General Question

Eggie's avatar

Is having a degree useful in any part of your life?

Asked by Eggie (5737points) November 22nd, 2010

The degree that you get in a particular field area, would it be benificial if you decide to change that field area later on? For example, if one is persuing a degree in law, and he/she gets that degree and decides to go into buisness later on, would he/she wasted their time in getting that law degree? Would that degree benifit them in the job concerning buisness?If so, how would that degree benifit them in any way with that change in career?

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16 Answers

Summum's avatar

I have found that most places don’t care what the degree was in just that one has the degree. There are exceptions but over all they just want to know you were strong enough to get through what it takes to get a degree.

mistik04's avatar

I have a degree in Chemical Engineering, but I work in the mining sector… my degree is barely of use to me… ugh!

Seaofclouds's avatar

It really depends on the degree and what you studied while obtaining that degree. I degree in law might be useful to someone going into business if while in law school they studied some business law. That way they could carry that knowledge with them. Instead, if they studied family law, it probably wouldn’t help much in the business world (except for the basic knowledge of the legal system).

For me personally, my degree is in nursing. The only way it would carry over to some other field would be if I stayed in some area with a base in medicine (such as teaching, medical school, or healthcare law).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Of course – all that I’ve done has been built on what came before. Without my college degree, I wouldn’t be able to get into graduate school. Without my masters degree, I wouldn’t (possibly) get the job that I have and would (probably) not be as successful a candidate as I am now whe applying to PhD programs. It doesn’t always matter what the degrees are in but it matters (to some) that you have them.

Aethelwine's avatar

@Summum and @Simone_De_Beauvoir are right. Just having that piece of paper will get you further. My husband is a very intelligent man, but did not continue his education past high school. My sister has tried to get him a job at the Fortune 500 company she works for, but her boss will not hire him because he doesn’t have a degree. She gets so upset having to train these kids right out of college that have no clue what they are doing (and many of them have no desire to learn), yet she knows my husband could easily do the job because of his work experience and willingness to get the job done.

simpleD's avatar

Having a degree may or may not help you to succeed in any given field. Earning a degree, however, is undeniably invaluable.

wundayatta's avatar

A surprising number of lawyers don’t work in the field of law. Other employers do hire them, in part, because they have a law degree. Law teaches you how to think as well as teaching you the law. That’s useful in a lot of areas.

The same is true for other degrees. Even English majors!

Seelix's avatar

@simpleD pretty much said what I was thinking. The process of going through university and learning what it takes to earn that piece of paper might be more valuable than anything. Earning a degree (any degree) teaches self-discipline, problem-solving, teamwork, social interaction… any number of skills.
I’m not saying that those people who don’t have a degree are unable to do these things!

john65pennington's avatar

I have a degree from the College Of Hard Knocks, specializing in Social Standards. my degree came in handy as a police officer.

YARNLADY's avatar

@john65pennington But you did have to complete specialized training – someone can’t just become a cop right off the street, right? It’s not called a Police Academy for nothing.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Law school is useful even if you never practice; it organizes your thought processes and changes your ability to communicate in writing.

One thing I have learned in working for 30+ years is that I don’t like working for people without a college degree. My experience has been that while they may be very successful, they are not flexible and are generally not open to change. The concept of how to get from A to E seems to only have one proscribed path, and anything else is distrusted. I personally find abstract thinking abilities linked to liberal arts requirements in college; perhaps that is their true value. There is a big difference between “education” and “job training.”

RocketGuy's avatar

My Materials Science MS degree has kept food on my table for the past 20 years.

john65pennington's avatar

Yarnlady…..absolutely correct. our Police Academy is one of the hardest and toughest in the nation. this is because our police department is accredited. only four exist in the U.S. our officers are constantly going to schools and in-service training to update the law changes and firearms qualifications. 10 mile runs are not uncommon. you either make the grade or sit in the shade.

To just qualify to be a police applicant, you have to have an Associate Degree.

Disc2021's avatar

It’s not necessarily a waste – remember, once you have a degree it’s not like anyone could take it away from you. It’s a learning experience on a few different levels.

Using the scenario you described, if someone has a degree in law they may choose to go into Business law – or their background in law may help them excel in Business, and so forth.

I guess sometimes some people learn after getting a degree in Business that they really don’t like to do business. Hence, they end up going back for something else, in a “trial and error” type of fashion. I suppose you could call it a waste, but you’re still gaining something – whether it’s knowledge or credentials to take with you in the future.

hotgirl67's avatar

There are exceptions sometimes to the rules. It depends on what you actually like doing and whether a degree is needed for it or not.

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