Do you have a "useless" degree? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I figure I'm not the only one who's got some 4 year university degree that isn't of use. Here's mine:

B.Ed. in secondary education, teaching English and Moral education.

I work as a legal secretary Rather far afield, wouldn't you say? and no, I'd never go back to teach secondary school, especially not in Quebec where teachers make LESS than city blue collar workers or bus drivers. Nice huh?
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#2 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 12:17 PM
 
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I have a degree in english lit... how about that? I have no intention of going into teaching, so it is rather wasted. It is the result of being pushed by my parents to go to university when I wasn't ready so I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

Sandra SAHM to Kayleigh and welcoming Emily January 2010
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#3 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 12:29 PM
 
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I have a degree in English/Communications... I already forgot the specialty I ended up with (was going to be Journalism but I figured out it wasn't for me about halfway).

I work for a dot-com and the owner is a high school dropout who doesn't give a fig for a sheepskin.

I like my job and don't have regrets, but honestly if I did that part of my life again I'd get a BS in something... engineering probably, but at least math or something.

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#4 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 01:40 PM
 
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Me!! I have a BA in Sociology/Social Anthropology. It was quite interesting at the time, but now I work as a technical writer. I wouldn't say it's a useless degree, since the company I work for doesn't hire people without degrees. But if I could do it over again, I'd definitely get a trade - I keep dreaming of massage therapy or woodworking, or anything where I could use my hands. Maybe someday I'll go back!

I'm Megan , married to Steve, mama to Rowan (11/07) and thrilled to be 03/10!
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#5 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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My undergrad is in agronomy, and I'm a business journalist, but I don't think of my degree as a waste at all. I learned a lot in university, and made a ton of friends/contacts that still make a difference in my life 10 years later.

It's a myth that the only thing you can do with a liberal arts degree is teach. If you look at senior management at most businesses, you'll find a ton of history, English, psychology and art degrees.
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#6 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 02:56 PM
 
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I don't believe that any degree is useless. Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment and a privilege that not everyone is fortunate enough to have. Your degree is something that can never be taken away from you, and it is something that you can look back on and say, "I did that!"

I say this as a community college prof who works with students who are struggling every day to get their Associates. I swear, the happiest graduations I have ever been to (and I've been to *tons* of undergrad and grad school graduations) are the graduations at my CC where the students get their AA and their AS. You have never seen a more proud group of people!

Now, a degree may not be *necessary* for certain fields or lines of work, but it is never useless.
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#7 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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English and world religions here.

I was fully expected to go on to get my PhD in religion and I was accepted into schools and everything was peachy but then life happened and I was "stuck" with a somewhat useless B.A.

I just went back to get my M.A. in another very useless field - ministry. From a non-accredited university. (They're trying to be the first accredited seminary in our minority faith.) It's umm. I wonder where it will lead. I put off starting for several years because it just seemed, well, "useless" - but I still feel called to it, so...

mama of DS(3) & DD(2)
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#8 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 03:30 PM
 
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I have a history degree and I do not consider it useless. I know my approach to source evaluation has been benefilal in many jobs and non-work areas of my life. I can write ( not that my posts are always up to snuff.)

I've stuck with what was supposed to be a temporary job for far too long but I won't let this define my usefulness in the world.
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#9 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 03:32 PM
 
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I took the easy way out and I regret it whole heartedly! I got a B.A. in Communications. Big whoop. My H got a B.A in International Studies. I'm an office admin and he's Regional Sales Director for a well known Vodka company. Neither of us are using our degrees and really never did. I would have much rather got my teaching degree - some day, I'll go back.

One happy mama to 1/06 , 3/10 , and married to my best friend
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#10 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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I was 3 semesters from a BA in Humanities (focus: Anthro, History, & English), when I decided that it wasn't a responsible choice as far as future employment. So right now I'm on a break from school and someday I'll go back for something else, maybe environmental science. I do have my AA, just a general one.

If I could start all over (which I guess I *could*, but I figured I may as well get the Bachelors eventually), I would just go for a trade. Maybe do the big degree later.

~Rose~ 

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#11 of 56 Old 07-30-2009, 09:16 PM
 
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I don't think a good liberal arts degree is a waste AT ALL. If you got a degree in English lit, political science, or history, chances are you learned to write reasonably well. This is an increasingly scarce skill.

I worked in public relations for five years, and most of the people had liberal arts degrees. They knew too from two from to. My friends from my small liberal arts college are using their broad educations in advertising, public relations, development, internet marketing, and as head of a fashion company, to name a few. Those are people who did not go on to graduate school. All of their companies expected well educated applicants who can write well.

If you aspire to a specific, skilled and/or technical trade (engineer, software programmer, nurse, etc.), then a liberal arts degree in and of itself won't get you there. But for many of the jobs that people actually do, the liberal arts are a terrific background.
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#12 of 56 Old 07-31-2009, 03:18 AM
 
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I double majored in Anthropology & Communication - now Im a lawyer. A good liberal arts background teaches you to think critically, a useful skill no matter what you do!
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#13 of 56 Old 07-31-2009, 08:59 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sorin View Post
I don't believe that any degree is useless. Graduating from college is a huge accomplishment and a privilege that not everyone is fortunate enough to have. Your degree is something that can never be taken away from you, and it is something that you can look back on and say, "I did that!"

I say this as a community college prof who works with students who are struggling every day to get their Associates. I swear, the happiest graduations I have ever been to (and I've been to *tons* of undergrad and grad school graduations) are the graduations at my CC where the students get their AA and their AS. You have never seen a more proud group of people!

Now, a degree may not be *necessary* for certain fields or lines of work, but it is never useless.
I absolutely agree with you here. Throughout all the ups and downs in my life, no matter how desperate my situation felt, at the very least, I was able to feel proud of the education I've gained. And I know for certain I wouldn't be in the position I am now (Director of Communications at an Ivy league university) had it not been for my two degrees; a B.A. in Psychology (cum laude), and a M.S. in Technical Communications.

Even if you're not working within the same field as your degree, having earned it tells the world (and employers) that you have what it takes to follow through, to stick it out and achieve a goal. That's fifty percent of the equation.

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#14 of 56 Old 07-31-2009, 09:11 AM
 
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Social Science here but I've never used it in a job. I agree that liberal arts degrees do teach you to think critically and write well (LOTS of papers). Plus I have this general background of information in my head to be called upon at will. People are always asking me "How do you know this stuff?".

Living Simply and Enjoying Life
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#15 of 56 Old 07-31-2009, 11:53 AM
 
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BA in English Literature. Currently worthless - but I am going back to major in Elementary Education, so perhaps it wasn't ALL for naught.
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#16 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 03:04 AM
 
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Yup. I have an almost useless degree in Biology. I tried to get work with it upon graduating. I even applied for a job in the NWT but was told that so many of the applicants had Masters and PhDs (even though the position was seeking someone with a bachelors).

The problem with Canada is that it has one of the highest levels of post-secondary education in the world and a small job market. You really need a graduate degree or trades training to get on here.

Anyway, I plan on going back to school to become a teacher. My degree helped me get into a B.ed program. So, not completely useless after all.
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#17 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 11:46 AM
 
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BA in fine arts! Ha! What do I do now? Program management. Worlds apart, I tell you. Never thought I'd be doing this, ever.
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#18 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowansmama View Post
Me!! I have a BA in Sociology/Social Anthropology.
I'm drooling. I'd love this degree. (Not sure what I'd do with it, either, but I'd love it!)

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#19 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 12:39 PM
 
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Ha, funny, I'm thinking about getting a degree in Communications, the poster child for "useless" degrees. I have a diploma from a technical school in televison production and have happily made my living in that trade for the past 10 years, but this recession/pregnancy has got me thinking that I could use a broader education and skill set. I want to put the storytelling skills I have learned in my trade to work for the social causes I believe in.
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#20 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 12:46 PM
 
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Ha, funny, I'm thinking about getting a degree in Communications, the poster child for "useless" degrees. I have a diploma from a technical school in televison production and have happily made my living in that trade for the past 10 years, but this recession/pregnancy has got me thinking that I could use a broader education and skill set. I want to put the storytelling skills I have learned in my trade to work for the social causes I believe in.
Hi! I have an M.S. in Technical Communications and it's proved to be a great investment. I make 80K a year now and had no trouble finding a great job even during this recession. I think you should look into it! GOOD LUCK!

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#21 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 12:54 PM
 
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B.A. in sociology with a social work concentration.

Ok I won't go as far to say it's useless. However, you virtually cannot get a job in sociology or in social work without a master's degree AND fluent in Spanish in my area-- and the salary of even those jobs still wouldn't provide for me and my kids.
So it feels kind of useless in the sense that I will have to go back to school.

I enjoyed college and learned way more than I did in high school. Plus, some jobs require a degree. It just was very expensive and now not really helping me support my family.
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#22 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 01:01 PM
 
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BA, MA and most of a PhD in English lit. Not using it, except in the sense that it made me who I am today. Don't regret it at all, either.

Am now taking courses in child development and would love to do more psychology/sociology stuff. Or evolutionary biology.
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#23 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 04:08 PM
 
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I have a BA in psychology. I spent the first part of my career as an Army officer. Now I work as a computer system administrator.

My husband has a BA in history. He is a stock broker.


" rel="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/familybed2.gif">familybed2.gif  DD1 12/05, DD2 12/08


Computer Engineer- I write better in 1's and 0's. ;-)
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#24 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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Bachelor of fine arts in printmaking. Master of fine arts in painting and printmaking. Law degree.

I'm an attorney but still an artist at heart. While I practice law, my art background made the person that I am today. One-note people don't interest me (i.e. lawyers who have no interests outside of law). I don't buy the idea that education is useless. I tend to agree with a previous poster that writing and reading comprehension skills are paramount to finding any kind of good work. Even in my own profession, I'm amazed at the number of people who don't have a grasp of the English language and grammar.

For those of you who think your English degree is waste....think again. People who are able to speak well, write well, spell well and communicate on any level well, are rare breeds indeed. You are horribly and gratefully needed in many areas! I don't care if you're an administrative assistant or a marketing director...it translates across all fields.

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
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#25 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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Me! I have a history degree and I work in finance.

Lisa ~ wife to Daniel ~ mama to Claire, born July 2009 (IVF baby!)
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#26 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 08:11 PM
 
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I have a bare bones technical education degree (ADN and work as an RN) but before my nursing life, I was playing around in college having the best time taking courses such as feminist philosophy, post modern cultural anthropology, biological psychology and sociology of deviance. I regret not having the money to continue to take courses like those.

People in the health field generally don't have much of an interest in Derrida, Baudrillard or Kristeva and I really miss those heated debates and exploration of ideas. Maybe when I win the lottery, I can return to school.

Momma to DS 1, age 8 and rainbow baby DS2 4-21-11.
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#27 of 56 Old 08-01-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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I might just win this one.

I have a degree in comparative politics, with a specialty in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries (apologies for those of you young'uns scratching your heads about what that could possibly mean). I graduated in 91 AFTER the Berlin Wall fell. My degree went from cutting edge to obsolete before I even walked across the stage.

But it taught how to write, and research, and think. It allowed me to go to graduate school in my current field which lead to my current career.
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#28 of 56 Old 08-02-2009, 10:24 PM
 
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I might just win this one.

I have a degree in comparative politics, with a specialty in the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries (apologies for those of you young'uns scratching your heads about what that could possibly mean). I graduated in 91 AFTER the Berlin Wall fell. My degree went from cutting edge to obsolete before I even walked across the stage.

But it taught how to write, and research, and think. It allowed me to go to graduate school in my current field which lead to my current career.
Okay, I think this is just awesome! I'm impressed. I bet you're fascinating company at dinner.

Toteblume, Mom to DS (10-24-90) and DD (06-26-01).
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#29 of 56 Old 08-02-2009, 10:54 PM
 
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I have a degree in political science, and I need 3 semesters to finish my degree in fine arts... and now? I'm a farmer. Apparently I change direction a lot!

I'm glad I have the education, even if I'm not actively using the information.
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#30 of 56 Old 08-03-2009, 08:51 AM
 
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I have a B.A. in English with an emphasis on Fiction Writing!

I worked in children's book publishing for many years, in sales and marketing. Now I own a consulting company and do sales and marketing for small publishers. Financially, I do very well and I love what I do, for the most part.

I don't regret my degree at all, I think my writing and debating skills help me tremendously on the job. Critical thinking is key.
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