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How relevant was your college education to your career choice? - Page 2

post #16 of 34

Economics....and I conduct vaguely economic research now, applying to PhD programs in OB. So probably pretty relevant.

 

My dad's undergrad was in classical languages and chemistry, then he got his PhD in German literature, and now he's a primary scientist specializing in the Earth's magnetosphere at a large applied R&D organization. So not very relevant in his case.

post #17 of 34
Economics/Mathematics.

Now a Business Analyst, developing IT solutions for an Electric Utility. Education was mildly useful for where I am today (finished school 18 months ago), but will be more useful in the next few years to getting me to where I want to be - as an Analyst for either the Commodities Traders or with the Commercial Management team doing analysis for PPA (power purchasing agreements).
post #18 of 34
Just general words of advice based on my experience. Not really directed at anyone, just felt like mentioning it.
I'm in my first job (been 18 months) post-university and it's horrible. But first jobs usually are and you gotta keep in mind to work hard and to learn as much as you can. Keep your dream job and/or /industry in sight and just stick through that horrible times that come with that first job. And be thankful that you at least have a college education and a decent job.
post #19 of 34
Business degree with a concentration in marketing, currently managing the marketing department at my company.
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by amathew View Post

Yeah. A lot of people are working hard out there, but without a bachelor's, they can't progress up and make more.
post #21 of 34
Relevant in terms of the application of my learnings to my job? Absolutely 0%.

Double majored in Econ and Psych and the Econ degree was only relevant to the extent that it served as a signal that I did not major in some fluffy, bullshit major. Psych is pretty bullshitty but I finished my Econ courses by the end of my first semester of my Junior year and I added Psych out of personal interest in the topic -- employers seemed to like that story.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenFrog View Post

Relevant in terms of the application of my learnings to my job? Absolutely 0%.
Double majored in Econ and Psych and the Econ degree was only relevant to the extent that it served as a signal that I did not major in some fluffy, bullshit major. Psych is pretty bullshitty but I finished my Econ courses by the end of my first semester of my Junior year and I added Psych out of personal interest in the topic -- employers seemed to like that story.
Nice M3 BTW, bud.

Back to topic: Experience also plays a big portion. If I can go back in time, I would tell the college me to stop being so lazy and pick up as many internships as possible, even if it's not directly in line with my major, just stuff I'm interested in. I have a friend with an engineering degree working in IT because he picked up a couple of IT related internships.

GreenFrog's post makes me think of a couple of folks I knew that graduated from very well known universities with majors like History and English. They couldn't find jobs in their fields and are now working at places like Starbucks and Costco.
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by wj4 View Post


GreenFrog's post makes me think of a couple of folks I knew that graduated from very well known universities with majors like History and English. They couldn't find jobs in their fields and are now working at places like Starbucks and Costco.

 

I actually think this has less to do w/ students majoring in "useless" subjects than the fact that many students have this odd expectation that they are going to find a job in the "real world" where they are going to use their classical literature skills on a daily basis. But that doesn't mean these grads have to settle for Starbucks or Costco. There are a world of possibilities for grads with those majors, whether in marketing, communications, public relations, some analyst positions, project managers, etc. The director of marketing at the company I work for is a young guy (30's) who has bachelors degree in history. Grads with history, classics, econ history, etc majors don't have to settle for Starbucks because they have real skills that can make them a far more attractive hire than someone with a business marketing or economics* major in many instances.

 

*non econometrics people.

 

Some "softer" majors like econ and poli sci seem to be emphasizing quantitative skills so that their students have some meaningful skills when they enter the job force. As someone who double majored in applied math and political science, that was a perfect combination as both majors really placed an emphasis on the skills required to conduct quantitative research and statistical computing.

 

 

Of course, at the end of the day, education doesn't mean shit to me. If you have the skills to get the job done in a prompt manner, that's all that matters to me. Thankfully, I work for a company whose CEO shares this attitude. This is most evident when our two most recent software engineering hires had just a high school diploma and the other had a psych degree. I could care less if you went to Harvard, MIT, or Alabama State, or you majored in engineering, physics, or poetry....as long as you can get your shit done. I'm probably in the minority on this point, but whatever.


Edited by amathew - 12/1/12 at 8:48pm
post #24 of 34

Undergrad in mechanical engineering, grad (if you want to call it that) in law (in about 5 months, anyway). Both highly relevant, as I worked as an an engineer and am moving to IP law where my undergrad background is not only relevant, but necessary. Quite a perfect transition, actually.

 

Interestingly, at least half of my graduating MechE class got scooped up by the big IBanks a few years before the crash -- they wanted their quantitative skills and pulled them out of engineering. Always thought that was a shame. Wonder how they fared.

 

~ H
 

post #25 of 34
completly irrelevant - philosophy major, now I do international sales
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by amathew View Post

I actually think this has less to do w/ students majoring in "useless" subjects than the fact that many students have this odd expectation that they are going to find a job in the "real world" where they are going to use their classical literature skills on a daily basis. But that doesn't mean these grads have to settle for Starbucks or Costco. There are a world of possibilities for grads with those majors, whether in marketing, communications, public relations, some analyst positions, project managers, etc. The director of marketing at the company I work for is a young guy (30's) who has bachelors degree in history. Grads with history, classics, econ history, etc majors don't have to settle for Starbucks because they have real skills that can make them a far more attractive hire than someone with a business marketing or economics* major in many instances.

*non econometrics people.

Some "softer" majors like econ and poli sci seem to be emphasizing quantitative skills so that their students have some meaningful skills when they enter the job force. As someone who double majored in applied math and political science, that was a perfect combination as both majors really placed an emphasis on the skills required to conduct quantitative research and statistical computing.


Of course, at the end of the day, education doesn't mean shit to me. If you have the skills to get the job done in a prompt manner, that's all that matters to me. Thankfully, I work for a company whose CEO shares this attitude. This is most evident when our two most recent software engineering hires had just a high school diploma and the other had a psych degree. I could care less if you went to Harvard, MIT, or Alabama State, or you majored in engineering, physics, or poetry....as long as you can get your shit done. I'm probably in the minority on this point, but whatever.
I share the same attitude towards the latter half. I went to a state university and I was quite nervous when the time came to job hunt because of potential candidates from better ranking schools. I eventually got a job within a week of searching. Granted it was not a 9-5 deal, I was working shift 2, and eventually grave yard. I was pretty young and loved it. I eventually tried to recruit from my alma mater after I moved up to a new position, and my former position was open and like you stated, a lot of the newly grads were expected dream jobs to be handed out. I was dumbfound because aside from a few textbook facts, they really did know nothing. It was a decent job that paid over $20 an hour, and did not demanded much.

I have encountered a few jobs that stated they want individuals from high ranking schools though. I applied regardless, but no call back, haha. My goal was to go to a school and accrued as little debt as possible. If I had the means to attend a better ranking school without being in so much debt, I think I would've opted for that route.

The people I mentioned are stuck in a limbo IMO. Not to sound like a prick or anything, they are doing that 9-5 day by day gig like it's college still. I thoroughly enjoy this kind of conversation, especially with enlightened members on this board. A member once told me something really catchy, yet refreshing..."there is no such thing as a dead end job, just a dead end state of mind". I have seen quite a few jobs out there that just require a degree. I guess they think that if you're competent enough to get a bachelor's, then you'll be competent enough to work for them. If I were one of those people I mentioned, I would definitely be on the look out for this kind of job. At the very least, I would search internally to see if I can climb into a management position since the chances are greater with you, being that you are not new to the firm.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by amathew View Post

 

I actually think this has less to do w/ students majoring in "useless" subjects than the fact that many students have this odd expectation that they are going to find a job in the "real world" where they are going to use their classical literature skills on a daily basis. But that doesn't mean these grads have to settle for Starbucks or Costco. There are a world of possibilities for grads with those majors, whether in marketing, communications, public relations, some analyst positions, project managers, etc. The director of marketing at the company I work for is a young guy (30's) who has bachelors degree in history. Grads with history, classics, econ history, etc majors don't have to settle for Starbucks because they have real skills that can make them a far more attractive hire than someone with a business marketing or economics* major in many instances.

 

*non econometrics people.

 

Some "softer" majors like econ and poli sci seem to be emphasizing quantitative skills so that their students have some meaningful skills when they enter the job force. As someone who double majored in applied math and political science, that was a perfect combination as both majors really placed an emphasis on the skills required to conduct quantitative research and statistical computing.

 

 

Of course, at the end of the day, education doesn't mean shit to me. If you have the skills to get the job done in a prompt manner, that's all that matters to me. Thankfully, I work for a company whose CEO shares this attitude. This is most evident when our two most recent software engineering hires had just a high school diploma and the other had a psych degree. I could care less if you went to Harvard, MIT, or Alabama State, or you majored in engineering, physics, or poetry....as long as you can get your shit done. I'm probably in the minority on this point, but whatever.

Software engineering position with only a high school diploma? You mean Software programmer, right?

post #28 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by FranSuitman View Post

Software engineering position with only a high school diploma? You mean Software programmer, right?

 

Most companies use the title "Software Engineer" and "Computer Programmer" to mean the same thing. It's basically programming and not

hardware work. Never heard of anyone with the job title of 'software programmer' being used in the States. 

 

Not to mention "Software Engineering" is a common undergraduate major, and largely focused on programming. Almost same as "Computer 

Science". However, "Computer Engineering" tends to be more hardware based.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor_of_Software_Engineering

post #29 of 34
completely relevant. I majored in economics and now I am an economist at an economics consulting firm.
Very few of the non-masters/phd employees here have undergraduate degrees in things that aren't econ. Off the top of my head, I can think of a girl with a math degree and a guy with an english or history degree. The girl with the math degree...well that's pretty close to econ depending on what other courses you take. The other dude was an intern here multiple times before coming back to work full time (and had taken plenty of relevant coursework).

I will say however, many of the courses I think were the most helpful to me were things that did not count towards my major.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by amathew View Post

Most companies use the title "Software Engineer" and "Computer Programmer" to mean the same thing. It's basically programming and not
hardware work. Never heard of anyone with the job title of 'software programmer' being used in the States. 

Not to mention "Software Engineering" is a common undergraduate major, and largely focused on programming. Almost same as "Computer 
Science". However, "Computer Engineering" tends to be more hardware based.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bachelor_of_Software_Engineering

My undergrad is in computer engineering from a Big 10 university, and you could make it as focused or as broad as you wanted. Some people's were basically the same as a computer science degree except with more physics and math because the college of engineering had different core and foundational course requirements. Others were basically the same as an electrical engineering course, except with some programming rather than some of the other electrical electives again due to slightly different requirements.

Mine was focused in embedded system design, and had a good amount of programming. The only thing stopping me from a double major was one class, but figured I rather graduate in 3.5 years than stick around for one class.

To the original question: not very relevant. I was hired out of college as a unix engineer. I have moved into more of a consulting role now, but the analytical and process type thinking are still relevant.
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