I hate my degree that i graduated with and don't know what to do. Advice please

posted 7 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 16
621 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

bywater :  Wow. When people think of a degree like THAT, it’s no wonder students don’t come away recognizing that knowledge is valuable for its own sake rather than merely as a commodity. After all, what’s the point of learning things unless they make you a “shit ton of money.” 

Post # 17
5827 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

obviousanonymous :  I think you’re taking the PP’s comment as a negative when it doesn’t look like it is meant to be.  Sounds like she was specifically talking about a degree in the context of a job application, when applying for a job a degree is seen as proof of advanced critical thinking and being able to apply yourself and therefore the subject doesn’t always need to be relevant to the job so OP can go down many different paths with a bio degree.  

Plus education for education sake isn’t something the majority of the students in the US have the luxury of considering they usually go into tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for. 

Post # 18
1544 posts
Bumble bee

obviousanonymous :  I doubt say it wasn’t valuable.   It’s proof you did something. 

For the record, I have a bachelors and two masters degrees.  Only one of them relates to the job I have.   So, yeah, proof.

Post # 19
3258 posts
Sugar bee

An undergrad degree doesn’t really mean all that much.  My degree is in english and I work in finance and business.  


Post # 20
4750 posts
Honey bee

Many people don’t work in a field that directly relates to their bachelor degree.

Do you have a B.S. in a very STEM oriented program or do you have a B.A./B.S. from a university that also encouraged a well-rounded liberal arts curriculum?  Because most employers (particularly in any kind of office setting) don’t care what your degree is in,  just that you have one.  They care about the skills that degree taught you – especially writing/communication and critical thinking/analytical skills.  If you’re not finding jobs other than retail or food service, then that is at least partially due to your own lack of creativity and inability to identify and market the skills you gained from your coursework, particularly if you have a liberal arts education.  Pretty much everyone in my office has the same job or at least starts in the same position and gets promoted up and the people I work with have degrees in pretty much anything you can think of – business administration, early childhood education, art history, English, Russian literature, biology, psychology, criminal justice, sociology, special education, communication, forensic anthropology, broadcast journalism, legal studies, marketing, political science, history, music therapy…And that’s just going through about the first 40 bios on our website.  All doing the same job…All mostly unrelated to their areas of study except the psychology, special education, and the biology majors.

Post # 21
2585 posts
Sugar bee

What skills do you have? What are you good at? What kind of jobs are you interested in? Start with those questions. Then apply broadly to everything that even remotely lines up with something you might be interested in and that lines up with your skills. 

Like PP have said, many/most people don’t work in jobs related to their degrees, especially undergrad degrees. A BA/BS is a basic requirement for a lot of jobs, but outside of a narrow sector of fields, most employers are less interested in what you majored in than what skills and traits you bring to the table, and of course your experience once you develop your resume futher. 

Post # 22
860 posts
Busy bee

I’ve used my degree in some jobs and not in most. It doesn’t honestly matter. People just want to see that you A. have a degree and B. are capable and intelligent. Don’t stress, but absolutely follow your desires and chase what you really want to do. Don’t pigeonhole yourself regardless of if you want to use your degree or not!

Post # 23
231 posts
Helper bee

My degree is a BA in Literature. Not much options there besides working in publishing or being an author. I now work in sales and it turns out I’m really good at it. I would love to work in medical sales but they often ask for a Bachelor of science, so maybe you can look into that option. I know it’s discouraging when you get out of school and only think of what relates to your studies. But there are so many jobs out there that are unrelated but just having a degree in anything will help you. 

Post # 24
8671 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Undergraduate degrees don’t decide your career path. I know very few people working in the same field as their undergraduate degree! OP you’re in your early 20s, it isn’t “too late” for anything. You haven’t missed anything. Some people are lucky enough to find their passion at 18 and run with it forever, but that’s not most people. 

Post # 25
412 posts
Helper bee

I COMPLETELY understand. 

I went to school for physics. And thought about pursuing grad school but didn’t. I looked for jobs somewhat relatable to that degree (engineering) and couldn’t find anything because I might also add that it was totally a male dominant field and incredibly difficult to find a job. Interviews were even awkward because the men were totally out of line. The jobs were there but I don’t know if its the south or what but… hard for a woman to actually land the job. But moving on…

I oddly found myself at a major insurance company and have been with this company for 5 years. For the longest I gave myself hell for not using my degree… but now at 30 years old I don’t care anymore. I can find tons of jobs that have SOME amount of similarity to physics such as underwriting for example. My current set up isn’t a physics job but I am MORE than happy and still on track for a bright future and career. I work from home too so that makes me happy because thats what I wanted for me.

So my suggestion is to maybe look for jobs that might not be biology but have similar concepts and you can use your skill sets. I am not sure what that would be but for me, I would say being an actuary or underwriter because they handle probabilities/statistics and variables similar to physics. Hope that makes sense. 

So just see how your education can be similiarly used elsewhere. I am sure you had to take a decent amount of math maybe?

Post # 29
2162 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

FWIW I graduated with a degree in Chemistry and did NOT want to be in the lab. In the end I got an amazing job offer so I sold out and worked in the lab for my first few years. This was great because I earned a lot of money while figuring out what I wanted to do. I ended up having work pay for me to get my MBA and I went into project management. I love it, and having the chemistry background put me in a growing area: R&D project management. So like PP said, expand your horizions! 

Your biology degree shows you are data driven and analytical so look for those types of jobs when you job search. Also, consider working in a pharma or R&D lab for a little bit while you figure out what else to do, they will most likely pay for you to get any certificates, or schooling you need. And R&D work is really laid back. You can also work as a research assistant, technician, or sales representative in the agricultural, food processing, pharmaceutical, or biomedical industries. You can work in the field of environmental protection. You can substitute as a biology teacher at the middle school or high school level. You can work in an R&D library, where you research papers and journals for the R&D scientists. That is simialr to a retail job. There is a ton you can do! 

I do think that you need a trip back to the career counseler. Have them look over your resume and tweak it to gear it toward positions you are interested in. 

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