those skills will prefer me more such as IT Jobs or Finance jobs that deal with numbers a lot. Although it seems like less for Finance.

And then there's Politics which seems like a more fun degree to study however, I could always just learn it in my free time and then I would get all the added benefits from the Maths degree.

But then this debate all falls apart when you consider the fact that the degree choice doesn't make that big of a difference and it's largely down to the experience on your CV.

So I have these 3 big reasons and I don't know what is the safest bet.
(edited 6 months ago)
Original post by Luna1cat
Ok so now my debate that I was having is still confusing albeit just got more information than before.
So essentially I'm weighing up the pros and cons of doing a Maths degree vs a Politics degree.

To me a Maths degree seems more versatile and 'safer' considering it is a much more numerative subject compared to a BA in Politics. Due to this it would mean the jobs that like those skills will prefer me more such as IT Jobs or Finance jobs that deal with numbers a lot. Although it seems like less for Finance.

And then there's Politics which seems like a more fun degree to study however, I could always just learn it in my free time and then I would get all the added benefits from the Maths degree.

But then this debate all falls apart when you consider the fact that the degree choice doesn't make that big of a difference and it's largely down to the experience on your CV.

So I have these 3 big reasons and I don't know what is the safest bet.

Politics is just as versatile as Maths, in fact in many way, more so. never mind the STEM/NON-STEM labels, think of a degree as a carrier for improved ways of thinking and doing or a direct knowledge based entry into a career. A few degrees give you a specific knowledge base that is mandatory for a career, medicine, dentistry nursing etc, and some form the necessary or just quicker foundation for entry, such as Law or Finance. However, most degrees are just carriers for improved ways of thinking and skills like research, analysis, critical thinking, viewing different perspectives, creating an argument, systematising, problem solving etc. Different subjects do slightly more or less of those things, but basically thats what Arts and Humanities degrees are about. A few subjects sit on the edge, like maths. However, this isn't necessarily an advantage, Maths really only does systematising, and a very specific and narrow band of analysis and problem solving, but is limited on the critical thinking, viewing different perspectives.

Thought of that way, Politics is a very much better foundation for a career in something creative like film making than Maths is.
Original post by Luna1cat
Ok so now my debate that I was having is still confusing albeit just got more information than before.
So essentially I'm weighing up the pros and cons of doing a Maths degree vs a Politics degree.

To me a Maths degree seems more versatile and 'safer' considering it is a much more numerative subject compared to a BA in Politics. Due to this it would mean the jobs that like those skills will prefer me more such as IT Jobs or Finance jobs that deal with numbers a lot. Although it seems like less for Finance.

And then there's Politics which seems like a more fun degree to study however, I could always just learn it in my free time and then I would get all the added benefits from the Maths degree.

But then this debate all falls apart when you consider the fact that the degree choice doesn't make that big of a difference and it's largely down to the experience on your CV.

So I have these 3 big reasons and I don't know what is the safest bet.


Well we could go back and forth all day regarding the decision. However, it kinds of ultimately comes down to what would you prefer doing and have more interest in.

I could like out all the benefits of a maths degree and how it can be so much better than a politics degree in my opinion, but it's not going to mean much if your interests strongly leans on the politics degree over the maths degree.

To me a Maths degree seems more versatile and 'safer' considering it is a much more numerative subject compared to a BA in Politics. Due to this it would mean the jobs that like those skills will prefer me more such as IT Jobs or Finance jobs that deal with numbers a lot. Although it seems like less for Finance.
To an extent yes. However, it depends on the specific role in finance. If it's quants or actuarial science for example, I would lean more towards the maths degree. For other roles, you're fine with either.
Maths has the added advantage for quantitiative roles in say the public sector where they expect you to have a degree of some description e.g. statistician, economics, bioinformatics. You won't get the same advantages with ap

And then there's Politics which seems like a more fun degree to study however, I could always just learn it in my free time and then I would get all the added benefits from the Maths degree.
If you want to cover both bases, you can consider looking into a postgrad in poiitics, as some politics masters' accept an undergrad in any subject but you would need to check the entry requirements of the individual degree. This should then allow you to go into policy related roles if necessary.
However, you cannot do a master's in maths with an undergrad in politics as far as I know.

But then this debate all falls apart when you consider the fact that the degree choice doesn't make that big of a difference and it's largely down to the experience on your CV.
Sure, but it depends on whether you are able to get the first job that you want/need. You can't get experience if you can't secure your first job.

As you're leaning more towards filming, there's minimal relevance either degree would give you. There are also master's degrees in film that you could go for without needing an undergrad in specific subjects, although some will ask for specific subjects (usually not related to either maths or politics).
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 14
Original post by MindMax2000
Well we could go back and forth all day regarding the decision. However, it kinds of ultimately comes down to what would you prefer doing and have more interest in.

I could like out all the benefits of a maths degree and how it can be so much better than a politics degree in my opinion, but it's not going to mean much if your interests strongly leans on the politics degree over the maths degree.

To me a Maths degree seems more versatile and 'safer' considering it is a much more numerative subject compared to a BA in Politics. Due to this it would mean the jobs that like those skills will prefer me more such as IT Jobs or Finance jobs that deal with numbers a lot. Although it seems like less for Finance.
To an extent yes. However, it depends on the specific role in finance. If it's quants or actuarial science for example, I would lean more towards the maths degree. For other roles, you're fine with either.
Maths has the added advantage for quantitiative roles in say the public sector where they expect you to have a degree of some description e.g. statistician, economics, bioinformatics. You won't get the same advantages with ap

And then there's Politics which seems like a more fun degree to study however, I could always just learn it in my free time and then I would get all the added benefits from the Maths degree.
If you want to cover both bases, you can consider looking into a postgrad in poiitics, as some politics masters' accept an undergrad in any subject but you would need to check the entry requirements of the individual degree. This should then allow you to go into policy related roles if necessary.
However, you cannot do a master's in maths with an undergrad in politics as far as I know.

But then this debate all falls apart when you consider the fact that the degree choice doesn't make that big of a difference and it's largely down to the experience on your CV.
Sure, but it depends on whether you are able to get the first job that you want/need. You can't get experience if you can't secure your first job.

As you're leaning more towards filming, there's minimal relevance either degree would give you. There are also master's degrees in film that you could go for without needing an undergrad in specific subjects, although some will ask for specific subjects (usually not related to either maths or politics).

Ok so this puts it into a bit more perspective. If I go on to do my Politics degree (thinking of combining it with History now just to make it more fun) and then I find that I don't like any jobs related to Politics or History and want to go into tech due to tech having endless opportunities I think it would be harder for me to break into it without getting on a graduate scheme. And if I miss my windows for graduate scheme wouldn't I struggle to compete for these jobs due to my non technical background? And if I try to upskill with a masters degree I wouldn't even be able to qualify for one.

I'm kind of thinking as well if I do go down the Politics + History route, I might just end up going into teaching at the University level and maybe get a phd in something which sounds fun. However, I've heard that getting a phd in something like Humanities is very hard and can lead to an unstable life so it just seems like there isn't anything that I would directly want to do with a Humanities subject in terms of a job related with it.
Original post by Luna1cat
Ok so this puts it into a bit more perspective. If I go on to do my Politics degree (thinking of combining it with History now just to make it more fun) and then I find that I don't like any jobs related to Politics or History and want to go into tech due to tech having endless opportunities I think it would be harder for me to break into it without getting on a graduate scheme. And if I miss my windows for graduate scheme wouldn't I struggle to compete for these jobs due to my non technical background? And if I try to upskill with a masters degree I wouldn't even be able to qualify for one.

I'm kind of thinking as well if I do go down the Politics + History route, I might just end up going into teaching at the University level and maybe get a phd in something which sounds fun. However, I've heard that getting a phd in something like Humanities is very hard and can lead to an unstable life so it just seems like there isn't anything that I would directly want to do with a Humanities subject in terms of a job related with it.


I find that I don't like any jobs related to Politics or History and want to go into tech due to tech having endless opportunities I think it would be harder for me to break into it without getting on a graduate scheme.
Yes, unfortunately grad schemes bias recent grads with people with bachelor's degree (as opposed to with other degrees on top). This is something more to do with the individual recruiter/employer than the regulatory, legal, or general requirement; and as it's individual, the reasoning lies with the individual employer, along with their justifications.

And if I miss my windows for graduate scheme wouldn't I struggle to compete for these jobs due to my non technical background?
It depends on the specific grad scheme. Although all grad schemes are competitive, not all would require you to have a technical background. You would need to check this yourself.
Do note, an IT job doesn't necessarily require you to have any prior qualifications, but certain roles do. I can't tell you which ones do without looking at the job description. Most places hiring would be more concerned about whether you have the relevant skills and experience. How you can showcase this would depend on yourself e.g. professional certifications, portfolio of work, passing a number of their work related tests, etc. See the following for job profiles for IT related roles in the UK:
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-categories/computing-technology-and-digital
https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/software-systems
https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/data-network
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/browse-sector/information-technology

And if I try to upskill with a masters degree I wouldn't even be able to qualify for one.
I can't confirm this because it would depend on the individual grad scheme. Some grad schemes accept only recent graduates with bachelor's degrees; some accept recent graduates with any degree.
If you meant whether you would be eligible to do a master's in IT or computer science with an undergrad in politics and/or history, then yes you can e.g.
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught-degrees/computer-science-msc
https://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-2024/taught-postgraduate-courses/msc-computer-science/
https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/computer-science/computer-science.aspx
You wouldn't be eligible for all masters' in computer science though e.g.
https://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/coursefinder/courses/computer-science-msc/
https://www.essex.ac.uk/courses/pg00435/1/msc-advanced-computer-science
https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/msc-advanced-computer-science
You would need to check the individual course's entry requirements to check.
Having said that, if you did look through the job profiles listed above, you would know that you don't specifically need a degree to get into the tech industry, but you might do with certain jobs with certain employers.

I've heard that getting a phd in something like Humanities is very hard and can lead to an unstable life
Typically a PhD or post doc won't give you anything "stable" for a long while because you're typically an intern for the next 10-20 years until you can secure a post or receive tenure. The competition for these posts are high and you are going against a lot of candidates for what is essentially limited funding unfortunately.
Having said that, it doesn't mean you can't go for other roles after your PhD e.g. go into teaching at secondary schools (I have come across a number of teachers with PhDs in their subjects), go for certain roles in museums, etc. Likewise, there's also nothing stopping you from moving to another sector completely.

My approach would be to learn a "high income skill" whilst finding a way to pursue your passion. This doesn't necessarily require you to have a specific degree in order to learn and develop the "high income skill" that you would want/need though. It's funny though, most of the high income skills that I can think of tend not to require university level education or qualifications (the possible exceptions are say economics, medicine, dentistry, maths).
Reply 16
Original post by MindMax2000
I find that I don't like any jobs related to Politics or History and want to go into tech due to tech having endless opportunities I think it would be harder for me to break into it without getting on a graduate scheme.
Yes, unfortunately grad schemes bias recent grads with people with bachelor's degree (as opposed to with other degrees on top). This is something more to do with the individual recruiter/employer than the regulatory, legal, or general requirement; and as it's individual, the reasoning lies with the individual employer, along with their justifications.

And if I miss my windows for graduate scheme wouldn't I struggle to compete for these jobs due to my non technical background?
It depends on the specific grad scheme. Although all grad schemes are competitive, not all would require you to have a technical background. You would need to check this yourself.
Do note, an IT job doesn't necessarily require you to have any prior qualifications, but certain roles do. I can't tell you which ones do without looking at the job description. Most places hiring would be more concerned about whether you have the relevant skills and experience. How you can showcase this would depend on yourself e.g. professional certifications, portfolio of work, passing a number of their work related tests, etc. See the following for job profiles for IT related roles in the UK:
https://nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/job-categories/computing-technology-and-digital
https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/software-systems
https://www.careerpilot.org.uk/job-sectors/data-network
https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/browse-sector/information-technology

And if I try to upskill with a masters degree I wouldn't even be able to qualify for one.
I can't confirm this because it would depend on the individual grad scheme. Some grad schemes accept only recent graduates with bachelor's degrees; some accept recent graduates with any degree.
If you meant whether you would be eligible to do a master's in IT or computer science with an undergrad in politics and/or history, then yes you can e.g.
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught-degrees/computer-science-msc
https://www.bath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate-2024/taught-postgraduate-courses/msc-computer-science/
https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/taught/computer-science/computer-science.aspx
You wouldn't be eligible for all masters' in computer science though e.g.
https://www.qmul.ac.uk/postgraduate/taught/coursefinder/courses/computer-science-msc/
https://www.essex.ac.uk/courses/pg00435/1/msc-advanced-computer-science
https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/msc-advanced-computer-science
You would need to check the individual course's entry requirements to check.
Having said that, if you did look through the job profiles listed above, you would know that you don't specifically need a degree to get into the tech industry, but you might do with certain jobs with certain employers.

I've heard that getting a phd in something like Humanities is very hard and can lead to an unstable life
Typically a PhD or post doc won't give you anything "stable" for a long while because you're typically an intern for the next 10-20 years until you can secure a post or receive tenure. The competition for these posts are high and you are going against a lot of candidates for what is essentially limited funding unfortunately.
Having said that, it doesn't mean you can't go for other roles after your PhD e.g. go into teaching at secondary schools (I have come across a number of teachers with PhDs in their subjects), go for certain roles in museums, etc. Likewise, there's also nothing stopping you from moving to another sector completely.

My approach would be to learn a "high income skill" whilst finding a way to pursue your passion. This doesn't necessarily require you to have a specific degree in order to learn and develop the "high income skill" that you would want/need though. It's funny though, most of the high income skills that I can think of tend not to require university level education or qualifications (the possible exceptions are say economics, medicine, dentistry, maths).

Thanks for sticking with me this long.

I'm kind of questioning now why I need to study Maths in the first place. Like I'm thinking what specifically will a Maths degree help me get compared to a Politics + History degree - I know that it's easier for the Math grad to go into things like software engineering. However, to be honest with you I don't even enjoy coding or anything too maths intensive (most jobs aren't). From what I understand is that a lot of jobs at the under graduate level don't require you to use too much tricky maths in the first place.

So ultimately a degree is just a check box that will let you get access to most jobs. I'm actually considering going down the accounting route afterwards because I like it's stability. Maybe try some Marketing stuff too.

I've heard of accountants coming from a range of backgrounds so this seems like a likely career path for me. But then I'm faced with the fear of will I even get on an ACA accounting grad scheme, and if I don't how will I get into it then?

What happens to a grad if they can't get onto a graduate scheme ever anyways?

Thanks for your patience.
(edited 6 months ago)
Original post by Luna1cat
Thanks for sticking with me this long.

I'm kind of questioning now why I need to study Maths in the first place. Like I'm thinking what specifically will a Maths degree help me get compared to a Politics + History degree - I know that it's easier for the Math grad to go into things like software engineering. However, to be honest with you I don't even enjoy coding or anything too maths intensive (most jobs aren't). From what I understand is that a lot of jobs at the under graduate level don't require you to use too much tricky maths in the first place.

So ultimately a degree is just a check box that will let you get access to most jobs. I'm actually considering going down the accounting route afterwards because I like it's stability. Maybe try some Marketing stuff too.

I've heard of accountants coming from a range of backgrounds so this seems like a likely career path for me. But then I'm faced with the fear of will I even get on an ACA accounting grad scheme, and if I don't how will I get into it then?

What happens to a grad if they can't get onto a graduate scheme ever anyways?

Thanks for your patience.


A gradaute scheme is just a mechanism for employers to bulk recruit graduates. Big companies can't take an individual approach to new employees that have no clue what role they would be best at. So the company sets up a scheme whereby these new employees test out and are rested across a range of departments and are then culled or appointed to the right places. It's just a factory process to get the right people in the right jobs for very large employers that need a regular supply in the bottom of the company. Don't hang your hat of a graduate scheme.

You are also massively overthinking this. You will not be the same person with the same strengths and ambitions by the end of university, in the same way you might not have chosen the same A levels if you'd had to choose them aged 12 or 13. Do the degree you would do best at, that will set you up for whatever career you would do best at.
Reply 18
Original post by threeportdrift
A gradaute scheme is just a mechanism for employers to bulk recruit graduates. Big companies can't take an individual approach to new employees that have no clue what role they would be best at. So the company sets up a scheme whereby these new employees test out and are rested across a range of departments and are then culled or appointed to the right places. It's just a factory process to get the right people in the right jobs for very large employers that need a regular supply in the bottom of the company. Don't hang your hat of a graduate scheme.

You are also massively overthinking this. You will not be the same person with the same strengths and ambitions by the end of university, in the same way you might not have chosen the same A levels if you'd had to choose them aged 12 or 13. Do the degree you would do best at, that will set you up for whatever career you would do best at.

Your advice for doing the degree you do best at makes the most sense to me right now. Maybe I am overthinking it, but I don't want to go in blind because the job market is a fact that I will have to face afterwards. One that I am sceptical of and afraid of as a Politics + History grad compared to a Maths grad.

Two things come to mind that have been mentioned by other people in past forums:

"seems pointless to study history if not gonna use it in academia or history related jobs. if were gonna use transferable skills into accounting ,hr, investment banking etc why not just study accounting or business"

"Many graduate job schemes may not require a specific degree.
However the number of graduate jobs scheme places as a proportion of the actual graduates leaving education is low probably not more than 5 to 10% at best.

Strangely this is often not mentioned. Once you are away from this senario you are in a general jobs market where the relevance of your degree very much matters. Without training a history degree does not lead directly to a specific job skills set in the way that nursing does for example.

So think carefully before you proceed. In Academia you are encourged to get as many qualifications as you can the higher the academic level the better. In the real world employers only ask one question what can you do as evidenced by work experience.

So seek skills, work experience and training above all else."

Furthermore, I went on to find a report that was published about what graduates from all subjects do afterwards: https://luminate.prospects.ac.uk/what-do-graduates-do

As you can see it does say that History grads are much less likely to go into work unrelated to History compared to someone in a more STEM subject like Maths.

Maybe I would calm down if I had someone who did a degree in History tell me what their experience was 😭
(edited 6 months ago)
Reply 19
[noparse] (was testing how to make text bold but I can't seem to do it) [/noparse]
(edited 6 months ago)

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