Do you use your major/degree?

View Poll Results: How does your career match your college degree?

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  • Early job matched degree / current job matches degree

    79 61.24%
  • Early job matched degree / current job doesn't match degree

    21 16.28%
  • Early job didn't matched degree / current job matched degree

    5 3.88%
  • Early job didn't matched degree / current job doesn't match degree

    24 18.60%
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  1. #1
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    Do you use your major/degree?

    With two other threads about majors, it got me thinking about using your degree.

    The fallacy of identifying a major as "worthless" is that, technically, almost all majors are worthless. I studied engineering and got a job as an engineer, however, I was not trained in college to design/test fans, design highly styled parts, design cooling systems, or manage large develop programs all of which had defined my career.

    I suspect that very few people studied the exact "thing" that they made a career out of. I have known engineers whose first job was in sales, farming, etc.

    So, I am curious about if you have used and still use what you learned in college directly.


    Last edited by agcy68; 01-21-2012 at 04:21 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    I voted that both my early and current job matched my degree, but like you mentioned, only because of job title. I learned very little about what I specifically do on a day to day basis.



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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dopey View Post
    I voted that both my early and current job matched my degree, but like you mentioned, only because of job title. I learned very little about what I specifically do on a day to day basis.
    You learned how to work in your field.

    Math, Speech and English are studies that make my point.

    How often do you listen to someone speak who cannot talk in complete sentences and who cannot speak without using the filler words: like, uh, anyways, you know, for example?

    How often do you read a memo, email or report and see common spelling and grammatical errors?

    You do the rest with on the job and every day training.



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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    I do some very light engineering, but most of what I do is management. Technical Communications probably holds more direct relevance to my job than any of the engineering courses I took.



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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    Quote Originally Posted by agcy68 View Post
    With two other threads about majors, it got me thinking about using your degree.

    The fallacy of identifying a major as "worthless" is that, technically, almost all majors are worthless. I studied engineering and got a job as an engineer, however, I was not trained in college to design/test fans, design highly styled parts, design cooling systems, or manage large develop programs all of which had defined my career.

    I suspect that very few people studied the exact "thing" that they made a career out of. I have known engineers whose first job was in sales, farming, etc.

    So, I am curious about if you have used and still use what you learned in college directly.
    I was one of the lucky ones. I graduated in Civil Engineering and did direct civil engineering work all the way through my career. I used my core coursework to do the work that I did. I used my college textbooks and class notes in quite a bit of the design work that I did.

    It gets even better, projects that I designed and had built are being enjoyed every day by the people of Iowa. Some of my projects contribute to the health and safety of Iowans. I am now retired, but I can go all over the state and use and see projects that I had designed and built and they will still be there to be used and enjoyed fifty years from now. Very, very satisfying career.




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  6. #6
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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    Undergraduate education is almost entirely foundational--you don't learn how to develop and test cooling systems, but you do learn the math and physics required for that type of work.

    A lot of graduate degrees are more applied, though, so it would be interesting to see the difference in opinion between people who have post-graduate education and those who don't.



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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    Quote Originally Posted by DistrictCyclone View Post
    Undergraduate education is almost entirely foundational--you don't learn how to develop and test cooling systems, but you do learn the math and physics required for that type of work.

    A lot of graduate degrees are more applied, though, so it would be interesting to see the difference in opinion between people who have post-graduate education and those who don't.
    I have a BS and MS in Civil. For my first job I used the skills I gained from the MS course work on a daily basis as a traffic engineer. I recently took a job as a transportation forensic engineer, this position requires me to have my traffic engineering background from my MS and to supplement that with a lot of on the job training on how to inspect a scene etc.


    I my opinion a Undergraduate degree just gives you the basic fundamentals and teaches students how to learn so you can go on to a job or a graduate degree and figure out how to do your job.



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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    Started in Industrial Engineering. Morphed into IT. The problem solving skills and Human Resources classes helped me more than anything else.



  9. #9
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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    Quote Originally Posted by leroycyclone View Post
    You learned how to work in your field.

    Math, Speech and English are studies that make my point.

    How often do you listen to someone speak who cannot talk in complete sentences and who cannot speak without using the filler words: like, uh, anyways, you know, for example?

    How often do you read a memo, email or report and see common spelling and grammatical errors?

    You do the rest with on the job and every day training.
    The bolded part is not always true. I would argue that there's plenty of jobs out there that you could start with just a high school education, I have one right now. Everything else you menioned in your post I learned to do in high school. All of the other things that you need to know about your company and how to advance within it, you will most likely learn on the job anyway.



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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    My degree is in FIN and I use the skills I learned from that path everyday. In addition, finance is a degree you will use in your everyday life outside of your job. I feel more knowledgeable and prepared when I shop for loans, insurance, investments, etc.



  11. #11
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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    Early and current job matches degree



  12. #12
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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    Majored in Construction Engineer - I said yes because even though I don't use a lot of the classes (especially the Civil Engineering classes I took as part of my major) they formed a foundation with which to draw from everyday. A lot of what I do (writing contracts, negotiations, etc.) I did not learn with my major but couldn't perform as well without my classes.



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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    Retired now, so I don't use my major, but my degree is very useful covering that big hole in the wallboard in the mancave.



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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    I was a sociology major and I work with mortgages. So, hell no



  15. #15
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    Re: Do you use your major/degree?

    Depends on what you mean by matches my degree. I am technically in a managerial role, but managing people based on the skills in my degree. So I guess I would say yes?



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