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Tertiary and Continuing Which degrees are useless/useful?

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by rick James, Feb 22, 2010.

Put it out there
  1. rick James

    rick James Permaban

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    Just for a bit of lighthearted discussion really. IMO the only real monetary reason to go to uni is to gain some kind of specialised knowledge or skill - of course,t hat doesn't factor in that some people like to simply learn stuff they're interested in - but they shouldn't be too heartbroken when that Philosophy degree doesn't lead to a high paying job, either.

    IMO, the areas of study worth doing if you want to make money are:

    Law
    Medicine
    Engineering
    Sciences
    Accounting

    Previously Business/Commerce were included, but the plethora of people that now have them - and the relative ease involved in getting one - has really diluted their worth.

    Basically every Arts degree is next to useless career-wise, can't really think of any exceptions either. You're likely to be a teacher at best, after an additional few years of HECS debt adding up, mind you.

    Anyone disagree?

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  2. Hooley McBoob

    Hooley McBoob Account Cancelled by User

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    I loved doing my first degree (Arts), I'll admit it was combined with Science, but I loved that I was able to study my passion at Uni. I think there is much more than a monetary reason to go to Uni, but in terms of jobs, I'd have to do a Dip.Ed. before I would be qualified to be a teacher, and I'm not interested in teaching anyway.

    I don't think 'Sciences' as an area is that lucrative. Quite a few of my friends are doing/have done PhDs in various sciences, and they're generally researchers, teachers or doing some kind of consultancy work (more for the environmental stuff than anything else) which I imagine would pay alright.
  3. Ellis2WeightsRoom

    Ellis2WeightsRoom Senior List

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    IMO currently in Australia a science degree is equivalent to an arts degree, essentially worthless without (and in most cases with) further study.

    Law degrees whilst a good degree to have (many career options) will depreciate seeing as they are being printed out like Zimbabwean currency at the moment.

    Commerce degrees I think are generally undervalued. Good degree to have as it's always +EV to have some degree of financial/business knowledge. Especially good as part of a double degree or if you have a view to running your own business.

    Also not commonly known that the top commerce grads will make a lot more money than their law/medicine/engineering counterparts.

    I think just way too many people go to university these days and as a result a lot of mickey mouse courses have materialised.

    But with the amount of government cash thrown at students these days, who wouldn't want to have three years of heavily subsidised partying/drinking/pill popping fun?
  4. mdc

    mdc Account Cancelled by User

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    If you want to talk mickey mouse courses, Commerce is far and away on top of the pile.

    It's the course that attracts the most internationals; and to keep that sweet international money flowing, the unis have to ensure that the failure rate isn't too high.

    With the exception of Actuarial Studies subjects, any other "knowledge" gained from a commerce subject can be easily self-taught over a weekend. The same cannot be said of many Arts and Science subjects.

    edit: Comm. is still more "useful" in terms of employment prospects obviously, unfortunate as that may be.
  5. AG

    AG BigFooty Gun

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    Completing a uni course is just about getting a very basic knowledge and giving you the chance to get an interview with a company. I finished my Commerce degree last year and have been working a couple of days a week at an accounting partnership and I have learnt way more on the job. Plus a lot of the stuff you learn at uni isn't really transferable to the real work.

    It's the qualifications you get after uni that seem to be important. So in my case completing the CPA will be more beneficial than my commerce degree.
  6. Chief

    Chief Business Time

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    Plenty of opportunities around if you look. I have a number of friends who have lived and worked in the US with their science/masters/PhDs.
  7. Suspense

    Suspense GC-161

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    True. Art subjects take about three weekends, give or take...
  8. rick James

    rick James Permaban

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    It used to be free. And the allowance for income earned so that it won't affect your Austudy hasn't changed since the early 90's.
  9. Hooley McBoob

    Hooley McBoob Account Cancelled by User

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    Yep. You can earn $236 a fortnight before your Youth Allowance/Austudy starts getting taken away :thumbsdown:
  10. rick James

    rick James Permaban

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    Yeah it sucks, I haven't actually started getting it yet, but I will be doing so soon.

    Anyone know how much Austudy is anyway?
  11. Hooley McBoob

    Hooley McBoob Account Cancelled by User

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    I don't know actually, I think when I turn 25 I'll switch from YA to Austudy...I'd better find out. If it's less than YA I'm ****ed, it's already impossible to live as it is!

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  12. Ellis2WeightsRoom

    Ellis2WeightsRoom Senior List

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    An undergraduate science degree in most cases here in Australia isn't going to get you very far.

    The US is a little more progressive in terms of R&D investment, therefore more scientists will be hired into the corporate sector.
  13. C4[2]Yo`DooR

    C4[2]Yo`DooR Club Legend

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    Medicine is a bitch of a course, but will land you a career (somewhere in Australia/GB) - in the medical field, in terms of internships, it all depends on WHERE they did their degree.

    Australian National University (ANU), University of Melbourne and University of Sydney are the best places to have gained a Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery - and you will find that most Melbourne Metropolitan based Dr's/Interns have gained their degree from these universities.

    :thumbsu:
  14. Power King

    Power King Club Legend

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    Let's be real though - both the proportion and overall number of commerce students that earn more than those counterparts is very very low.

    Why? Because of what's pretty much guaranteed/expected at the end of the tunnel.
  15. BomberGal

    BomberGal Club Legend

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    A BSc on its own is useless, if you want to work in science. Here you need to do honours (unlike lots of other degrees, this is an extra lab-based year you have to apply to get into, and have to get in based on merit), and if you want to make any money at all you have to do a Masters or, as you generally would do, a PhD (which you can't do without honours).

    There's no money in science til you get to the top...first year out of uni (i.e. after honours) I started on a higher salary than most of my friends in law, commerce etc...until bang, they all overtook me in their second year. And basically I won't catch up for a long time.

    Further study, here I come...
  16. Hooley McBoob

    Hooley McBoob Account Cancelled by User

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    I'm not applying for any of those places :( But yeah I knew all that already. Oh well! I'll cross the internship bridge when I come to it! :D
  17. Mancey

    Mancey BFSC Gold

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    Speaking from a mining background....

    Engineering isn't that difficult and allows you to pretty much earn what you want where you want.

    Safety science, and to a lesser extent environmental science (my degree) is also going through a massive boom at the mo. Both will earn you 70's straight out of uni and into 6 figures before too long.

    Safety and Environmental degrees are also majors pretty much anyone can do with minimal prerequisites

    It's not the absolute megabucks or anything, but for the everyman who is daunted by law/medicine i think it's a reasonable choice
  18. Danz4

    Danz4 BigFooty Legend

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    Engineering:thumbsu:
  19. C4[2]Yo`DooR

    C4[2]Yo`DooR Club Legend

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    Are you applying to do Med at Monash?
  20. Hooley McBoob

    Hooley McBoob Account Cancelled by User

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    No, graduate Med there is out at Gippsland... :thumbsdown:

    Notre Dame in Sydney and Deakin.
  21. Here_we_come

    Here_we_come Team Captain

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    It is too simplistic to say an Arts degree is useless. It really depends on what your majors were. A double major in Ancient Greek and philosophy, for example, is probably not going to land you a well paying job. In contrast, a double major in psychology and criminology; or psychology and management will give you a better chance as these subjects compliment each other.

    It is also worth mentioning that in some well regarded companies an Arts degree actually holds as much weight as most others (i.e., science, commerce, business, etc).

    Some companies even go as far as to seek students holding an Arts degree. Last year I went to a seminar at Monash where some representatives of Bain and Co. (a well-known management consulting firm) were talking about entry into their grad recruitment program. They made the point of saying they wanted Arts graduates who had good grades.
  22. tribey

    tribey St. Justin Vanquishing Feels

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    not a degree but i am pretty sure that if you win 'so you think you can dance?' you get to stand behind the ranga and the samoan in the good guys ads
  23. treefingers

    treefingers the mighty hawks

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    What do you guys think of the worth of I.T degrees?
  24. Mancey

    Mancey BFSC Gold

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    Most (not all) people i know in I.T. have ended up hating it and wanting to swap careers after a few years.

    There's better options for the technically minded imo, such as electrical engineering. Huge bucks and lots of opportunities in that.

    IT has a robust glass ceiling that is hard to crack through unless you have the guts/knowhow to forge out on your own.
  25. mdc

    mdc Account Cancelled by User

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    Eh, don't really agree.

    I.T. degrees have lost value faster than any other degree over the last 10 years as the IT knowledge of the masses has greatly improved and more jobs are going overseas. Even proper computer science majors aren't nearly as well off as before.

    If you're really passionate about it (and talented), then just like any discipline it's good, but if you're doing it for career prospect, that seems a poor move to me.