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Old 04-17-2013, 02:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The problem is that every single school guidance counselor a kid has, from kindergarten through high school graduation, spends that 12 year period harping over and over again on how a college degree is the goal. Get a degree, whatever it is, and the world is your oyster. A college degree is the ticket to a better future.

They never bother to explain that it has to be a degree that someone will actually pay you to have. Otherwise, all you're doing is wasting money on nothing.

The only time I'd say that the subject material doesn't really matter all that much is if you are going to go into the military afterwards, where simply having a degree, regardless of the program, will open up the officer ranks to you. However, I'd advise against "useless" degrees even then, because one day, when you're out of the military, you need something to fall back on. If you go to get out, and the only training you have is a psychology degree and x-years of field artillery, for example...well, that doesn't translate well into many civilian careers. And just so no one thinks I'm making it up, take my situation. Went to college on an AFROTC scholarship, chose to study accounting so that, if an Air Force career didn't pan out I could still make a living, and was dropped from the program before commissioning when I found out I had cancer. Had I been in one of the "recreational gynecology and beer drinking" programs, like a lot of the cadets who figured the Air Force was a sure thing, I'd have been pretty screwed. Hell, a bunch of the guys who DID make it all the way to the end of the program were then told "We don't have enough 2nd LT slots for all the graduating cadets, so hit the road. We don't need you." And because of the degrees they'd just spent the last four years getting, they found themselves up a creek without a marketable skill.
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Old 04-17-2013, 02:32 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Completely agree. I was never sure what the psychology students at my school (an unimpressive school for a bachelors in psychology) were going to do with their life if not graduate school. Now I know. Most either changed their mind and packed bags for grad school or are still working in a position that did not require a college degree in the first place.
I think psychology is a great example of one of those odd undergraduate degrees. Here's the kicker - it will be my undergraduate degree and I do not intend to go much further in the psychology program. That being said I am using it for education and that education to improve my job performance (and quantitate it) in a field that does not require a degree. The usefullness of the degree if I were to ever look for a job? The ability to logically quanitify superior performance. Its the demonstrated superior performance that would get me a job - the degree is just icing on the cake.

You would not believe how many of my copatriots in the degree program do not understand that there is little at the end of the tunnel for an undergraduate degree and graduate schools are PICKY about your undergraduate performance. Its really kind of sad. Even given the evidence (there was an article a few years ago on the most unemployed bachelor degrees and psychology in one form or another took up like half the spots) they ignore it.

Then again I have odd long-term retirement goals and the psychology degree is just one step in multiple degrees (and the learning that goes with them) for that goal.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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^ As an unrelated-to-the-original-topic side note, Psychology also depends on the context in which you are taught. My alma mater offeres Psychology as both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science, with very different curricula. My sister completed a B.Sc. in Psychology with a Neuroscience minor and is now in her second year of medical school.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:46 PM   #14 (permalink)
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^ As an unrelated-to-the-original-topic side note, Psychology also depends on the context in which you are taught. My alma mater offeres Psychology as both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science, with very different curricula. My sister completed a B.Sc. in Psychology with a Neuroscience minor and is now in her second year of medical school.
I did not realize that a B.A in psychology was even possible. That would strike me as even more worthless. I think psychology is a great undergraduate degree for its educational value and thus for those pursuing further degrees - that being said I am not certain that applies to B.A degrees in psychology.
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Old 04-17-2013, 04:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I am not entirely certain of the differences, but it looks like the B.A. allows you to replace all your non-Psych science electives with Arts electives.

Anyways, I will let this get back to the original topic.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:11 PM   #16 (permalink)
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That's sort of like the two different types of Meteorology degrees; operational (actually predicting the weather) and broadcast (going on tv and regurgitating what the operational guy told you). We had A LOT of cadets on scholarship with the Air Force to get meteorology degrees...but only operational, since that's valuable to them. Well, I take that back; they let this one really hot Puerto Rican girl study broadcast, and last I heard they made a Public Relations Officer out of her when she commissioned. Worked out well; look hot and read the talking points...exactly what the broadcast side is for.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:52 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Study something that will get you a job to pay the loan back.
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