What degree will guarantee a job after graduation?

alexgio

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 18, 2014
3
0
At 33 years old I will be going to school. My stupid younger self should have gone right after high school. It would have made things easier for me. oh well. I would have gone 5 years ago. But I had a lingering medical eye issue. I was in and out of the doctor's offices. It has now been taken care of.

Just like the title suggests looking for recommendations on what degree to pick that will help towards securing a job right after graduation?

Right now my major is Computer Science. I'm concerned about it though. I have a strong feeling that other non-computer majors like Accounting, Business Adminstration, Finance, Law etc. value years of experience. With computer programming or network administration I feel that their will be one day a new younger boss comes in and replaces me with a younger guy. A younger guy that will do the same work and for less money.

One thing I would love to do with my degree is to be self-employed. Be my own boss.

I am leaning towards a Mathematics degree. I have heard it opens doors when you have a Mathematics degree. I would be interested in becoming an Actuary. But not sure at 33 years old.

Someone please help me here. What do you recommend?
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
The most stable degree for a self employed person I can think of is accounting. Not only will you get a job and build a business, it's a field that is needed everywhere. Computer science and/or computer networking or various forms of engineering are not bad, either.

Degrees like English, philosophy, history, communication, human resources (mine), liberal studies, music, art, photography, biology, sociology, psychology, and many others are not as secure but still better than no degree. I am not one who believes most degrees make a difference in employment or starting a business but do believe it's a good thing to help round out a person like a high school education, only better. I also commend anybody who goes after a degree, regardless of age.

That being said no degree is a guarantee at finding better work and there are no guarantees in life other than death and taxes yet the latter does help the accounting degree find its top spot.
 

Meister

Suspended
Oct 10, 2013
5,455
4,265
Chances of employment with a degree in mathematics are usually very high.

More importantly: Are you aware of what you are getting yourself into?
Maths isnt for everyone and the maths at university is very different from highschool.

Your chances of employment also depend on the country you are in.
In some countries employment is almost guaranteed with certain degrees.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,855
30,371
Boston
Just like the title suggests looking for recommendations on what degree to pick that will help towards securing a job right after graduation?
MBAs, CPAs are always in high demand, I'd look at one of them.

Personally, I'd look more towards what you like to do. You'll be working hard to pay off any college loans and/or just living to be working in a field that you may not like.
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,353
2,725
Atlanta, USA
Personally, I'd look more towards what you like to do.
Excellent advice.

You'll be nearing 40 when you graduate. You'll need to display boundless enthusiasm, energy and passion for your subject in job interviews. Easy when it's something you like.

What did you like in high school? What have you been doing since?
 

Plutonius

macrumors 604
Feb 22, 2003
7,848
5,974
New Hampshire, USA
There are many degrees that have a high probability of landing you some type of job when you graduate but, there is no longer any guarantee that you will get the job that you want after you graduate.
 

Mildredop

macrumors 68020
Oct 14, 2013
2,410
1,458
At 33 years old I will be going to school. My stupid younger self should have gone right after high school. It would have made things easier for me. oh well. I would have gone 5 years ago. But I had a lingering medical eye issue. I was in and out of the doctor's offices. It has now been taken care of.

Just like the title suggests looking for recommendations on what degree to pick that will help towards securing a job right after graduation?

Right now my major is Computer Science. I'm concerned about it though. I have a strong feeling that other non-computer majors like Accounting, Business Adminstration, Finance, Law etc. value years of experience. With computer programming or network administration I feel that their will be one day a new younger boss comes in and replaces me with a younger guy. A younger guy that will do the same work and for less money.

One thing I would love to do with my degree is to be self-employed. Be my own boss.

I am leaning towards a Mathematics degree. I have heard it opens doors when you have a Mathematics degree. I would be interested in becoming an Actuary. But not sure at 33 years old.

Someone please help me here. What do you recommend?
None.
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,914
1,596
New England, USA
What degree will guarantee a job after graduation?
Just a general principle about which one can be guaranteed...

Nothing is guaranteed in life...except death and taxes (to beat an old cliché).

Seriously...I must agree with those suggesting that finding an area of study that you enjoy is most important.
 

mobilehaathi

macrumors G3
Aug 19, 2008
9,347
6,218
The Anthropocene
At 33 years old I will be going to school. My stupid younger self should have gone right after high school. It would have made things easier for me. oh well. I would have gone 5 years ago. But I had a lingering medical eye issue. I was in and out of the doctor's offices. It has now been taken care of.

Just like the title suggests looking for recommendations on what degree to pick that will help towards securing a job right after graduation?

Right now my major is Computer Science. I'm concerned about it though. I have a strong feeling that other non-computer majors like Accounting, Business Adminstration, Finance, Law etc. value years of experience. With computer programming or network administration I feel that their will be one day a new younger boss comes in and replaces me with a younger guy. A younger guy that will do the same work and for less money.

One thing I would love to do with my degree is to be self-employed. Be my own boss.

I am leaning towards a Mathematics degree. I have heard it opens doors when you have a Mathematics degree. I would be interested in becoming an Actuary. But not sure at 33 years old.

Someone please help me here. What do you recommend?
Does the school you will be going to have advisors or a career center you can consult?
 

sviato

macrumors 68020
Oct 27, 2010
2,274
44
HR 9038 A
Actuarial science has a 100% employment rate. However, I spoke with someone who's an actuary recently though, he said it was the most boring job ever. He ended up getting a CFA and is now a VP at an investment fund.
 

Scepticalscribe

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Jul 29, 2008
45,560
30,765
The Far Horizon
Personally, I'd look more towards what you like to do. You'll be working hard to pay off any college loans and/or just living to be working in a field that you may not like.
Just a general principle about which one can be guaranteed...

Nothing is guaranteed in life...except death and taxes (to beat an old cliché).

Seriously...I must agree with those suggesting that finding an area of study that you enjoy is most important.
Actually, I used to be an academic, and my advice to you is to study what you find interesting.

Indeed, studying 'for the sake of a job' is, to my mind, the wrong way to look at this. Ask yourself what you like, what you find interesting, and what sort of area you would love to work in, and then study the subjects that will lead you into that area.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of a maths degree - the training it affords is wonderful, and yes, it does open (employment) doors. However, I would not advise anyone to touch the subject unless they really love maths and wish to work in that particular field.

Age is more or less irrelevant; in my experience, mature (or second chance) students tend to be a lot more motivated when they embark on a university course, and they tend to have a better idea of why they wish to study certain areas.

The very best of luck with it whatever you decide to study.
 

malman89

macrumors 68000
May 29, 2011
1,651
6
Michigan
MBAs, CPAs are always in high demand, I'd look at one of them.

Personally, I'd look more towards what you like to do. You'll be working hard to pay off any college loans and/or just living to be working in a field that you may not like.
MBAs are a dime a dozen. They're probably the most useless graduate degree today after a JD, probably. Unless your employer is footing the bill for one.

---

Math. Engineering. I know no math or engineering majors that are unemployed after graduating, but that's at 22. I'm not sure if being in your mid 30s by the time you're done will be a negative or not in those fields.
 

turtle777

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2004
678
15
MBAs, CPAs are always in high demand, I'd look at one of them.
A CPA is worth more than most MBA these days.
In most states, you'll have to work for a few years in Public Accounting to be eligible. This at least tells you that the person has been exposed to real accounting.

There are so many worthless MBA courses these days, it means nothing.

The only ones that really stand for some type of quality are the top tier.
I wouldn't bother with anything else if it's just for getting the degree / checking the box.

Engineering / Math / Science and Accounting are probably the ones with the best prospects, other than some niche or boutique degrees.

-t
 

jav6454

macrumors P6
Nov 14, 2007
16,864
1,480
1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
I'll go against the conventional wisdom and recommend something regardless if OP likes it or not. After all, the question which degrees can guarantee a good chance of employment.

Any job in the S. T. E. M. field of studies are to get you a high chance of getting a job after graduation. What does S. T. E. M. stand for?

Science
Technology
Engineering
Mathematics

Any degree within those fields of study are highly sought after in the United States because they are not easy and hence not many (if any during a graduating ceremony) obtain a degree in them. Just to give you a nice picture how hard they can be, when I started my Electrical Engineering degree, the freshman class was 107 students going in. Out of those, only 7 (yes, SEVEN) made it to commencement; 2 graduated later on so in total only 8.41% made it.

However each one of us (we do keep in regular touch) are doing great and our lifestyles are not restricted in monetary terms. We love our jobs and have very nice hours.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,855
30,371
Boston
MBAs are a dime a dozen. They're probably the most useless graduate degree today after a JD, probably. Unless your employer is footing the bill for one.
Maybe, but I see my company hiring someone with an MBA over a BS. All I'm saying with an MBA to opens more doors then it closes.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
Maybe, but I see my company hiring someone with an MBA over a BS. All I'm saying with an MBA to opens more doors then it closes.
It does open more doors than it closes. But to put it in the same category of job security as a CPA is not realistic. A CPA's job is as secure as an engineer where as an MBA is a good addition to being a CPA or another field. The MBA doesn't stand on its own as well as some degrees/designations.
 

AustinIllini

macrumors demi-goddess
Oct 20, 2011
10,853
7,466
Austin, TX
Can you do a degree in plumbing?

I'm such a drip for not knowing that. :D
A degree in plumbing is what I have. At the University of Illinois, we call it "Chemical Engineering".

That's not to say that Chemical Engineering is either easy or really plumbing, but it's things flowing through pipes.

Computer Science is a strong field. Come on down to Austin, you'll be employed in no time.
 

rei101

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2011
972
1
As long you are employed in the corporate america.

The:
Science
Technology
Engineering
Mathematics

Is a great choice because you will be surrounded with intelligent, educated people.

I work in video editing and I have to deal with idiots all the time because many learned how to use a software but not how to manage themselves in an office.

I understand your concern about your degree but is better now than never, as long you do not add more debt with that degree, fine.
 

Ray Brady

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2011
290
244
If your goal is a guaranteed job, don't bother with college. Go to a trade school.

If you want a career in a field you actually enjoy, go to college and study what interests you. Worry about the job when you get out.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
Can you do a degree in plumbing?

I'm such a drip for not knowing that. :D
There's many people in the trades and services (like computer repair, networking or things that don't require degree) that are populated with people with non-stem degrees. I don't see too many stem people working in fields that don't require degrees.

That being said, the unhappiest workers by far who I have seen in 35 years working are those stem workers. On one hand they make more money and have their house but on the other hand they have a nagging feeling they didn't follow their heart. You usually don't ask kids what they want to do and they say, "design daughterboards" or "invent new polymers" because they seem so about maintaining stuff in society but not furthering the arts. But it's very hard to be a creative musician or artist or actor and be anything other than economically stressed. We are animals who crave self-expression (each and every one of us) yet we live in a society who pays the practical ones.

One friend of mine designs furniture, and as an engineer gets paid well for it, but he leaves time for things he loves, like teaching and the arts. The balance allows for enough money (yet not as much as if he was designing something in the military industrial complex like he did before) but he gets to be a human, too. You could design missile components that you see routinely ending up being sold to our enemies and sometimes killing US troops and do that for a few years, but the toll this would take on your soul is not worth it. One defense contractor who I used to work for would say he used to design military aircraft to support our military but towards the end, he said he designed better ways to kill people. He got paid quite well over his lifetime but he told me he wouldn't tell others what he did, not because of secrecy but because of shame. After a lifetime of designing military stuff, he was a remorseful man.
 
Last edited: