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Old 08-22-2019, 01:01 AM   #1
WhiteTiger
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Inspired by some reading in the American Politics thread, this is something I've been thinking about for a while. Do 'you' use your degree? With all the emphasis on higher education, do folks actually end up/stay in the field of their choosing of their youth?

I don't use mine. Throughout grade 10-13, I got heavily involved in theatre, more specifically, the backstage aspect of it. I really enjoyed it, and seem to have a knack for it. I went to college for it, and earned my degree in Technical Theatre.

Then I realized that not only are there almost no jobs, but those few jobs are super hard to get, and even more so if you don't have union backing, and getting union backing was nearly impossible. At that point in time, you were required to have worked 8 shows on your own, which is basically 2-3 years worth of shows on essentially a volunteer basis. Since I like eating on a regular basis, volunteering 40+ hours a week didn't seem like a viable career plan, and I turned to Manufacturing, and learned to drive a forklift. A skillset that served me well until my current job.


I'm not sure I would have skipped college, had I known how my life was going to go, or how much I liked driving a forklift, but it was kind of a 'college/university is the only path one can take' sort of thing.


So, that's a long winded way of asking...do you use your degree? Or feel you got your moneys worth out of it before finding a different field?

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Old 08-22-2019, 02:14 AM   #2
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I "use" my degree. As in I wouldn't have my job if I didn't have the paper. However, did I really need to go through 4 years of engineering to do my current job? No.
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:39 AM   #3
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I am a Doctor of Chiropractic but I now work as a professor. I don't actively practice anymore, but my terminal degree qualifies me to teach in biological sciences. So I sorta use my degree and I sorta don't.
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Old 08-22-2019, 05:33 AM   #4
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My undergrad degree helped me to get my career going (BA Econ/political science) and also informed me that I should have done a BCom. So I did a full time MBA which I used every single day. I have changed careers a few times and it is my MBA that has helped me to do that.

I could do my current job without my MBA but it helps me understand diverse topics more quickly. I would therefore say that I use my MBA every day.
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Old 08-22-2019, 06:21 AM   #5
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I "use" my degree. As in I wouldn't have my job if I didn't have the paper. However, did I really need to go through 4 years of engineering to do my current job? No.
This sums up me too.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:00 AM   #6
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I "use" my degree. As in I wouldn't have my job if I didn't have the paper. However, did I really need to go through 4 years of engineering to do my current job? No.
Same here.

Anyone else think that an engineering degree was one of the the biggest waste of time?
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:08 AM   #7
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Undergrad degree in Philosophy and English? No.

Law School degree in, um, law? ...Still no.

Okay yes, I couldn't be a lawyer without going to law school, but realistically 90% of the useful stuff you learn is learned on the job. Honestly I've often thought my philosophy background has served me better to help think things through.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:28 AM   #8
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Same here.

Anyone else think that an engineering degree was one of the the biggest waste of time?
I would disagree.

I’m still doing technical work so still actively use the principles in fluids, materials and some of the electrical stuff. But even in non-technical jobs I think that Engineering School teaches a methodology of problem solving that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Also having project managers with at least some technical background makes them more effective in understanding the actual issue instead of just cost/schedule.

This isn’t to say that all engineers are good problem solvers but I do think their is significant value in the program even if the technical aspects aren’t used.

It also creates some gatekeeping which ensures a certain standard of person coming out. This is less valuable now that entrance averages to engineering has gone up so much as it becomes a high school work ethic question as opposed to the ability to obtain an engineering degree. So now it probably locks some people out.

That said I think a more trades style 2-3 years of school with apprenticeship would make much more sense

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Old 08-22-2019, 07:29 AM   #9
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I couldn't have the job I have without my undergraduate degree, but certainly my work experience is far more valuable than the majority of what I learned in school was. My MSc. is valuable since it was more focused and applicable to my field, but also ticks a box that will allow me to advance farther than I could otherwise.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:34 AM   #10
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Undergrad, not really other than it qualified me for grad school. Grad degree? Yeah, it got me my job and I use things I learned in it, but you could do the job without it.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:42 AM   #11
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I use the skills I learned in university every day - time management, planning, research, business analysis, etc. That said my job doesn't relate at all to my uni degrees. I would say it's what's taught on the journey, not the parchment you get at the end - at least in my case.

Also, the social life was second to none, and the "set your own schedule" life was appealing. Those are things I sorely miss, especially the 1st thing.

Therefore it was worth it. 10/10, would do it again.
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Old 08-22-2019, 07:46 AM   #12
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I use the skills I learned in university every day - time management, planning, research, business analysis, etc. That said my job doesn't relate at all to my uni degrees. I would say it's what's taught on the journey, not the parchment you get at the end - at least in my case.

Also, the social life was second to none, and the "set your own schedule" life was appealing. Those are things I sorely miss, especially the 1st thing.

Therefore it was worth it. 10/10, would do it again.
I’d agree here. The secondary aspects of university far and away made it worth it.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:14 AM   #13
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My degree in Urban Studies was basically just a step toward my Master's degree.
There were certainly useful skills I picked up doing my bachelors, but ultimately I can't see the degree being particularly relevant in my career moving forward.
In fact, knowledge/skills from my SAIT diploma will be considerably more useful than my 4 years of U of C undergrad.

Even my masters, while directly relevant/required for what I expect to be doing as a professional, has probably provided me with a lot of superfluous knowledge that won't be particularly useful.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:18 AM   #14
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I'd like to but nobody will hire me despite having 2 1/2 years experience. Being an "out of towner" makes it even more difficult. I still do use the skills I learned but it's all personal work.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:42 AM   #15
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Straight out of high school I went to college to get a business admin diploma. Initially I was going to do accounting but switched to marketing after a terrible teacher confused the entire class of intro to accounting. I wasn't ready to grow up so I worked retail for a couple of years.

Once I was ready to get a career started I went back to school to get that piece of paper to show that I'm a bonafide computer geek. I've worked in IT since I graduated over 15 years ago.

Now I'm Manager of IT so I guess I'm using all of my post secondary schooling.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:45 AM   #16
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Liberal Arts degrees so hell yeah I use them.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:47 AM   #17
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:49 AM   #18
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My Degree got me into my industry, but I don't use it in my current role.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:53 AM   #19
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Undergrad degree in Philosophy and English? No.

Law School degree in, um, law? ...Still no.

Okay yes, I couldn't be a lawyer without going to law school, but realistically 90% of the useful stuff you learn is learned on the job. Honestly I've often thought my philosophy background has served me better to help think things through.
Also a lawyer. Definitely use the legal research skills I learned.

Overall, law school needs an overhaul though. It should be more like a trades school, where hard legal skills are learned. Currently, you just touch on actual legal skills tangentially during course work.

The law school profession more or less acknowledges this, but continues to use law school in a gate keeping function. Law school is more about demonstrating your work ethic to potential employers than it is about learning.
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:54 AM   #20
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Like most so far, my degree mostly is used just to meet requirements to get a job. My degree is in math, and I have worked in IT and marketing my whole career. After college I got into website and did it first as a side business and then as a career. The STEM degree I think at least gave me a better reputation as a tech savvy person. My degree did at least require me to take an entry level computer science course, but I am self-taught and learned most of my skills on the job.

Edit, i should also add, I have a BA degree from a small liberal arts school. So I did have a pretty diverse course set in college that I think made me a well rounded person; So that may help with some of the soft skills that are needed in all jobs, but nothing that is directly applicable.
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