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Which Degree, and For Which Job?


Business and Professional Relationships Networking and maintaining a positive environment in the work place is important! Surviving the 9-to-5 within.

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Old 1st November 2012, 12:30 AM   #61
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Actually, a LOT has changed....

I have thougth a HELL of a lot, all day, talking to people in the field..


I thought about doing nutrition.

I am doing the RIGHT thing, here. I am really considering my best options.

So far, my best friend is in the exact same boat as me; she wanted to be a nutritionist since year 8, as did I since I was about 10.

UNfrotunately, the food science degree was too hard for us by a long shot, so she went on to do social work...

I will probably go down the same path; we both did well in school, yet simply cannot cope with a science or math degree. Not even part time. It is beyong our ability.

I am doing the right thing here; consdering my best options very carefully.




I have come to a conclusion now, thanks to people getting me to think about what I want and what I am willing to sacrifice.
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Old 1st November 2012, 1:09 AM   #62
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Just make sure you're choosing social sciences over food sciences for the right reasons. If you think you will enjoy the career path more then go for it. But don't choose it simply because it is easier. This is a major life decision, you don't want to go through 4 years of university only to realize you don't want to be a social worker.

4 years of your life is a pretty small investment in the grand scheme of things. You may struggle with school a lot in those 4 years, but it can really pay off. Think about it this way: Which would you rather do for the -rest of your life-?
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Old 1st November 2012, 1:46 AM   #63
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I have researched about both career paths.

I realise there are major drawbacks to being a social worker, but what sounds like hell to some people actually appeals to me.

I don't mind trying to help out rough people in rough neighbour hoods. It would humble me, as I believe we are ALL EQUAL, and I believe I will find some good in a lot of people that have it tough in life. They are not all the stero types, and the ones that are can change.

If anything, I would come home feeling very greatfull for me "sh*tty, low paid" job.

I would enjoy a lot about the degree, and be able to get ajob in all likely hood, because I am a positive and passionate person about the things I choose to do.

What's more, probably my best friend is doing it, and is helping me out a lot ; telling about the uipcoming work, and the case studies you eventualy do in 2nd year that are very rewarding apparently.

I cannot see WHY I would not get a job as a social worker - there is enough work out there for it, a career councellor told my good friend who is doing it.

In terms of a food science degree...

I simply cannot hack a full blow food science degree - the only option would be to do it part time, take TWICE as long to get the degree ( 6 years total) ,

AND I would need a LOT of tutoring, which I could not afford on a studet allowance, and my parents would not even afford to help, as tutors are VERY expensive! About 30 bucks an hour...


I would need to see a tutor twice a week at least.....



And nutritionist are not paid well anyway, you would need to go on to get a masters in pharmacy, according to an America guy doing the degree.
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Old 1st November 2012, 1:56 AM   #64
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A degree in social work sounds about as useless as a law degree. I would know, I'm (regrettably) pursuing the latter.

Don't listen to "career counselors." Most of them are first-class charlatans.
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Old 1st November 2012, 11:49 AM   #65
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Leigh, have you considered looking at getting an EMT certification?

My opinion is that the cost of a university education these days needs to be VERY carefully weighed against the payout. You have to view it as an investment. It's good that you sound like you are viewing the decision this way, but consider the fact that obtaining a 4 year degree (at least at this point) may not be the best investment of your money and time.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with going to trade school or obtaining certifications versus going to a university. In fact, I would argue that the former route is the more prudent one for many people.

When I was in high school, the mantra (extolled by my teachers and repeated by my peers) was that in order to reach the highest levels of education, enlightenment, and socioeconomic status (HA) was that we should have our sights set on attending smaller, private, liberal arts colleges. What stupid, shortsighted advice this was...

As a result, I saw many of the "star students" apply, get accepted to and attend such places to pursue degrees in things such as literature, or English composition. Guess what? They're all baristas at Starbucks. A "lucky" couple of them are now middle school teachers. Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with making coffee for a living or being a teacher. In fact, my own mother was a teacher and I believe it to be a highly noble profession, but that's another topic.

The point I'm trying to make is that these people are going to be paying off debt well into their 40's for degrees that very well may have "enlightened" them, but aren't really worth a whole lot on the market.

In some ways, the demise of their investment in their college degrees wasn't entirely their fault. They were being guided by the advice of people who hadn't been in the job market for probably 30 years, people who came from an era where having a liberal arts degree from an expensive, private university might have meant a lot more.

If you really want to do social work for a living, by all means, pursue social work. However, if you're looking to maximize your job and earnings prospects while minimizing the front end investment in terms of $$, consider that going to a university might not be the best choice. It just depends on what you want to do.

On a side note: don't sell yourself short with the math classes. I never considered myself to be good a math until I got to college. My strengths tended to be centered around writing and language arts. I have a degree in civil engineering, which as you can imagine, is a degree very heavily weighted in the math and science camp. I had to learn a different way of thinking to be come proficient at the math/science I needed to take, and it wouldn't have been possible without getting external help in the form of tutors, extra study sessions, office hours, etc. As soon as you admit defeat, you're truly done for. Simply writing yourself off as "not good a math" until you've truly applied yourself is selling yourself short. If you really want to pursue food science, accept that you will have a major hurdle with regards to comprehending the math side of things, and adjust for it by spending MORE time and devoting MORE resources to it than you would have to with other subjects.

Whooooo. And I'm spent.
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Old 1st November 2012, 11:56 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by leigh 87 View Post

....70% of people fail stats.

yes!!!!!! ^
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Old 1st November 2012, 12:47 PM   #67
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My opinion is that the cost of a university education these days needs to be VERY carefully weighed against the payout....
Says better and much more diplomatically what I was trying to say. My entire college education cost 12k, not so today, and the cost of postsecondary education has butted right up against, and maybe even surpassed its value generally... unless the student is very careful and diligent in choosing and walking a certain path. It used to be that all paths led to the same place where college was concerned, no more.

Last edited by dasein; 1st November 2012 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 1st November 2012, 1:02 PM   #68
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The people who have consistently scored good jobs in my experience have been those who participated in courses that encouraged intern placement.
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Old 1st November 2012, 1:08 PM   #69
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Says better and much more diplomatically what I was trying to say. My entire college education cost 12k, not so today, and the cost of postsecondary education has butted right up against, and maybe even surpassed its value generally... unless the student is very careful and diligent in choosing and walking a certain path. It used to be that all paths led to the same place where college was concerned, no more.
As I've said before, an economist would tell you it's a bad investment, no ROI.
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Old 1st November 2012, 1:21 PM   #70
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As I've said before, an economist would tell you it's a bad investment, no ROI.
I agree with Tman and Dasein, but I don't think this is true as a general statement. I know a young guy who recently graduated from a top-tier public university as a petroleum engineer, and started out at close to 80K. Amazing. I was in the work force for a long time before I started to make that kind of money.

There's good value out there for the money; you just have to be wise.

Also nothing wrong with the trade/certification route. One of my sons, 18, was just taken on as an apprentice by a guy who owns an HVAC business. Given my son's interest, I'm very supportive. But despite my stand on the issue, I'm a product of my time and upbringing, and still am a little regretful he's not planning on going to college. Rationally though, I know he's making a good decision.
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Old 1st November 2012, 3:32 PM   #71
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Trust me when I tell you that statistics is 100%, pure, unadulterated MATH. I just finished a statistics course for my degree and I can tell you now that my head is still hurting just thinking about all of those damned formulas. Ugh.

If you want a food science degree, I'm sorry, but math is most definitely a requirement. I don't even see how you can get through the course curriculum without it. You think you have problems with college algebra? Try calculus - because that's a requirement for a LOT of food science degrees here.

From the University of Massachusetts:
Food Science and Technology
This option is designed for students who wish to pursue industrial careers in research or technology development or who wish to enter graduate school. Students take a combination of courses in basic and applied sciences. Required math and science courses include calculus (MATH 127 and 128), general chemistry (CHEM 111 and 112), organic chemistry (CHEM 261, 262 and 269), analytical chemistry (CHEM 312), biology, physics, microbiology, and biochemistry. Food Science requirements include food processing, food chemistry, food microbiology, food engineering, and nutrition.

Even a degree in social work requires math courses. From the University of Texas at Austin:
The Bachelor of Social Work degree includes 125 hours of coursework, with an emphasis on academic/theoretical material as well as skills and practice experience. Students begin the program as pre-social work majors and complete area requirements in language arts; social and behavioral sciences; math and natural sciences; and the humanities.

You're asking for the impossible here. If you want to pursue a college degree, that's great - but you're going to HAVE to take at least one math course in order to get it. There's no way around that.

By the way, I wouldn't recommend social work. I work in the criminal justice field and I see so many cases of social worker burnout, it's not funny. They go in thinking like you do - that they can make a difference - and they walk out 5 years later looking 20 years older. It's not worth it, and especially not financially. Social workers here don't get paid squat.

Just saying.
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Old 1st November 2012, 3:49 PM   #72
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I agree with Tman and Dasein, but I don't think this is true as a general statement. I know a young guy who recently graduated from a top-tier public university as a petroleum engineer, and started out at close to 80K. Amazing. I was in the work force for a long time before I started to make that kind of money.

There's good value out there for the money; you just have to be wise.
Agreed. I got a liberal arts degree from a university in the top 3 worldwide for less than $10k, and my record got my foot in the door at a top graduate program. I had no debt hanging over my head, so I was able to leave that program when I realized it wasn't ever going to work out. Out of school, I was hired pretty much right away in an unrelated field and am now working my way through a career change into another area. Without that initial degree, I would've never had so much flexibility and probably would've gotten stuck in my pursuit of this second career. Having degrees hasn't made job offers magically land on my lap, but it certainly has opened up some doors that would've been shut otherwise.

Some of my friends are having a very hard time in this market, but it's nothing compared to the problems those who didn't seek additional education/training/certification are facing. I've seen some family and some friends get passed up for the full-time position or the promotion in favor of someone with a degree.
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Old 1st November 2012, 8:14 PM   #73
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I think I can easily get a job as a social worker, and earn a living out of it, and even save for overseas travel if I cut costs in my daily life.


Look people, that is all I want here:

- to get a degree, as I would be proud of it, and with minimal math (social sciences in AUS has NO MATH hahaha!!!!!!!!!!!!)

But it has a LOT of reading so I bl00dy deserve a degree without doing math, because my friend works hard in her social sciences degree, was top of her class in high school, but simply failed math and therefore SHE DESERVES to get a degree based on her HARD WORK, and dedication.

F8ck those of you who do not think my good friend has a RIGHT to earn a degree, when she was top of her class in EVERYTHING but math.


- To enjoy studying a degree

- lastly, to do a degree that will LIKELY going to get me a JOB.

Social work will more than likely, 90% likely, get me a job if I look hard, and am willing to relocate for it if I Cannot find one quickly in my current location.


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Old 1st November 2012, 8:16 PM   #74
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If I do social sciences, I will:

Enjoy studying, get satisfaction from studying hard and meeting deadlines constantly, get far better at my written English and my vocabulary would improve,

... I would get a job if I wanted to be a social worker. I cannot see WHY a bubbly, personable women like me, would get overlooked and NEVER get a job as a social worker!!!!!!!!!!

I will probably get a job based on the current climate here in AUS, and be able to at least earn a living and save a little for occasional overseas travel.



That is really all I want, thanks people.
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Old 1st November 2012, 10:50 PM   #75
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By the way - I think just getting a degree will open doors for me, as I am going to seek work that is to do with working closely with people every day, and I am great with people and can sell myself well.

I really think I will get a job, even out of a mere "social sciences" degree.

I am taking interviews fro menial jobs and will have money saved up while I study anyway.
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