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

posted 7 years ago in Career
  • poll: Did your degree matter? (multiple options)

    Yes, my specific degree helped me get a job.

    No, my specific degree did not help me get a job, I just needed a degree.

    I believe a specific degree helps most people's job prospects

    I do NOT believe a specific degree helps most people's job prospects

    I do not think a specific degree helps or hurts someone's job prospects (no affect)

  • Post # 32
    Member
    255 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    I got my degree in nursing, then got my license… and now I am a nanny because nobody wants to hire new graduate nurses in my area. I love being a nanny, but I would rather be a maternity nurse in a hospital.

    Post # 33
    Member
    555 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    I did my undergraduate degree in French. Then I did my bachelor of education right afterwards. While my intention was never to be a French teacher, I knew the market was good so as it turned out – the reason I ended up getting hired in my district right out of university was because I was willing to teach French immersion. I did it for my first year but once I had a solid position in the district, I was able to move around and eventually teach English.

    So yes – my undergrad directly helped me get a job, but it was mostly just circumstantial. Most of my peers are NOT that way.

     

    Post # 34
    Member
    3467 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    my first, first job? No. That was a just a job to pay the bills during grad school. But my first real job in my field, yes, absolutely. I majored in International Relations. Now I’m a diplomat. That’s exactly what I was going for. 

    I also have a law degree and any jobs that I had during law school or after (except my current job, I guess) required me to have had law experience or a law degree: legal assistant, law clerk, contract specialist, attorney

    Post # 35
    Member
    555 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2020

    I did my undergrad degree in journalism and I am now working as a journalist… yes it did matter that I had a degree in some writing-related or humanities field

    Post # 36
    Member
    2571 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2013

    I majored in Accounting, and my first job was in Big 4 public accounting so yes. I originally had an Intl Business major, but switched junior year b/c job prospects would be limited if not non-existent. So yeah, absolutely – your major matters.

    Post # 37
    Member
    2093 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    Hey! I just wanted to respond from the “I don’t have a degree yet” perspective.

    I am 36 and have been working since I was 16 and in the “corporate” world since 2006. I have met and seen all kinds of people in all kinds of positions. After many years questioning if a degree (any kind) would help ME, personally, I decided last year, YES, it would and I went back to school to finish my degree.

    I went off to college in a traditional way but didn’t know jack about how college worked and failed out. And not because I’m not smart. It’s because I literally did not know how to study or be a good student. I had little support in that way from my parents.

    Anyway, I have seen, time and time again, that people with degrees get better jobs faster, but that all in all…networking helps and you have to WORK no matter what you do, to get ahead. Keeping up to date on your industry and technology helps too…after you graduate. It shows you are keeping yourself current and ready to “progress and grow”, which is what all companies want. But I will say…for MYSELF, that it was incredibly hard for me to break out of the admin or receptionist role since I didn’t have a degree. I posted for advice on here, actually.

    Time and time again, the women that didn’t have a degree were always up for admin roles and people loved to keep them there. I’m not saying that is bad but it’s just not for me and I felt lied to when I was told it helps you get through the door. It does in some ways but you do have to help yourself. I am in school, got a job in AP (I had Acct experience, which is another great avenue) and now I’m in the middle of supply and procurement, with possibility surrounding me. I just feel better about it all since I decided to go back. 

     

    I voted for the 3rd option, from the top. 🙂

    Post # 38
    Member
    727 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Yep.  I have a B.A.Sc in Civil Engineering.  My first job was doing design in a consulting firm.  I absolutely needed my degree to get that job.

    However, now I work for a construction company doing more project management type work (which I like WAY better than design), and I’m the only person with a degree in Engineering.  So it isn’t totally needed for there, although it is prefered to have some sort of a designation.

    Post # 39
    Member
    637 posts
    Busy bee

    Yep. My degree is in art history and my first job was in an art gallery. Fairly straight forward 😛

    Post # 40
    Member
    7603 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2013

    I chose a degree that I knew would get me a job without needing further education. I’m a Civil Engineer.

    Post # 42
    Member
    3823 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    yes. engineering degree helped me get my first job – an engineering job. having my mba has opened up a lot of doors for jobs that are not engineering specific but appreciate a technical understanding of math, science and engineering.

    Post # 43
    Member
    3212 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    When I explain the reason I took my first degree, it totally matters in my field – that degree was in archaeology and I work in museums. I didn’t necessarily want to be a shovel bum forever, but I wanted to learn about how to ‘read’ an object of material culture and show other people the way that objects can speak.

    For my job (director of programming) both my master’s in communication and educatuon in museums was very helpful as was my prior work and volunteer experience as an interpreter, environmental educator and programmer. For hiring though, I prefer looking for candidates who are friendly and can interact comfortably with people, “read” a crowd, and can demonstrate they have a work ethic which helps them to do the background research they will need to know in order to lead a program and give good answers when someone asks a question out of the blue.  I’ve worked with talented high school students and with people with degrees who I was really super frustrated with.

    Working in non profits means there’s a certain type of person drawn to this field. Attitude is so important! 

    Post # 44
    Member
    935 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    Oh yea – I was a Microbial Genetics major and my first job was cancer research.

    Post # 45
    Member
    657 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I have a finance degree and have been working in tax consulting since graduation. I would not have gotten my job without my degree. So yes, I do think that certain professions need certain degrees from college.

    Post # 46
    Member
    1798 posts
    Buzzing bee

    View original reply
    @bmo88:  I wouldn’t even consider myself capable of doing lower level math 😛 I’m sure if I put my mind to it I could, but it really doesn’t interest me I suppose. I’ll stick with the languages!

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