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Thread: Arts Degrees

  1. #1
    Senior Member accuFLEX's Avatar
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    Arts Degrees

    Im doing a commerce degree in university, but a number of my friends are doing arts degrees (political science) and we have this on going joke that ill be some money grubbing scum and I tell them they wont make over 40K a year. They usually go on about "you'll see" or whatever.

    So, whats up with political science degrees? Is there any money in this? Im really just trying to get some dirt and stick it to em'

  2. #2
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    From some second hand experience through friends, it's better than an english degree - but not by much.

    If they don't have a skillset above and beyond just the poli sci BoA they're going to really have to know what they're doing and have some great contacts to translate that into a well paying job.
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    I hope they like teaching.

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    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    It depends what you do afterwards.
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    Senior Member feardaram's Avatar
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    for the most part, liberal arts degrees are fairly worthless right out of college, jobs wise. they dont really 'qualify' you for any specific job over anyone else with a bachelors degree. it does depend on specific location/job market, but here in colorado, there arent many degrees that employers really care about when you are fresh outta college. everyone wants a few years of experience (especially coupled with a degree). having only a degree doesnt get you anything here. i majored in criminal justice (worthless), with a minor in poly sci (worthless), from colorado state university in december 2005. what a rude awakening that was. high school painted a picture to me that you go to college, get a degree in whatever, and there were employers there waiting to hand you jobs paying $50K (LOL). yeah righttttttttttttt.

    the average college grad (with a non-specialized degree) here can expect to start out at $20K-30K a year, and maybe get benefits/paid holidays/paid leave. some specialized degrees do seem to fair better (engineering, REAL science, business, finance), but its still iffy, as you have nothing to set you apart from anyone else. money DOES go farther here, as cost of living is cheaper than many areas, but $10/hr is very common for college grads to start out at (sadly). it is really frustrating, but it is what it is.

    political science is about as worthless as they come (just like 75% of college majors, IMO), in terms of what kind of job it prepares you for. it will still be useful to have a degree down the line, as you want to move higher within a company, but you will still have to start at the VERY bottom of most companies. to be fair though, a liberal arts degree is sooooooooo easy compared to doing engineering. i started out in computer engineering, did bad because i didnt put in the time, and was very close to being dismissed before changing majors. once i changed to criminal justice i put about 1/2 as much effort in and got MUCH better grades. the more technical the major, the more useful i think it will be in the job market.
    Last edited by feardaram; 11-21-2006 at 10:52 AM.

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    I don't think either you OR your friends are likely to make more than 40k/year your first year out of school, without some sort of relevant experience. I have a Psychology degree myself and made only $32k my first year out of school. And I wasn't in my field, I took a marketing job for a software company. Mind you, software is not a bad place to be... I doubled my salary within 3 years and then almost doubled it again after another 2.

    That said, can you make some big dollars with a poli sci degree? Sure, but it depends what you do. I know some Poli Sci majors from back when I did my undergrad. A couple went on to do things like Masters Degrees in International Development. One of those is working for the UN right now. Another guy is part of an influential lobbyist group in Ottawa. Another one went into political journalism.

    Your commerce degree is nice but for every guy with a Bcomm that winds up hooking on with an i-bank or something there is another that winds up going back to school to be a CGA or CA, or has to take something else out of their field.

    I don't know if this helps you 'get dirt' on your poli sci buddies but the individual and the experience they accrue is a far better indicator of success than the degree.
    Last edited by Relentless; 11-21-2006 at 11:05 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member feardaram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relentless
    I don't think either you OR your friends are likely to make more than 40k/year your first year out of school, without some sort of relevant experience.
    i would agree with that. regardless of what you major in, a bachelors degree probably wont get you much right when you get out of school. BUT, i do think you stand a better chance of finding a better paying job with certain degrees because you can search for technical/specialized jobs (generally higher paying, to start) as well as non-technical jobs (which I could only look at since i had an arts degree).
    Last edited by feardaram; 11-21-2006 at 11:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by feardaram
    i would agree with that. regardless of what you major in, a bachelors degree probably wont get you much right when you get out of school. BUT, i do think you stand a better chance of finding a better paying job with certain degrees because you can search for technical/specialized jobs (generally higher paying, to start) as well as non-technical jobs (which I could only look at since i had an arts degree).
    Yes and no.

    A hard science degree won't get you anything. Lab assistants make pathetic coin. You need a masters or more experience to make decent coin.

    My brother in law graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Software Engineering degree (engineering faculty, in conjunction with the Math/CS faculty). Recruited right out of school into a $70k/year job at Morgan Stanley in NYC. $10k signing bonus, good bennies, etc. Of course $70k in NYC is more like $40k elsewhere but there ya go.

    I know I guy that just graduated from Waterloo in Mech Engineering and walked right into a job on a project in Alberta in the Oil Sands. He's making $80k+ a year already.

    I know another guy that has a Chem Eng degree and can't find a job.

    There is certainly a demand for engineers across the board right now. Hell, TRADESPEOPLE are making mad bank on oil projects right now. If you have your welder's ticket and a bit of experience you can go and make 6 figures in northern Alberta TODAY.

    One area that anyone with any degree can make money at right out of school is Sales. If you can find a place to use your knowledge and be an 'expert' and use it to help you be an effective salesperson, you can make good money your first year out of school.

  9. #9
    Senior Member feardaram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relentless
    Yes and no.

    A hard science degree won't get you anything. Lab assistants make pathetic coin. You need a masters or more experience to make decent coin.

    My brother in law graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Software Engineering degree (engineering faculty, in conjunction with the Math/CS faculty). Recruited right out of school into a $70k/year job at Morgan Stanley in NYC. $10k signing bonus, good bennies, etc. Of course $70k in NYC is more like $40k elsewhere but there ya go.

    I know I guy that just graduated from Waterloo in Mech Engineering and walked right into a job on a project in Alberta in the Oil Sands. He's making $80k+ a year already.

    I know another guy that has a Chem Eng degree and can't find a job.

    There is certainly a demand for engineers across the board right now. Hell, TRADESPEOPLE are making mad bank on oil projects right now. If you have your welder's ticket and a bit of experience you can go and make 6 figures in northern Alberta TODAY.

    One area that anyone with any degree can make money at right out of school is Sales. If you can find a place to use your knowledge and be an 'expert' and use it to help you be an effective salesperson, you can make good money your first year out of school.
    yup yup. certain degrees tend to offer more potential, but that none offer any sort of guarantee. i swear everyone lied to me when i was in high school lol.
    Last edited by feardaram; 11-21-2006 at 11:25 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member betastas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Relentless
    Yes and no.

    A hard science degree won't get you anything. Lab assistants make pathetic coin. You need a masters or more experience to make decent coin.

    My brother in law graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Software Engineering degree (engineering faculty, in conjunction with the Math/CS faculty). Recruited right out of school into a $70k/year job at Morgan Stanley in NYC. $10k signing bonus, good bennies, etc. Of course $70k in NYC is more like $40k elsewhere but there ya go.

    I know I guy that just graduated from Waterloo in Mech Engineering and walked right into a job on a project in Alberta in the Oil Sands. He's making $80k+ a year already.

    I know another guy that has a Chem Eng degree and can't find a job.

    There is certainly a demand for engineers across the board right now. Hell, TRADESPEOPLE are making mad bank on oil projects right now. If you have your welder's ticket and a bit of experience you can go and make 6 figures in northern Alberta TODAY.

    One area that anyone with any degree can make money at right out of school is Sales. If you can find a place to use your knowledge and be an 'expert' and use it to help you be an effective salesperson, you can make good money your first year out of school.

    I'm taking computer engineering at UWaterloo. There definitely seems to be some good jobs out there, you just need to work at them. Overall, the demand for the different engineering disciplines fluctuates year by year. Sometimes software and computer are highly demanded, other times they aren't.

    To the OP, a lot of it depends on who you know and working hard. If you manage to prove yourself to the right people, you'll be on the right track. We all have to pay our dues at the bottom though, so don't be upset if you aren't makin big bucks out of school.

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    Is getting a good job all that matters?

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    The closest thing to a sure thing, as far as college majors go, is in Engineering. In any other area, you're probably rolling the dice when it comes to looking for employment.

    At my school there are companies approaching second year engineering students offering to cover the cost of their tuition for the remainder of their degree, if they'll sign a contract to come work with them after graduation. It seems that almost everyone graduating in engineering has a job lined up. I'm just glad I switched into engineering from Math before I got too far into the degree, because I really don't know what I would have done after graduation otherwise.

    I know people who have had a degree in Psychology for several years, and still can't make any more than $12/hour. I mean, yes, doing something you enjoy is important, but if there's something that you also enjoy that will actually get you a career, then that's really your best option. You can always minor in something like English, or even slowly work towards a degree in it after you graduate.

    It seems that all Political Science majors think they'll be able to get into Law School after graduation, but in reality, Law schools aren't really looking for Poli Sci majors as much as they once were. For what it's worth, I read that it's Philosophy and Engineering students who score the highest on the LSAT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by betastas
    I'm taking computer engineering at UWaterloo. There definitely seems to be some good jobs out there, you just need to work at them.
    Helps when you have a degree from Waterloo with the word "computer" in it.

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