Choosing Your Degree: Myths vs Reality
A degree is a huge gamble — the most expensive thing you’ll ever buy, probably. It could be the best three years of your life, or a never-ending nightmare.
It’s vital to choose the right subject, but that’s hard. Like any life-changing decision, a mistake can be disastrous. To make things worse, many A-Level students believe a lot of myths about higher education. Here are a few to avoid…
A solid majority of Economics students study their degree to pursue fantasies of working in Finance and Investment Banking. Usually, the reality hits them by year-two: Nobody cares, seriously! Whether you’re applying to JP Morgan or a tiny insurance company, these organisations put infinitely more weight on “skills” than actual learned content. There are no subject requirements to virtually any corporate entry-level job. Yes, knowing a few accounting methods might help here and there, but what’s more important is the organisation, problem-solving, and thinking that goes with your degree.
First-Year Doesn’t Count
This varies by University, but for most of Warwick’s STEM degrees (Computer Science, Maths, Physics), first year definitely counts, though usually just 10%. Either way, every module result is attached to an “academic transcript” — that’s what you’ll use to get a job.
Most University courses start from the foundations. Your first lectures might seem almost GCSE level, steadily rising to incomprehensible after a few weeks. That’s why you can study Economics here without A-Level Economics — all you need is Maths and a few other quantitative subjects, just evidence you can handle the meaty equations. It’s actually possible for English students to take Physics modules as “unusual options”. Higher education is flexible. In a nutshell, do some shopping around; don’t be tied down by a few dodgy A-Level choices.
Some degrees have reputations for being easy. Don’t let that impact your decision. Even the so-called soft-subjects are three years (minimum) of essays, proposals and projects. Without passion for your subject, that’s torture, believe me.
I hope this was a useful insight. Any questions? Feel free to get in touch by commenting below.