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Useless Liberal Arts Degree??

Thedeliberates

Well-Known Member
#1
Anyone feel like a failure for getting a useless liberal arts degree and now their parents look at you like you have "failure" tattooed across your forehead?

When youre in school they throw scholarships at you and give you mentors and act like youre so refined and important and when you get out youre lucky to get a job as a hostess at Olive Garden. Now you have to spend more time in school so you can do something more "practical", since you didnt know better the first time around. 4 years for nothing.
 

Callousgirl

Semper Occultus
#2
I do have a liberal arts degree, in fact I went with a double major: because nobody hires because of your minor. True, I did grew up in a college town, and the university was really designed for the grad students than the undergrad student body. Even with thousands of university students, they do have a sense of making fun of themselves. I recall a T-shirt that was selling at one of the major stores for university students. It was very simple and it said: "I have a Liberal Arts degree, do you want fries with that order?"

If you have a PhD in say History, there is employment for such a degree. You can be teaching history to university or college students. You can write books dealing with history that may sell a few thousands copies, and hope it gets a award so it can be reprinted for decades to come. On the other hand, if you get a undergrad degree in history: I never know a employer needing to know right this day to make a business deal about the Battle of Hastings.

On the other hand, having a liberal arts degree at the undergrad level, is a positive for society. Society and culture can write newspapers articles, express values of abstract thoughts in art and in movies. Debate complex current affairs, and express the values with political topics. One positive of liberal arts degrees, it makes democracies stable to prevent the culture to have radical shifts without it being deeply debated over years and decades.

On the other hand, America does allow foreign students to come to America. If they do come from a authoritarian country, the degrees they go after are technical degrees at the grad level. Well, why would a authoritarian government want to send a student to a foreign country like America, gets a liberal arts degree in history: and ends up writing a book of history about their own country? A authoritarian government may have to ban their books, arrest the author, and place the author in prison. And if you sent this student to America, his fellow classmates would be interested to find out he or she is in prison for writing a book. Since you sent him to America or some other foreign country to get his or her degree, and you have that person in prison because of their education: you turned that person into s political prisoner.

Yes I have a liberal arts degree, and for a number of former students they really do not use their degree for the direct purpose of the degree. But I would rather have a number of people with a liberal arts degrees and live in a stable democracy than have advanced degrees in technical degrees: and live in a authoritarian government.
 

Callousgirl

Semper Occultus
#3
Having a liberal arts degree, only at a undergrads level, is only good if and only if you are good with abstract thinking.

2 + 2 = 4
2 x 2 = 4
2(2) = 4
2 square = 4

If you can only think with two 2's and only one 4 with 2 + 2 = 4 as the only way to get to 4 -- than your not good with abstract thinking, and your only thinking at a basic education of a child. People are better at simple match like + to a community, than using different forums of higher functions of mathematical thoughts. Than again, Homo sapiens are larger than their parts as a mathematical thinking. If you think of the actions of Homo sapiens as 2 + 2 = 4, well, why would any employer pay you more than minimum wage as a adult? A liberal arts degree is only good, if and only if you have abstract thinking skills.
 

cymbele

SF Supporter
#4
First of all I have a technical degree with an MBA.

However, I have seen other people with majors in liberal arts succeed maybe b/c of the abstract thinking but also attention to detail. For example, an art major has done well doing well as inventory control because of the attention to detail. My friend's son has a degree in mathematics (abstract) and linguistics (study of languages). He has applied his skills to actuarial studies and gotten a job as an actuary - true he had to study and take tests on his own to get the job but he has managed to do liberal arts and apply to a technical field.

There are ways to apply a liberal arts education you just have to figure it out how to apply it. You can do this.
 

Freya

Loves SF
Staff member
Forum Owner
ADMIN
SF Author
#5
All my staff have liberal arts degrees - none of them remotely pertinent to the field. I don't consider their degrees useless as their having a degree demonstrated to me that they had the ability to stick at something, manage their time and produce work to deadline, research a range of topics and critcally appriase the source materials to form and support a credible argument, write with intelligence and coherence... the list goes on. A liberal arts degree may not train you directly for a career but it does train several elements that are incredibly important to many jobs - espeically at senior levels.

I think that going to study something in the arts with the idea that it will qualify you to walk into a well paid job is out dated - there are simpy now far far too many people with a degree to have it be a particular distinguisher for a well paid job. When the number of people with a qualification is approaching half the population, then that qualification 'alone' is not going to cut it. A technical degree is more likely to turn into a job at the end becuase it is most often training you for a specific thing - in that sense, yes, it is more practical. I do, however, know a lot of people making a LOT of money with their degrees in art / history / film / drama / literature / sociology etc. I know project managers, managing directors, marketing managers, designers, photographers, sales managers, entrepreneurs and more.

The issue, I think, is that schools pretend that careers are made in universities rather than in the workplace and I do not know a single person for whom that is true. Kidding young people that a degree is an automatic passport to good pay and a satisfying career is doing everyone a disservice. A degree DOES teach you useful skills - 'even' liberal arts degrees. It just doesn't get you a start at much more than entry level. Fortunately, you can start 'at the bottom' and take the skills you developed during your degree and climb the ladder at very high speed with the right work ethic and attitude.
 

Aurelia

🔶🔸✴ 👑 ✴🔸🔶
#6
What is your major in exactly? @Thedeliberates

With a bachelor's degree in psychology, for example, you can get a job as a counselor...not a therapist, but a counselor. Or at the very least, work in the mental health office setting. Maybe as a receptionist or something to start.
 

Thedeliberates

Well-Known Member
#7
I have a BA in ethics. It is an interdisciplinary degree including moral philosophy, social work, anthropology, and psychology.

I really enjoyed doing my degree at the time. I was really passionate about it, but I didnt really see a life for myself after college- i planned on killing myself but I chickened out. I guess I was hoping death would just happen but it didnt. My mom and I didnt talk during my college years because of some things I was not happy about. Now we talk again and while she does TRY to shame me, and can be reassuring, she is disappointed in my college choice and is paying for me to go be a nurse since all of my aid money is now gone and she says helping me is the biggest stressor in her life and gets mad when I buy anything for myself because no matter what its "on her dime" because I dont have a career. I do make $15 an hour at my current job- but its not advancable. When I first graduated I tried applying to some non- profit jobs and things like the red cross. Id have liked even to start as a secretary, but all positions wanted like masters and phDs.i lack confidence in being applicable for a job where you sell yourself. If Im a nurse and I walk in the door I should be set, and I can get a job anywhere and it makes me feel safe. I think nursing is a very good and fulfilling career with good skills- and Im trying to remember in this society, no one eats for free and they need people with utility. My thought process is- and no disrespect to anyone... I just wish I was smart enough then (as a kid with no parental guidance) to understand that. I, like most millennials, get the impression everything is my fault and if I think otherwise im somehow entitled. I guess I thought things with my degree would just work out.. I always have been passionate about moral philosophy and psychology type studies
 

JDot

SF's Official Sone
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#9
I got a BA in psychology. I haven't been able to do crap with it for the past ten years. I also got a degree in computer technology. I figured I must be able to get a job with computer technology right? Well I was wrong. Everybody wants five years of experience for even an entry level job. Keep in mind where I live is one of the worst places in the country to look for a job. There was even an article in Time magazine about how terrible it is. I'm just now going into a program to get my Masters of Social Work, which is what I should have done after I got my BA in psychology.
 

Thedeliberates

Well-Known Member
#10
I feel you. Its hard because you just never know. And with social media and expectations from older generations, if things dont just magically happy for you (and by magically I mean with hard work and sacrifice but, THE RIGHT type of work and sacrifice?), youre down and out.

Thank you for sharing. It helps me in knowing that I not alone. It can feel like that sometimes
 

sinking_ship

woman overboard
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#11
This!
The issue, I think, is that schools pretend that careers are made in universities rather than in the workplace and I do not know a single person for whom that is true. Kidding young people that a degree is an automatic passport to good pay and a satisfying career is doing everyone a disservice. A degree DOES teach you useful skills - 'even' liberal arts degrees. It just doesn't get you a start at much more than entry level. Fortunately, you can start 'at the bottom' and take the skills you developed during your degree and climb the ladder at very high speed with the right work ethic and attitude.
Like Freya says, very few degrees prepare you with everything you need for a job. They give you skills and help you to think critically, but a LOT of what employers want and need you will have to learn on your feet as you grow. Whatever job you have now is still experience, even if it's not directly relevant to what you want to be doing. If you do know what you want to do and a specific degree is necessary, then yes you may have to do more schooling, or at least a few classes. If you don't know what you want to do right now, it's okay to just keep trying different things - you don't need to move "up" in a job if it's not where you want be.
 

Callousgirl

Semper Occultus
#12
I have a BA in ethics. It is an interdisciplinary degree including moral philosophy, social work, anthropology, and psychology.
Having a undergrad degree in Ethics I am very impressed! With me I just have a undergrad degree with a double major in Philosophy and Political Science. But I can see your point having a degree in Ethics in Western Civilization were Western Civilization looks at money as the God among Commodities. Having a degree in Ethics, and making ethical arguments for a better society, and being confronted with a God can feel your going against a deity you have in your pants pocket.
 

MisterBGone

Well-Known Member
#13
I wish I was smart enough to be a nurse! Good for you... good luck- keep going & don’t give up. When I was in school the thought never appealed to me sadly. Now, I’d take that career over a doctor (& I was at one point enrolled in a graduate program in the health sciences).
 

Freya

Loves SF
Staff member
Forum Owner
ADMIN
SF Author
#14
I have a BA in ethics. It is an interdisciplinary degree including moral philosophy, social work, anthropology, and psychology.

I really enjoyed doing my degree at the time. I was really passionate about it, but I didnt really see a life for myself after college- i planned on killing myself but I chickened out. I guess I was hoping death would just happen but it didnt. My mom and I didnt talk during my college years because of some things I was not happy about. Now we talk again and while she does TRY to shame me, and can be reassuring, she is disappointed in my college choice and is paying for me to go be a nurse since all of my aid money is now gone and she says helping me is the biggest stressor in her life and gets mad when I buy anything for myself because no matter what its "on her dime" because I dont have a career. I do make $15 an hour at my current job- but its not advancable. When I first graduated I tried applying to some non- profit jobs and things like the red cross. Id have liked even to start as a secretary, but all positions wanted like masters and phDs.i lack confidence in being applicable for a job where you sell yourself. If Im a nurse and I walk in the door I should be set, and I can get a job anywhere and it makes me feel safe. I think nursing is a very good and fulfilling career with good skills- and Im trying to remember in this society, no one eats for free and they need people with utility. My thought process is- and no disrespect to anyone... I just wish I was smart enough then (as a kid with no parental guidance) to understand that. I, like most millennials, get the impression everything is my fault and if I think otherwise im somehow entitled. I guess I thought things with my degree would just work out.. I always have been passionate about moral philosophy and psychology type studies
I think that nursing is a very secure and fulfilling career and if that makes you feel safe and happy and confident then great - I am really glad for you. I am sorry that you are feeling the pressure from your mother at the moment - I understand about the spending money and it isn't kind of her to tell you that putting you through nursing is her biggest stressor. It is great that you have a job at the moment - well done :)

I think that you are being too hard on yourself - you probably learned a great deal and grew a lot as a person during your degree. You will most likely find it comes in useful down the line when you least expect it to. Try to remember that you worked hard, you made the best choices you could at the time and you are working currently. If you were truly 'entitled' you wouldn't be doing anything and expecting your parents or the government to fund your life for you. That isn't who you are and you should be proud of what you are doing.

And, finally, try to remember that money / carrer does NOT equal happiness. Security is great and definitely not to be sniffed at, but it is also okay to do things you enjoy for no other reason than enjoying them and it is okay to do things for YOU whther your parents approve or not. You are your own person and you deserve to have your own crack at happy.
 

Thedeliberates

Well-Known Member
#15
I think that nursing is a very secure and fulfilling career and if that makes you feel safe and happy and confident then great - I am really glad for you. I am sorry that you are feeling the pressure from your mother at the moment - I understand about the spending money and it isn't kind of her to tell you that putting you through nursing is her biggest stressor. It is great that you have a job at the moment - well done :)

I think that you are being too hard on yourself - you probably learned a great deal and grew a lot as a person during your degree. You will most likely find it comes in useful down the line when you least expect it to. Try to remember that you worked hard, you made the best choices you could at the time and you are working currently. If you were truly 'entitled' you wouldn't be doing anything and expecting your parents or the government to fund your life for you. That isn't who you are and you should be proud of what you are doing.

And, finally, try to remember that money / carrer does NOT equal happiness. Security is great and definitely not to be sniffed at, but it is also okay to do things you enjoy for no other reason than enjoying them and it is okay to do things for YOU whther your parents approve or not. You are your own person and you deserve to have your own crack at happy.
:)*stars
 

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