What degree will guarantee a job after graduation?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by alexgio, Jul 18, 2014.

  1. alexgio macrumors newbie

    Jul 18, 2014
    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?
  2. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    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.
  3. Meister Suspended


    Oct 10, 2013
    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.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    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.
  5. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    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?
  6. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    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.
  7. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2013
  8. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    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.
  9. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Does the school you will be going to have advisors or a career center you can consult?
  10. sviato macrumors 68020


    Oct 27, 2010
    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.
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    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.
  12. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    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.
  13. turtle777 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2004
    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.

  14. jav6454 macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2007
    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?


    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.
  15. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    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.
  16. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    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.
  17. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Plumber. Even in 30 years, pipes will always need to function.

    That reminds me: Proctology.
  18. Apple fanboy macrumors Penryn

    Apple fanboy

    Feb 21, 2012
    Behind the Lens, UK
    Can you do a degree in plumbing?

    I'm such a drip for not knowing that. :D
  19. millerj123 macrumors 65816

    Mar 6, 2008
    Something tells me you needed no reminder about proctology.

    Argh!. Someone mentions plumber, and everyone needs to crack a joke. ;)
  20. AustinIllini macrumors demi-goddess


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    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.
  21. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2011
    As long you are employed in the corporate america.


    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.
  22. Ray Brady macrumors 6502

    Dec 21, 2011
    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.
  23. 63dot, Jul 20, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014

    63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    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.
  24. Truefan31 macrumors 68040


    Aug 25, 2012

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