Stories From The Arch

Photo of a graduation hat.

Does My Degree Suck?

I always see posts floating around social media titled ‘Top 10 Useless Degrees’ and ‘The Best Degrees of 2017’, which aim to highlight why certain majors are deemed ‘worthless’ or why others are “guaranteed” to make you a lot of money.

Why are some fields of study considered so worthless over others? Who gave these authors the know-all anyways? These types of posts tend to irritate me to my core. Aside from being clickbait that drives traffic to a website, these types of posts also drive prestige to certain majors over others.

These posts aggravate me for one main reason: they place too much emphasis on your degree and take away from the more important things like dedication, perseverance, creativity, and so on… It seems to me that people tend to get caught up in the idea that if you have a degree in Life Sciences you’re meant to go into Science, or if you have a degree in History you’re meant to pursue a career in History. However, this isn’t true at all. I personally believe in turning your passion into a career, and if you missed it, you can read more about this topic here.

The topic of degrees and respective success in life is multi-faceted and there are just too many things that factor in. In my personal opinion, there should be a greater emphasis on what you can do/accomplish rather than what degree you graduated with. There really isn’t a useless degree, because all that really matters is what you do with all the skills learned during your undergrad. It’s true that some job markets may be oversaturated and others with poor prospects, but that doesn’t mean that the degree is useless. This type of thinking is just too black and white for me and personally speaking, I believe it stifles self-confidence and individual creativity.

Any degree will provide you with a certain set of skills that if you’re creative, dedicated, and patient enough, will help you build a better and brighter future. If you think about it, a law degree isn’t made useless because the individual decides to pursue entrepreneurship- a degree is made useless when the individual doesn’t use the skills acquired to their advantage during their next endeavor.

This may have come out like a bit of a rant, but I really don’t want students to buy into the idea that your degree defines you and the amount of success you reap. If you feel like you have a worthless degree, I encourage you to reflect on all the skills and knowledge you’ve gained, and think about new and creative ways to maximize what you gain from them. Perhaps book an appointment or attend a career workshop at the Student Success Centre (on OSCARplus).

Learn to utilize what you have to your advantage and keep the value of your undergrad.

Photo of Sergio Santolo.

About the Author

Sergio Santolo blogged for the Student Success Centre from 2017 to 2018.

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