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Useful V useless degrees in the UK.

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posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 07:21 AM

After reading a couple of very interesting threads about education and the value of degrees in the modern day, it really got me thinking about the degree I have just started, and am I wasting my time doing the disciplines that I am doing in the UK.

My ultimate goal would be to be an archaeologist, but as a single mum working full time, at this moment, it would just not be feasible, so to pass time while I am working towards that goal, I would like to teach secondary level, hence the need for a degree.

I am in the first year (Level 1) of an open degree with the Open University studying the Arts Past and Present (AA100-art history, classical studies, English, history, music, philosophy and religious studies). I was originally planning to split the degree between Religious studies and Classical Studies. The religious aspect as to what I would teach, and the Classical studies as a foot into the archaeological side (OU don't offer an exclusive degree in Archaeology, Classics being the closest they recommend).

This degree, done part time will take 6 years. By then my little one will be 13 years old, a bit more independent, giving me time to take the next step towards the Archaeology side of things, and maybe move towards a brick building Uni, rather to being restricted to distance learning online.

I know I've seen Byrd's posts and his amazing collection of degrees, and speciality in Egyptology, and I'm impressed, and jealous! But that is America. UK is a tad smaller. Not so much going on.

I'm just at the point of having to choose my next module, and as it's an open degree, I can choose anything I want.

The question is, should I be sensible and choose something that might be useful in the future as a definite, but not necessarily enjoy it, or bite the bullet and stick to my original plan.

Yes, it would be great to get into a job of my dreams, but is there really a call for it in the UK that anyone knows of?
Has anyone took this route and been successful?
Does anyone work in this field and know of any particular areas I should aim for specifically?

All advice will be greatly received.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 07:35 AM

Don't look at it all from a financial gain point of view. Life isn't about chasing abstract representations of wealth and don't view yourself as a commodity that can increase or decrease its value.

Some people know the cost of everything and the value in nothing
edit on 18-2-2016 by woodwardjnr because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 07:41 AM
a reply to: woodwardjnr

That little video was fantastic woodwardjnr! And for me, it's not about the money, at all. That quite put something into perspective for me.

Thank you so much for posting that.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 07:58 AM
a reply to: MissBeck

Are you kidding? The Ness of Brodgar excavations are uncovering new finds constantly, and they are providing some of the best examples of Neolithic life in the country. The whole of Perthshire and Stirling are layered deep with uncovered archaeological treasure. If that's what you've set your heart on, then go for it.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 08:30 AM
a reply to: MissBeck

Depends. My degree is in a totally different field than what I now work in. But the degree got me into the interview.

Enjoy uni whilst you're there.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 08:48 AM
a reply to: beansidhe

I have just been in my element looking around that site, and all the pictures of their finds at the dig! Fascinating! Thank you!

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 08:52 AM
a reply to: and14263

Interesting! What's your degree, and what do you do now?

I would like to think if I followed the path I intended, and it didn't work out, I could still get into something similar based on the modules I'm choosing.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 08:59 AM
a reply to: MissBeck
My impression is that a course in archaeology would demand field-work, which is probably why Open University would not offer it.
I imagine that you would need to be ready to undertake a residential course.
Perhaps History would be good preparation in the meantime.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 09:20 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

Yes, when I compared it to Birmingham University's course, fieldwork was involved, but that's only 45 mins from me, so wouldn't necessarily need to be residential if I chose there.

I also thought about history as preparation. Thank you DISRAELI!

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 11:42 AM
I do not mean to offend (said everyone who was about to offend someone)

But a Archaeology degree is about as useful as a chocolate tea pot.

I have a couple of friends who left school with me and have amazing degrees in archaeology one is even working on his Phd. But guess what neither of them ever got their dream job, one of them now works in a call centre and the other works in some tiny museum that i don't even remember what its for.

I think we have a problem regarding higher education in this country in that too many people are undertaking pointless degree's. Things like "media studies", "performance arts" "psychology", "event organizing" the list goes on and on. Sure we need people who have studied those things, we do need Archaeologists we need event organisers and we need people who have studied psychology. My issue is that we have too many of them, people pursuing careers that are ultimately rather pointless or are always going to be just dreams rather than real jobs. We don't need more people qualified in the "classical arts" we need more doctors, nurses, teachers, engineers, IT specialists and so on.

We also need to drastically move away from this stupid illusion that university is the only way to get a good job, when i was at school in the early 2000's i was practically forced to go to university. I think we need more apprenticeships but not just in the traditional trades of building but also in bossiness, health care and finance.

Sorry for my little rant.

If i where you i would change course and become either a teacher of history or religious education.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 11:57 AM
I imagine archaeology is a field of study where you need to already be wealthy before you get the degree. Otherwise you will be looking to other people for funding to travel places and do digs, and good luck with that. It wouldn't surprise me that there are people who get degrees in this and never end up traveling places and living the dream.

Don't go to college to get a degree in your dream job. Go to college and get a degree in something practical that you could tolerate working a job in the rest of your life. At the least, you will have an income and won't be miserable. Your career doesn't have to make you happy, it just has to be steady and not suck.

People who go to college for professional sports, or photography, or music are also going to have a hard time landing the dream job. You almost have a better chance winning the lottery than you do getting into the NFL, or working for national geographic, or becoming an accomplished rap artist. But that's not what schools teach you - they teach you to pursue your dream at all costs. For every person that lands one of these dream jobs there are tens of thousands (at least) who didn't.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 11:57 AM
a reply to: MissBeck
In general I think it is better to study a subject that you enjoy and with a bit of luck get a good degree pass rather than struggle with something that doesn't really engage you.
There are exceptions particularly in some STEM subjects but in most cases a first in even a fairly obscure subject will help you more than a third in something more obviously practical.
Best of luck whatever you choose.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 12:40 PM
a reply to: OtherSideOfTheCoin

Hi OtherSideOfTheCoin!

No need to apologise for the rant. It's all welcome. That's why I'm asking for advice.

In fact you bought two cases forward of people you know who have done what I want to do, which is what I asked for, so thank you. I must admit, even working in a 'tiny museum' would suit me.

Teaching, which was one in your list of 'wanted's, is in my original plan, so it's all good. That is the reason I'm doing the degree at all, as it is a teaching requirement.

Thanks for contributing.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 12:47 PM
a reply to: peskyhumans

Hi peskyhumans! I love that username. It's how I feel a lot of the time!

I see what you're saying. That's where the teaching part comes into it. I've only recently realised I would like to teach, so that wouldn't be a hardship if I do get a career teaching.

I could get my foot in the archaeological door by doing volunteering at digs in all those school holidays.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 12:51 PM
a reply to: MissBeck

Consider a double major, say accounting and archaeology. A position as an accountant will provide funds for living while one may volunteer as an archaeologist on weekends, satisfying paying job and intellectual curiosity requirements. As one becomes more well known for archaeology, one can make a transition in a fashion that suits one's own lifestyle.

edit on 2/18/2016 by pteridine because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 12:55 PM
a reply to: MissBeck

You did say all advice.

This bit.

By then my little one will be 13 years old, a bit more independent, giving me time . . .

From the university of Dad/Grandad. Don't bet on it.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 12:56 PM
a reply to: ScepticScot

Hi ScepticScot,

Well luckily, all of the modules I have provisionally chosen for the next six years are all subjects I enjoy, and could lead to some job prospects that I would be happy with to be honest, like heritage sites, museums and stuff like that.

But I think if I didn't go for it now, I'd always regret it. I'm not getting any younger (42) and think I've come to the decision I'd rather go for it now, and if nothing happens, well, I tried. Opportunities may open up years down the line from now and I'd be prepared and ready to go.

But there's always this little niggling voice in be telling me to be sensible.

Thanks for contributing!

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 01:03 PM
a reply to: pteridine

That's a very sensible answer pteridine! Trouble is I'm terrible with maths!

I will browse the other modules though to see what else is available. I know there are some science modules, and environmental ones, as well as Psychology and languages.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 01:06 PM
a reply to: Kester

Kester. I didn't mean she will have to fend for herself, but she won't be asking me to do mundane things that 7 year olds do. She'll be a sulky teenager by then who will lock herself away in her room and only come out for food, leaving me extra study time.

posted on Feb, 18 2016 @ 01:19 PM
My opinion (and it is just my opinion) would depend on your financial situation and future security (and that of your child).

If you are financially stable and can support yourself at your current quality of life until you die and you can insure that your child will have the support he or she needs to achieve the same quality of life for most of their lives. Than you should follow your heart and get the degree you want. If it doesn’t work out; you will still be in a good place financially and your child will have the security they need to achieve at least the same in their lives.

If however you are living paycheck to paycheck; if you find it difficult to save for the future and you don’t know where the money will come from to set your child on the right foot when they reach adult hood; then I would suggest you be more pragmatic in your decision making. Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies; it’s nice to believe that everyone should be doing exactly what makes them the happiest, but life isn’t always nice and part of living is understanding this fact.

I would also point out that what carrier you “think” will make you the happiest may not be what altimetry make you happy. Just as an anecdote; when it came time for me to choose where and for what I would be attending university; I had always thought I would become an architect. From a very small child I would pretend to be one; designing face buildings and houses and all that kind of stuff. When it came time for me to go to college I had to face the reality that I did not have enough money to attend a school that had a worthwhile architecture program; the schools that I could attend did have a program, but they were bellow-standard. I could have followed my dream and became an architect and I probably would have been happy. But instead I looked over the programs at the schools I could afford and picked one that I had interest in and one that was of a good standard. So instead of an architect I became an electrical engineer; I love this field and I have become successful at it. As I look back I don’t think I would be as happy to have been an architect.

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