How useful was your college degree? - VeggieBoards
View Poll Results: Was your degree useful?
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#1 Old 01-11-2007, 03:51 PM
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Just wondering, for all the college graduates, did your degree help you land the job you wanted? Do you feel like you are putting it to use or is your current job not related to your degree? For the people who never went to college or dropped out, do you regret your decision? Oh, and did you enjoy your college experience?
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#2 Old 01-11-2007, 04:02 PM
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well, I got the job I wanted even before I finished my degree (although I was almost done). I have a Bachelors in Psych (Animal Behavior) and I got a job at the zoo as a zookeeper. Granted I don't do that anymore. But I also have a Cosmetology degree and I got a job off of that. And I have a Certification in Mainframe Programming and that definately helped me get my last IT job. So, in all, yes all of my schooling was useful and helped me get my jobs.



I am unemployed (laided off) right now but I am using my IT certification more than my Bachelors right now. I was working on my Masters in IS but not taking classes right now because my work was paying for my tuition.



Did I enjoy school? Well, it took me 8 years to finish my BS because i went part time and had to work so in a way that was torturous but I did take some fun classes. So, I had a different sort of 'college experience'.



I don't regret it (although, i wished it hadn't taken so long to finish)- Degrees can be very useful in getting jobs. Experience is too though.
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#3 Old 01-11-2007, 04:35 PM
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Your degrees are credentials that are used as minimum standards just to get you an interview for most "professional" positions.



That said, the knowledge and critical thinking skills you develop while in school are the greater benefit in the long run.
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#4 Old 01-11-2007, 04:40 PM
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I have a BS in Aviation, and it never helped me get a job. Employers want to know that you have the flight hours, experience, and ability to make good decisions. They don't care if you have a degree or not. If I had to do it all over, I would get a degree in botany, geology, or something fun like that.
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#5 Old 01-11-2007, 04:51 PM
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I graduated with my B.A. in Spanish, and it helped me to acquire a fluency in the language. My degree and experience with the Modern Language department definitely helped me land my current job, and I still speak Spanish daily.

It may not have made me a millionaire, but it's been very useful and has definitely paid off.



Oh, and I absolutely loved and adored my college career.

Still one of the happiest periods of my life.
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#6 Old 01-11-2007, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nigel View Post

That said, the knowledge and critical thinking skills you develop while in school are the greater benefit in the long run.



Good point, but do you think you need four years of college to develop critical thinking skills? Would you be able to get these skills better if you were taught the information required for your field hands on in lesser time? (BTW, I am not disagreeing with you. As a college student I totally see your point; I am just curious about your opinion.)
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#7 Old 01-11-2007, 05:04 PM
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I have to say my History degree is useless in my current job.

But as the previously poster stated, my college career was a wonderful period in my life!
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#8 Old 01-11-2007, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ~Brandon View Post

I graduated with my B.A. in Spanish, and it helped me to acquire a fluency in the language. My degree and experience with the Modern Language department definitely helped me land my current job, and I still speak Spanish daily.

It may not have made me a millionaire, but it's been very useful and has definitely paid off.



Oh, and I absolutely loved and adored my college career.

Still one of the happiest periods of my life.



Just wondering, since you majored in a foreign language did you ever look into a study abroad program? Do you think that would have helped you learn the language (and culture) better, or do you think the benefits of the college you went to out weighed the benefits of studying abroad?
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#9 Old 01-11-2007, 05:22 PM
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I would select the option "graduated not 'useful' to find a job, but 'useful' in my life."



I got a BS in Physics with minors in math and computer science after 5 and a half years. Then another 4 in grad school, but I didn't get a masters or PhD.



I have gotten some short term side jobs in the IT field because of my computer background, and I've done some work in physics. The job I wanted either doesn't exist, or I don't really want to go through the effort to get it, so school quickly became more about my interests than about getting a job.



If the question is "what is worth it?" I'd say yes, for reasons as nigel stated.

I believe everything.
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#10 Old 01-11-2007, 05:28 PM
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The fact that I have a BA is good, but it's been useless at getting me a job.
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#11 Old 01-11-2007, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obaig89 View Post

Good point, but do you think you need four years of college to develop critical thinking skills? Would you be able to get these skills better if you were taught the information required for your field hands on in lesser time? (BTW, I am not disagreeing with you. As a college student I totally see your point; I am just curious about your opinion.)



It depends on a number of things. I know plenty of PhDs who are morons and plenty of uneducated "classless workers" who can run rings around the rest of us in some matters of literature, history, and philosophy.



I'm comfortable saying that it generally will put you ahead of the curve, especially if you take advantage of the opportunity. For me, it provided a lot of concentrated time and resources that I wouldn't have found elsewhere, and taking classes helped give me the drive to take advantage of them.
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#12 Old 01-11-2007, 06:13 PM
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I graduated with a BA from an arts school. The school was a waste of my time and the piece of paper does nothing for me. I think what sent me over the edge was when my school didn't put enough postage on it and I had to pay myself to go pick it up at the post office! Sure it doesn't sound like a big deal, but for some one who is in student loan debt from a fancy school, every little penny counts.



So I am sure you are wondering why I continued to attend this fancy school and didn't transfer? Well it was because at that time it was the only school I could find that would offer my major. So did I learn anything from college? Very little. Was it a waste of money? Yes If I could start over again would I pick another major? Yes. I learned more onsite from the company I went full time with after graduation than what I did in college. But then again in the entertainment industry your piece of paper doesn't mean anything, just something to fall back on.



I am working on my masters in education right now, I don't want students to go through the same thing I did. There are so many more valuable aspects of the industry students need to learn than what they wasted our time on.



Hope that wasn't too honest for you! ha ha
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#13 Old 01-11-2007, 06:27 PM
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I'm taking a few years off of "real" college because everything I'm interested in studying is something that I'm not interested/couldn't get a job in (english, biology, etc.) I've taken some baking classes at community college and thats what I'm doing now (baking for an atlanta bread company) and I actually make ok money ($100 per bake for an entry level job). Baking classes have more than paid themselves off and I'll probably take more because they are lots of fun. I'll probably get a degree just for my personal entertainment at some point.
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#14 Old 01-11-2007, 06:44 PM
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Sabrina has a degree in Communications. She was working in her field for a while but then had to leave her job when she moved. Out of desperation, she took a receptionist job which was supposed to be temporary. They started out by matching her previous salary which was somewhere in the range of $36,000. She received an $8,000 bonus that December for Christmas with a $5,000 raise. This past December she received another $5,000 raise with only (ha) a $5,000 bonus. So she's pretty much making $46,000 to answer phones, type, file and play 'gopher'. She will be leaving that job when she moves again, in about a year or so. So, right now her degree doesn't mean much and yet she's doing ok for herself!
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#15 Old 01-11-2007, 06:59 PM
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Dropped out, no regrets. I think I decided I didn't want to to go college my first day of 1st grade. I absolutely hated, loathed, abhorred (I don't think there's a word strong enough) school my whole life and never wanted to make myself go through anymore than what was absolutely necessary by law if I had a choice in it. As a requirement for graduation, I had to take about 50% of my senior year classes at a community college (which I hated even more than regular high school), and somewhere in that year I let my friends, parents, school advisers, etc. talk me into going to a 4-year university the next fall. I tolerated it for a few months and decided I'd had enough. It's just not for me. At least I can say I tried it, but now I know it just isn't for me (too bad I had to waste a couple months of my life and a few thousand dollars to find that out, but what can you do).



That being said, although I don't regret dropping out for my own peace of mind, I do admit it kind of sucks to live in a world that's so unfriendly to people who are unwilling to go into thousands of dollars of debt for the better part of their adult life to get a piece of paper that says you can do/you know a lot about X so you can get a higher paying job than I can. But meh. That was my choice and I have to make the best of it.



I don't think I would be so anti-college (for me, I don't care what others do) if the school system in America actually made sense (to me). If it was more like other countries where you basically go and concentrate on only your major and things that are relevant to it, then I'd probably be all for it. But if I want to study biology and sciences, then sorry, I just don't have time (or the desire to dump extra money) for English or poetry or dramatic arts, you know?
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#16 Old 01-11-2007, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obaig89 View Post

Just wondering, since you majored in a foreign language did you ever look into a study abroad program? Do you think that would have helped you learn the language (and culture) better, or do you think the benefits of the college you went to out weighed the benefits of studying abroad?

Sure, I looked into it but seeing as how I was living alone and putting myself through college I couldn't afford another $1500+ to study abroad.

It's certain that immersion in a culture would have been beneficial, but without the finances the situation can't happen.



There is a significant Spanish-speaking population where I live as it is, so I get plenty of opportunity to practice. It's not Spain but hey gotta do what you gotta do.
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#17 Old 01-11-2007, 07:40 PM
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I have a degree in Sociocultural Anthropology. That in itself has not helped me find a job, as I still work at the same place I did when I went to school, but having the degree has helped me move up the ladder. I learned many things not strictly related to subject matter that have been very useful in buisness, as in the rest of my life, such as time management, information dissemination, some psychology stuff, some management stuff, etc.



With most undergraduate degrees, it's not so much what you study, as the very fact that you are studying it, learning how to learn and do research.



I also enjoyed my college experience very much. I love learning

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#18 Old 01-11-2007, 07:55 PM
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Mine is useful , I have to have it or I could not practice in my field. i have a masters deg in nursing, and work as a nurse practitioner, to be certified i have to have a masters degree.
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#19 Old 01-11-2007, 07:59 PM
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I've got a degree and a masters in nursing. They were both very useful and took me straight to where I wanted to go at the time. I'm not really using them anymore but it was still very beneficial and worth going to uni for.
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#20 Old 01-11-2007, 08:03 PM
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I'm not really using them anymore



slacka!
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#21 Old 01-11-2007, 08:09 PM
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Officer at the Ministry of Leisure.
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#22 Old 01-11-2007, 08:10 PM
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My degree is in Commerce and I majored in finance and marketing. I worked in money management for years, so my degree was very useful. Now that I'm no longer in that field, I still find my degree very valuable because it's from a terrific school - and for some reason that still impresses people.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#23 Old 01-11-2007, 08:11 PM
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bachelor of music. i work in the music field but it didn't get me my job.
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#24 Old 01-11-2007, 09:24 PM
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I think the usefulness of the degree depends on what you want to do for a living. My degree is in Architecture. I'm 100% sure I wouldn't have my job without all those years of school. My firm is known as one of the best of the best and does not consider people without related degrees for anything but typing and answering phones, which is fine if thats what you want to do ... if not, you're screwed. If I hadn't graduated or if I'd gone to tech college instead, I could have been a draftsman in my field at another firm. With my degree, I not only get paid better, but I'm given more interesting work, greater responsibilities, more opportunities to grow, etc. etc. ... BUT like I said, the schooling required really depends on what career path you intend to take. I know many people who's degree do nothing to get them a job. If there's a particular thing you'd like to do, I'd suggest tracing the path backward from that goal to find the necessary steps to take.
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#25 Old 01-11-2007, 09:35 PM
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BA - International Relations. I had a job for several years covering the Asia-Pacific territory & traveled there several times, and lived in Sydney for 1.5 years. I think the specific topic helped, but it certainly didn't land me the job.



MBA - I'm a supervisor and the MBA definitely helped me get the job. It is sort of applicable right now, though not really. The MBA focused more on strategy & business development, rather than staff development which is what I do about 98% of the time. I am on a couple of strategic projects now, though, and use some MBA concepts to help.



Like nigel said, the college degree helps you develop critical thinking skills that don't really get developed very well in high school, IMO.
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#26 Old 01-11-2007, 10:01 PM
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Mine has been useful, math.
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#27 Old 01-12-2007, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katt Fink View Post

I don't think I would be so anti-college (for me, I don't care what others do) if the school system in America actually made sense (to me). If it was more like other countries where you basically go and concentrate on only your major and things that are relevant to it, then I'd probably be all for it. But if I want to study biology and sciences, then sorry, I just don't have time (or the desire to dump extra money) for English or poetry or dramatic arts, you know?



I like the English system (lucky for me I'm there) where you specialise early. At 15/16 I knew what I wanted to do at Uni and at 16 for my A-levels I was glad to drop all the subjects I hated - sports, chemistry, etc. And now I am glad I will be going on to do a Computer Science degree in which I can do just Computer Science and Maths modules.



But I know some people who weren't ready to decide on only four subjects at 16, and who still don't know what they want to do. So I guess the American system has some advantages in giving you longer to realise what you want to do.
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#28 Old 01-12-2007, 09:06 AM
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BA in Humanities . . . I work as a school teacher. It definitely didn't get me the job, but I use things I learned in college every day - - in work and in homelife. I know my kids are better off having a well-educated teacher than not.

So, 5th grade teachers aren't required to have a college education? Is that only required for middle and high school? I bet it also varies from state to state as well.
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#29 Old 01-12-2007, 09:12 AM
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Since I don't have a "real" job yet I can't say for sure but my field requires specialized education so I'm guessing my degrees will be of use.



One member spoke of not wanting to waste a lot of time on taking classes she didn't like etc. Some schools are better then others re: this type of stuff. My major had 82 of the 120 credits required for graduation focussed within the department. We didn't have to take a language and just a few gen eds. Not so bad compared with other majors.
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#30 Old 01-12-2007, 01:07 PM
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My degree was definitely worth it and I have used the core education of my degree in every job I've had in the last 24 years. I've got a BS degree in Computer Science and I've always been in the computer industry.



I suppose I could have gotten a job in computers without a degree, but it would have been more difficult. I also know that there are jobs I never would have had without a degree. Some companies I've worked at require a degree no matter how talented someone is.



I loved my college days, but then again I was on a parental scholarship so there wasn't any sacrafice on my part to get through. I also took seven years to get through college, four at a junior college and three at a university. When I went to school community college fees were a $15 health fee, books and supplies. University was relatively inexpensive too, it started at $256 a semester when I entered and went to $526 a sememster before I graduated.



I think there are a lot of things that I learned during my college career that are very important in my general life. I took psychology courses which helped me with my life. I also took massage classes which helped me learn to be more confident with my touch. I also took wine tasting classes which stay with me. In addition to my classes I also saw plays at university once or twice a week during my last two years.



The big negative from school was meeting my first wife, but I suppose if I hadn't met her I probably would have met someone like her.
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