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Old Nov 22, 2012, 05:29 PM   #1
waloshin
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Who here graduated with a Social Science degree... what are you doing now

Who here graduated with a Social Science degree... what are you doing now

Social Studies, Sociology, Political Science etc.

Name your degree and what you've done with it.

Thanks
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:03 AM   #2
thewitt
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Not me but a nephew. Sociology degree. He's working as a massage therapist for minimum wage.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:58 AM   #3
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If you get a mayor in marketing you could work in an advertising agency very well.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 04:03 AM   #4
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Not me but a nephew. Sociology degree. He's working as a massage therapist for minimum wage.
Oooh, nice post. Where's Gore Vidal when you need him?
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 05:00 AM   #5
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Oooh, nice post. Where's Gore Vidal when you need him?
I hate to break the news, but Mr Vidal passed away last July. Sorry.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/bo...anted=all&_r=0
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 05:17 AM   #6
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I hate to break the news, but Mr Vidal passed away last July. Sorry.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/bo...anted=all&_r=0
Um yes, was already aware and point taken, but his witticisms always live on...
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 09:08 PM   #7
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Old Nov 24, 2012, 01:14 PM   #8
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Graduated with degrees in History and Classical Civilizations, as well as a meaningless minor in Political Science.

Immediately following graduation I had a salaried position at a non-profit that investigated fraud and corruption and sought various policy reforms.

I moved back to the Detroit Metro area due to personal reasons, though, a little after a year into that position. I immediately found another position at a staffing agency. I am well into the process of obtaining another position at a prominent non-profit in Detroit.
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Old Nov 26, 2012, 09:25 PM   #9
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Found someone from White Castle.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:09 AM   #10
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Graduated with a degree in History, then went for my Bachelor's of Education to be a teacher.

Turns out the market is over-saturated, and I can't even get a Sub teaching position.

Spent the last year and half working for a local community college, vetting custom courseware for instructors and professors.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 05:44 AM   #11
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I wonder how the communications majors are making out?
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 06:50 AM   #12
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If you want guaranteed work in a bad economy, get an engineering degree.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 06:55 AM   #13
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I'm curious what you people who majored in a somewhat useless (please don't be offended) field think about your course of education? All through college, people like asked "So, what are you going to do when you graduate?" and you may or may not have had some idea, that may or may not have been a bit grandiose. But now that you are likely in student loan debt, and have not fast track to a decent job, who do you blame? Do you blame yourself? Or do you blame someone else? Do you feel that you are owed anything?
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 07:02 AM   #14
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I personally don't think any degrees are worthless but I think a lot of degrees are chosen without a lot of thought. If you are majoring in a humanities type degree and want to work in that field, you often need a MA or PhD to actually make a career of that. If someone wants to study something, I say go for it but understanding their field and their ultimate end goal is important.

I was lucky as I had an initial goal when I went to college, changed my mind, picked a major I liked with no thought of career after and lucked into the fact that my degree offered me a lot of opportunities at the time. (graduated with a Computer Science degree at the height of DotCom bubble). When I graduated from college, I also went with a less glamorous job at a stable company while many friends went to work with startups.

Anyway, I don't see a reason for someone to go to college and study something they don't enjoy just so they can get themselves in a job that they will also not enjoy. You just have to figure out what the ultimate goal is and work towards it.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 10:51 AM   #15
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Graduated with a BA in History in 2010 and took some graduate history courses and interned in 2010/ 2011. Then worked with research animals from 2011/ 2012. Now I'm in grad school for a masters in library and information studies. I'm favoring the information track more than the library. Though when I graduate, my degree will already be ALA certified so working in a library wouldn't be a problem in the future if I wanted to.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 12:41 PM   #16
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I got a business degree with a lot of emphasis on sociology/psychology as it was human resources and personnel management and they called this combined discipline a B.A. in Human Relations. I did a short stint with government in HR but hated it. Like a lot of non-B.S./physical science majors, I went to the computer business but then again it swallows up many an unsuspecting norcal kid and it's just the local industry here.

There are a ton of liberal arts and fine arts graduates as programmers and IT people out there. Oddly, I don't see a lot of computer science people in the field and it's probably because they go into the college major wanting to learn so they could make a living vs. the rest of us who were born techies and programmers who probably don't have the piece of paper saying we are a "computer scientist" but have the talent and proclivity from way before our first college class. It's like if you want to be a professional tennis player you don't go off to college and start playing tennis at age 18.

This field, more than any other in the world, is really determined by one's talent and hopefully close proximity to San Jose or a few other areas in the world high tech related. There's a reason it's dominated by and most influenced by drop outs like Jobs, Woz, Gates, Fanning, Allen, and Ellison. Talent is what they had and in this field, they don't care if you are an Ivy League legacy or own and dress in expensive suits. But if you want to be a doctor, dentist, or pharmacist, you have to have a post-grad degree and jump through the proper industry hoops. If you want to be in a traditional talent industry like acting or singing, you should be good but luck plays as much a part. But with high tech, you simply have to be good and that's something computer classes don't tell you before you go out into the field and get your butt handed to you by some teeny bopper kid who programs in several languages but doesn't speak a lick of English.

The computer field gets more people with or without degrees straight from minimum wage jobs instead of a ladder climbing, well planned out career path. If it were up to just computer science graduates who never touched their first computer (in a geekish way ... you know who you are) until a week before they entered college, we wouldn't have an industry. There is no useless degree out there and when one of us geeks is promoted once we are in the field, with all things equal, the one with a degree, even a sociology degree or English degree, will probably get tapped for management.

And it goes without saying in the education field, any degree is better than no degree. Sometimes you have an exception like my guitar teacher who finished high school, pickup up the guitar and gigged and nothing else, and is now a full professor at USC. And if you want to enter the lawyer field in most states, you have to have that B.A. or B.S. first and the vast majority of lawyers have those so-called useless soc degrees and not the highly valued chemical engineering degrees.

If you can get a degree, any degree, it will help. Sure, degrees are too common and too expensive and not a smart move economically, but at some point in the future, a college degree will be seen as a good investment again. If for nothing else, it's a personal achievement saying you stuck with something for at least four years.

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Old Nov 27, 2012, 01:38 PM   #17
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There are a ton of liberal arts and fine arts graduates as programmers and IT people out there. Oddly, I don't see a lot of computer science people in the field and it's probably because they go into the college major wanting to learn so they could make a living vs. the rest of us who were born techies and programmers who probably don't have the piece of paper saying we are a "computer scientist" but have the talent and proclivity from way before our first college class. It's like if you want to be a professional tennis player you don't go off to college and start playing tennis at age 18.
Things have changed but oddly, I don't see a lot of IT people who are liberal/fine arts graduates. The closest I know is someone who got a psychology degree. Most people I work with went into CS, CE or EE in college. Of course the world is different but CS wasn't that big thing of a thing when I went into it, it kind of blew up around my junior/senior year. Most people were techy types except for a few minor exceptions. Now schools may have different CS specializations and what not, its a crazy world
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 01:49 PM   #18
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Things have changed but oddly, I don't see a lot of IT people who are liberal/fine arts graduates. The closest I know is someone who got a psychology degree. Most people I work with went into CS, CE or EE in college. Of course the world is different but CS wasn't that big thing of a thing when I went into it, it kind of blew up around my junior/senior year. Most people were techy types except for a few minor exceptions. Now schools may have different CS specializations and what not, its a crazy world
I assume you are probably not in a high tech hub or the high tech hub. Though I have respect for degrees, there is none here in San Jose. They don't want a Woz or a Steve Jobs, they want somebody better!

I think for "actors" outside of NY or LA, there are a lot of local theater people with BFA degrees in acting who get the work. It's funny to hear people outside of California talk about going to college for an acting degree so they could one day be manager of the cupcake theater in Oshkosh. But in LA, the red carpet is largely populated with the ones who are the best and few, very few, have that BFA in acting. The same thing goes for San Jose for the best and brightest in high tech. One would think that the Yale and NYU acting grads would usually get the top Oscar and Emmy nods, and the top CS grads from MIT and Stanford would be running San Jose, but at the very top, it's still just (largely) non-CS and non-engineering people who own and run the companies.

My retired dog food supplier (fun job to keep from getting bored) was senior VP at Cisco and she had no tech degree. My neighbor renders top video game characters and has big house and success to say the least, and no degrees, either. Ellison goes to my dentist. Fanning parties around here in the gulch. And there are many 7 and 8 digit behind the scenes techie people and they mostly don't have degrees and certainly didn't study CS or EE if they have a degree at all. They are more like the kid who went to SUNY who got a degree in environmental science because mom sent junior there to keep him from getting into more trouble hacking banks (almost true story ). My English major friend who couldn't find a job in the field instead built a $14 million dollar company in his first year after he taught himself this new concept of desktop computer networking. It's not fair, per se, and doesn't go by the rules but hey, this is California, and more importantly this is Silicon Valley and we take our pirate heritage seriously. This is the place where a show like Two and a Half Men gets the character of Walden Schmidt. He's a stereotype and the common man, really in some neighborhoods.

Let the eastern institutions of business and industry get their Ivy League degree and four year degree holders, but over here, it's what can you do for us (freakin' yesterday and you almost have to have been a geek before you were born). You won't find an area with more retired 21 year old millionaires than this area, Palo Alto, Monterey, Woodside, SF, etc.

There's always a story about a techie kid who has a Ferrari (or six) before he can drive and still lives at home. It's not just Justin Bieber who has that type of life. In a way, I like that the outcasts and geeks of the world turned our Apple orchards and flatlands into a different industry. What I don't like is the clique they have built around a few "cool" places to hang out, a certain lingo, and total disdain for outsiders or people with degrees. If you have a degree(s), you learn how to keep you friggin mouth shut if you want to go anywhere. Mention that degree or education in front of Jobs or many other high tech CEOs and you are literally fired the next day (The Pirates of Silicon Valley had a scene so indicative of the San Jose mindset where Jobs destroys a college/career/by the books applicant). Also there is an odd and seemingly random political correctness among the elite high tech people that defies logic and you have to play that game, too. All this is designed to keep outsiders out but if you are considered norcal born and bred, and you are a geek (regardless of job or income), you are in that street gang/clique. It's so weird it's hard to explain to outsiders! We are kind of like high tech rednecks with our skoolin' being a garage based business in norcal instead of the ivy covered walls of a centuries old university. I have joked with some of them that we should get together and write a book about all this weirdness before it disappears and becomes just another by the book industry. I don't think I will live to see San Jose go Wall Street and bring in the suits and fire the geeks.

A way to know what the feel of the valley is like is to stand outside a high tech giant on lunch break.

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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:00 PM   #19
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I'm majoring in Sociology right now. I'm hoping to earn a Masters degree, then teach community college for a bit, then go back for my Ph.D. once i have 5-ish years of experience.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:32 PM   #20
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I assume you are probably not in a high tech hub or the high tech hub. Though I have respect for degrees, there is none here in San Jose. They don't want a Woz or a Steve Jobs, they want somebody better!

I think for "actors" outside of NY or LA, there are a lot of local theater people with BFA degrees in acting who get the work. It's funny to hear people outside of California talk about going to college for an acting degree so they could one day be manager of the cupcake theater in Oshkosh. But in LA, the red carpet is largely populated with the ones who are the best and few, very few, have that BFA in acting. The same thing goes for San Jose for the best and brightest in high tech. One would think that the Yale and NYU acting grads would usually get the top Oscar and Emmy nods, and the top CS grads from MIT and Stanford would be running San Jose, but at the very top, it's still just (largely) non-CS and non-engineering people who own and run the companies.
I'm in DC (which is an entirely different world) although I went to school at a UC. I was originally recruited by companies that wanted me to work in the San Jose area though. At the time, the companies were heavily recruiting CS majors from my school (Sun & IBM were other companies I had offers from but I ended up working for a different company). The one company that I decided to work for had an opportunity in OC so I took it since it was closer to my family.

It doesn't surprise me that non-CS or non-engineering people running tech companies because you need more than just geekdom to run companies. I work with a lot of non-techies in non technical positions. They rely heavily on their technical people though to help them understand things. I have no interest in running a business myself although now I'm in a less technical role than I've been in the past. Understanding the technical aspects have helped me though.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:38 PM   #21
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:39 PM   #22
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I'm in DC (which is an entirely different world) although I went to school at a UC. I was originally recruited by companies that wanted me to work in the San Jose area though. At the time, the companies were heavily recruiting CS majors from my school (Sun & IBM were other companies I had offers from but I ended up working for a different company). The one company that I decided to work for had an opportunity in OC so I took it since it was closer to my family.

It doesn't surprise me that non-CS or non-engineering people running tech companies because you need more than just geekdom to run companies. I work with a lot of non-techies in non technical positions. They rely heavily on their technical people though to help them understand things. I have no interest in running a business myself although now I'm in a less technical role than I've been in the past. Understanding the technical aspects have helped me though.

See the difference between the greater USA and Silicon Valley is that a geek where you are at has a technical degree, maybe even a master's degree or two or PhD and played by the rules. Our geeks are the Jobs and Woz types, young and rebellious, self-made, and there are still so many of them dominating the scene here. I also see why because outside of this valley, they wouldn't be taken seriously.

I think the lack of both age/experience and lack of traditional degrees among up and coming Silicon Valley startup founders is why they hire their own in mid to upper levels. While you and I are spending our late teens and 20s in schools, they are cooking up the next big thing. If they are in school, they are making companies out of their dorm rooms anyway and quitting school to go out and get things done. We all know the story of Facebook and while Dell's parents thought their son was in school, he was secretly making millions. I think the debacle with Scully (traditional older by the books guy with Wharton MBA) at Apple and quantizing them into another company made geeks here take notice to never let that happen again.

It will take both types to run business in America, but as long as San Jose is king in high tech, and high tech is worthwhile and profitable, then the self-made young ones who don't know any "better" will shape technology for the next several generations. While it may sound wrong and weird, that PhD in computer science from Stanford with 20 years of experience coding up a storm still does not stand a chance starting a high tech company against the bratty kid from Palo Alto or Sunnyvale who wants to hang out indoors and play games and hack for the hell of it. While I loved my school, college, and grad school years, a lot of those times were me being programmed to think only inside the box. The high tech field, at least here, is all about thinking outside of the box and Apple Inc is only one example of that.

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Old Nov 27, 2012, 02:45 PM   #23
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See the difference between the greater USA and Silicon Valley is that a geek where you are at has a technical degree, maybe even a master's degree or two or PhD and played by the rules. Our geeks are the Jobs and Woz types, young and rebellious, self-made, and there are still so many of them dominating the scene here.

I think the lack of both age/experience and traditional degrees is why they hire their own in mid to upper levels. I think the debacle with Scully (traditional older by the books guy with Wharton MBA) at Apple and quantizing them into another company made geeks here take notice to never let that happen again.
I don't know, it depends, we have a lot of flexibility. I can tell you that my degree had absolutely 0 to do with my current job (well some classes were useful). I also work in the IT/InfoSec world which tends to have some of the people who learned a lot of things on their own versus learning things in school. The degree was just a base.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 03:23 PM   #24
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I don't know, it depends, we have a lot of flexibility. I can tell you that my degree had absolutely 0 to do with my current job (well some classes were useful). I also work in the IT/InfoSec world which tends to have some of the people who learned a lot of things on their own versus learning things in school. The degree was just a base.
I am where you are at. I studied HR/business and played by the rules for a long time and later went into computers. I was always a geek though but did not show interest in making a business out of techie stuff. I would much prefer reading schematics instead of making a better check printing machine for a bank. But I loved what I did in school if not more than just to get discipline to go out see a task, plan, and get it done on time and on budget. Honestly I wanted to normalize and not be so geeky anymore, and yes, get girls. Today they call people like me aspies or ADHDs or something else similar.

But I can't tell you how many times I meet a former slacker who just goes out and does it. He gets peons to do the coding and accounting while he gets the Ferrari. It's that young person, outside thinking, or before the "world" trains you to be a peon.

I liken it to music, let's say the Beatles. While they were young and didn't know any better, they may not have known everything about orchestration, the business, or PR, but they were at their height. After they knew it all, and knew all the people in the right places, they as a whole had so-so solo careers never breaking ground anymore. It's the youth, and to a degree ignorance, which leads to most of the great ideas in the high tech field in San Jose. One employer I had developed the mouse though they had no idea what or why. My roommate made the flash drive. Neither had those ideas from college but they just did it because others their age were doing something else similar. I remember the flash drive guy in the dorms and his obsession with making things cheap and small. At the time, the computing world was still in mainframes. This field, at least here, is a mindset or maybe just "lack of". Hindsight is 20-20 but these self-taught teenage geeks are overflowing with it. At the time the training he was receiving as a college freshman was telling him that computers were at their peak and would not likely advance that much more (that was 1982). It was in those early days that I was glad many of us told him that was bull and the field was always going to grow and that his "then" unique ideas of cheap miniaturization was still worth pursuing. Some thought things would get smaller but as to how cheap things became nobody could have guessed in their wildest imagination over the next 30 years.

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Old Nov 27, 2012, 04:50 PM   #25
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Well, you asked.

BA anthropology, then immediately on to PhD anthropology then on to post-doc at an overseas university, then to a state university system, where I stayed until I retired. Ran a business on the side.

I entered college thinking I wanted engineering (always was, still am a techie) but my first anthropology course changed all that, and I've never looked back.

When you find the field that suits you, you'll know it. Maybe you'll follow it and maybe not, but you'll know what it is.

63dot is making a lot of good points. In some fields, how well you can do the job is all that matters. In others, you might not get the chance to show what you can do without the degree that's thought to be appropriate, and that's a barrier.
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