Did your undergraduate degree (major) actually matter for your first job?

posted 3 years ago in Career
  • poll: Did your degree matter? (multiple options)
    Yes, my specific degree helped me get a job. : (90 votes)
    45 %
    No, my specific degree did not help me get a job, I just needed a degree. : (38 votes)
    19 %
    I believe a specific degree helps most people's job prospects : (39 votes)
    20 %
    I do NOT believe a specific degree helps most people's job prospects : (18 votes)
    9 %
    I do not think a specific degree helps or hurts someone's job prospects (no affect) : (13 votes)
    7 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    1021 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @bmo88:  i got a degree in economics because i didn’t know what i wanted to do, i just wanted something broad in business that made me sound smart.  i never wanted to be an economist but i am a real estate agent and sort of consider myself to be an economist. 

    Post # 4
    Member
    1134 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2014

    I’m going to be a music teacher, so yeah my bachelor of music is needed for that position. Currently working on my bachelor of education (1 year program) to get certified before I can teach in a school. 

    Post # 5
    Member
    9949 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @bmo88:  My BA is in History, and while I don’t really use it while teaching, I certainly draw on what I know of history to help my students.  I’m a reading teacher, but like every subject comes up.  I also use the skills I learned/honed in college on a…weekly basis.

    I did get my MSEd, so yeah I use that every day!  Ha.

    Post # 6
    Member
    13020 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    Sure did!  I have an electrical engineering degree, and work as a test enginner writing software for testing radars components.

    Post # 7
    Member
    6882 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

    Yes yes yes.

    Post # 8
    Member
    11772 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2013

    Nope! I have (almost all) of a BA in Early Childhood Education, and I was a preschool teacher… But highschool drop outs can be preschool teachers.

    Post # 9
    Member
    1838 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    yep.nursing

    Post # 10
    Member
    328 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    @bmo88:  I have a BS in chemistry. I work in hazardous waste management/training. It definitely helped me know what I’m doing and get the job but many of the older people don’t have chemical degrees as they have just worked from the bottom. I’m also lucky that I make what i do 70k, many fellow chemistry graduates only make 30k doing lab work. I feel in chemistry if you don’t get a PhD your job prospects aren’t the best many jobs just require a GED 

    Post # 11
    Member
    1111 posts
    Bumble bee

    I got my BFA in Graphic Design and I would say about 90% of hiring employers won’t look at you without one for a design position.

    A killer portfolio is good too, but I think my credentials sealed the deal with my job that I have now.

    Post # 12
    Member
    1134 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2014

    @waitingforthering2:  My first major was chemistry. I dropped out after first year to do a music degree (same school though). I don’t think I would have been happy doing lab work for 30K a year! If anything, if I don’t get a position as a music teacher, I have enough credentials to be a chemistry teacher. 

    Post # 13
    Member
    1802 posts
    Buzzing bee

    I am currently finishing up my bachelors in German. Without an advanced degree I KNOW I won’t do anything with my undergraduate degree alone because I don’t want to teach. Foreign languages are very useful. I know German and French, and I plan on learning more as I go, but that alone isn’t really enough to get you a top notch job at a company unless you have a background in something else (business in particular). I do plan on getting my masters in international business, but only if I can get it from an accredited school in Europe. I’ve read up on it, and apparently that’s the best way to do it because it proves that you have first hand experience in the country. As for right now, I am currently working on my real estate license, so I will have that plus a bachelors degree that can get me in the door somewhere (I hope). Majoring in German has already helped me obtain jobs. For some reason I think that majoring in a foreign language and then electively learning more beyond that one gets people interested in you because it’s not something that most people do in the US. It also helps that I am passionate about my major, so it gets me talking! LOL

    My SO has a BA in history. He graduated in May 2013, and he really hasn’t used it yet. Upon graduation he moved up from 3rd key holder to assistant manager at his retail store, but he isn’t really making much. He will probably end up going back to school because so far he hasn’t been able to find even an entry level job that isn’t in his field. We try to be realistic in this sense. He isn’t going to be a museum curator at some fancy museum of history just because he went to a public university for four years and knows about a bunch of wars that happened. Helpful, sure, but it doesn’t open many doors beyond the ones that just require any degree.

    Post # 14
    Member
    9226 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2018

    I majored in English Literature and Writing, no it did not help my job prospects much at all! I got a part time office job in finance.

    Post # 15
    Member
    3625 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @bmo88: Yes– my degree was in Politics and Sociology and I have worked as an education researcher since I graduated. I needed the theories of inequalities and social programs to be able to figure out how education programs worked and conduct research correctly. My degrees also taught me how to write and research, which was critical. 

     

     

     

    My undergrad degree also directly led me to my career today (disseminating research). My office hosts a website that was integral to every paper I wrote in college. I happened to form strong opinions of the website which I might have been a little too vocal about my first year on the job (in fairness, the website was a giant pain in the butt)… 2 years later I got asked to take over the program and I spent a year figuring out how to get the website redesigned. Without all of my frustrating experiences writing papers in college, I would never have known how much of a problem it was!

     

     

     

    Post # 16
    Member
    328 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    @musical-lady:  around here they really dont pay much unless you get in with a few companies or make it to management. They all love to do contract work too. They say there are jobs which there are but it’s not worth it. I love music and still play, joined a professional brass band. I guess we are kinda opposites. 

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