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Studied the wrong degree, not sure what to do next

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 10th, 2019 2:29 pm
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Oct 26, 2003
32310 posts
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enwhyRFD wrote: I don't get this expectation these days.

Just because you tried something that you don't end up liking, doesn't make it "wrong".

If there can only be right and no wrong when trying to find what works for you, then we may as well all not try and just get told what to do.

It's a fact of life that in order to find what works, you will NEED to find things that don't work.

There is no "Google Maps" for life.

I am 100% certain that there are things you acquired in political science that you can draw upon in your life moving forward. If you can look at it in that perspective, then you would've achieved progress and not feel as if it was a complete waste. And that's all that matters, to keep progressing and growing and learning.

Just like you started and completed political science, I am sure you can do the same for the next step, if that ends up to be IT or coding or whatever the next step is.

We (internet/family/friends) can't give you a compass that points to the thing you want most. You'll have to figure that out on your own and create your world out of it.

GL.
A lot of high school students going into a degree program without a clear direction in life, but the difference here is that the op actually went all the way to get the degree while normally people would find out what they want to do during their degree and switch program. In this case, op is sad he sunk 4 years of time, effort and money into something he can't extract value from.
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Dec 31, 2007
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divx wrote: A lot of high school students going into a degree program without a clear direction in life, but the difference here is that the op actually went all the way to get the degree while normally people would find out what they want to do during their degree and switch program. In this case, op is sad he sunk 4 years of time, effort and money into something he can't extract value from.
Agreed - should've bailed before the 4 yr mark, but that's hindsight. Chalk one up for experience.
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Jul 12, 2003
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divx wrote: A lot of high school students going into a degree program without a clear direction in life, but the difference here is that the op actually went all the way to get the degree while normally people would find out what they want to do during their degree and switch program. In this case, op is sad he sunk 4 years of time, effort and money into something he can't extract value from.
Yes, but then should we go back to where he was 4 years ago and study another degree and kill another 2-3 yeas of time and tuition fee?
A lot of young folks are afraid to step out to society and work. School is like their comfort zone and they are living within parent's support aslong as they still in school. A lot of them are just complaining that I cannot find a good job, I studied a useless degree. I should go back to school and get better education. But Education doesn't guarantee that you will have a brilliant career. I value job experiences a lot more in some circumstances.

To OP, there are no one who will stay at 20s all their life, we will end up getting older and you don't want to be a fresh grad when you are at 28-30 years old with 2 bachelor degree and the people you see are already on track at their career and you are just starting or still browsing what to do after school.
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Jul 17, 2010
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ginoisselling wrote: Everything is IT, unless you do some scientific work in a scientific facility or university.
Science is also highly computerized now. Only places that are not computerized are 1st and 2nd year teaching lab.
Last edited by bundy5555 on Mar 10th, 2018 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Jul 17, 2010
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JcvD10 wrote: I initially had intentions of going to law school when i picked my political science degree but decided its not for me. I'm stuck with this degree now. It seems there isn't much i can do with this degree alone, and i'm not passionate about it to the extent of going to pursue a masters.

I'm thinking my only bet now is to go back to school to study something else, possibly IT & security related as i like the idea of cyber security.

But i dread the idea of going back another 4 years for an undergrad, i could really use some advice. My Uni advisors were pretty useless and never really have much to say, its as if they are there to only make people feel worse about their situation.

Worst part is i get to hear all my family & friends badger me about how i messed up :(
Why not just go to grad school. Apply for internship/entry positions while you are there.
Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2013
8003 posts
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MP3_SKY wrote: Yes, but then should we go back to where he was 4 years ago and study another degree and kill another 2-3 yeas of time and tuition fee?
A lot of young folks are afraid to step out to society and work. School is like their comfort zone and they are living within parent's support aslong as they still in school. A lot of them are just complaining that I cannot find a good job, I studied a useless degree. I should go back to school and get better education. But Education doesn't guarantee that you will have a brilliant career. I value job experiences a lot more in some circumstances.

To OP, there are no one who will stay at 20s all their life, we will end up getting older and you don't want to be a fresh grad when you are at 28-30 years old with 2 bachelor degree and the people you see are already on track at their career and you are just starting or still browsing what to do after school.
I agree.
OP needs to get a job. Go sell cars or something. I don't get this whole "studied wrong degree, therefore i useless".. ridiculousness... and then u fall into the academia trap of just study more... right because they just hand u job with the more studies uve done.

go get a job. ANY JOB. Get some experience, and try to get a better job... and then get another better job.. and try to move up... you get trapped. look for another job.. without trying a few things and talking to people, u will never know what u want to do.
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Apr 16, 2006
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TodayHello wrote: Stop beating yourself up, bud. Yeah, it sucks (does it really?), but to bad so sad here you are what’s next? Some internet nobodies and joker acquaintances from high school are telling you “I told you so” as a way of affirming their own world views? Cool story, bros. Thanks for that super tight advice. Hope you all feel better with all that knowledge - hey, what’s next weeks lotto numbers?

What should you do? Probably stop asking for advice. People are full of garbage advice. Try having conversations. Have you talked with your parents - not the “tell me what to do talk”, the “this is what’s happening and how I am thinking about it what do you think talk”. Ditto for friends you trust and appreciate - not the “told you so” crew - and mentors, if you have one (not that need one btw).

And find some comfort in knowing that your situation is not unique in the slightest degree, that many of your peers are going through the exact same realization and struggle for next steps as you are, and that many people of these forums started in the exact same spot and made their way through it. And if they found their way through it so can you.
+1

Unfortunately, social science degrees are a dime a dozen nowadays and almost everyone has one. While I'm a firm believer that there's no such thing as useless education or a useless degree, this degree admittedly is nothing special in that it isn't REQUIRED in order to get certain specialty jobs (i.e., engineering, law, nursing, etc).

That being said, the fact the OP has a degree shows they're an intelligent person and is capable of learning new things and handling stress. They shouldn't be focusing on specific careers geared with a requirement for a "political science" degree because, frankly, they're not really going to find any. Maybe if they want to work for a political party or something, but even then most of those jobs probably go to people that have volunteered for that party for a while first in terms of preference.

I think the OP should broaden their job search. Look for jobs that have broader worded job requirements, and maybe try to work in whatever other non-pure academic experience they have to try to get themselves into that position. The first place the OP should be looking is asking their friends and family if they know anyone that is hiring. The hardest job to get is the first "real" "career" job. Once you get that first job, it's a lot easiest to find other jobs. It's a lot about who you know, not necessarily what you know, when it comes to that important first job. Not saying the OP will definitely get hired somewhere if he knows someone, but having a connection at the place that can vouch for the OP may result in the OP's resume being moved to the top of the list.
Penalty Box
Dec 27, 2013
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Octavius wrote: +1

Unfortunately, social science degrees are a dime a dozen nowadays and almost everyone has one. While I'm a firm believer that there's no such thing as useless education or a useless degree, this degree admittedly is nothing special in that it isn't REQUIRED in order to get certain specialty jobs (i.e., engineering, law, nursing, etc).

That being said, the fact the OP has a degree shows they're an intelligent person and is capable of learning new things and handling stress. They shouldn't be focusing on specific careers geared with a requirement for a "political science" degree because, frankly, they're not really going to find any. Maybe if they want to work for a political party or something, but even then most of those jobs probably go to people that have volunteered for that party for a while first in terms of preference.

I think the OP should broaden their job search. Look for jobs that have broader worded job requirements, and maybe try to work in whatever other non-pure academic experience they have to try to get themselves into that position. The first place the OP should be looking is asking their friends and family if they know anyone that is hiring. The hardest job to get is the first "real" "career" job. Once you get that first job, it's a lot easiest to find other jobs. It's a lot about who you know, not necessarily what you know, when it comes to that important first job. Not saying the OP will definitely get hired somewhere if he knows someone, but having a connection at the place that can vouch for the OP may result in the OP's resume being moved to the top of the list.
There are a lot of jobs that he can get making 40k a year.
The problem is that the mind set of getting a degree gives you $100,000 out the gate is the problem... and then sit their contemplating more degrees as the solution to more money...... This is the idea that is propagated by the Academics.
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Dec 26, 2015
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I got a 3yr IT diploma with academic distinction... but by the end I realized I didn't want to work with computers... **** IT... and I still don't know what I want to do... pick your poison.
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Nov 13, 2013
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JcvD10 wrote: I initially had intentions of going to law school when i picked my political science degree but decided its not for me. I'm stuck with this degree now. It seems there isn't much i can do with this degree alone, and i'm not passionate about it to the extent of going to pursue a masters.

I'm thinking my only bet now is to go back to school to study something else, possibly IT & security related as i like the idea of cyber security.

But i dread the idea of going back another 4 years for an undergrad, i could really use some advice. My Uni advisors were pretty useless and never really have much to say, its as if they are there to only make people feel worse about their situation.

Worst part is i get to hear all my family & friends badger me about how i messed up :(
You have some decent advice here already but why do you not want to go to law school? If it is because you don't like writing reading and analyzing things yes you should look at a tech degree or if you have the personality sales or marketing is also an option. If you do like writing/reading academics in general you could look at graduate level work in a non related field. MPA, MIR, for example. You could also look at an MA in international relations or development which are far from guaranteed to lead to employment but opens up government and NGO work. An MBA could be an option but I think you need corporate experience first .
Member
Sep 29, 2015
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If I were in your situation I would work at a tech startup; you will learn a lot from exposure to tech and business. More school is nice to have, but you may come out the other end feeling just as lost.
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Jul 22, 2006
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JcvD10 wrote: I initially had intentions of going to law school when i picked my political science degree but decided its not for me. I'm stuck with this degree now. It seems there isn't much i can do with this degree alone, and i'm not passionate about it to the extent of going to pursue a masters.

I'm thinking my only bet now is to go back to school to study something else, possibly IT & security related as i like the idea of cyber security.

But i dread the idea of going back another 4 years for an undergrad, i could really use some advice. My Uni advisors were pretty useless and never really have much to say, its as if they are there to only make people feel worse about their situation.
pm sent
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Apr 5, 2017
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I got a job the day Uni classes finished, didn't care what it was, just needed to start making money. My first check was $1500. It was like winning a lottery. But a personal/pocket change lottery.

Turns out general labor is fun. And operating vehicles/equipment. And physical/manual labor is great exercise. I've built work ethic, personality, and maybe character - but I've had some bad influences, so on second thought, my "character" has also been tainted. Another thing is developing a thick skin. 5 years doing it now, and I admit it's been something of a routine/comfort zone type of job I've stuck myself in so no different say had I continued school. Still have no idea wtf I wanna do, but at least I'm making money while pondering answers. Learning everything I can about optimizing/streamlining my finances, learning to work on cars, building/working on having a respectable physique, etc. School didn't teach me about the little things in life that can add up/compound over time like things/knowledge outside of the "career" box.

More and more people don't even stay in the same career for more than 5-10 years. I know a dozen who have switched careers in such time frames, complete 180's, etc. restarting from basically the ground up. I wish I could see in to each of those individuals perspective's and see as they saw things. I would learn a lot.
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Mar 22, 2004
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RFD
Your story isn't new or uncommon. As already posted by some others, lots of people invest money and time to study career X in uni or college for 2-4+ years, and either end up figuring out at some time its not for them, or end up in a totally different field after they finish. Then there are those who finish their studies and can't find a job for years. And there's those who have to try different types of jobs to see what they like best. The education system doesn't do a good job when you're younger at giving you a real picture of a specific career. Co-op helps in this case, but not everyone is afforded that opportunity. When you're young, you imagine it will be like this, but when you get older and experienced, you realize that its not going to be like how you imagine. There's nothing wrong with this, it's just part of life and finding the direction you want to go in for the rest of your life. How can you realistically know what you want to do in your career, but haven't ever done that job in your life? Like a restaurant buffet, there's so many varieties that you should really try different things before settling for a certain career path. If you never try different careers, how do you really know what you would enjoy doing for the rest of your life? There may be things that you never imagined you would end up liking or being good at... That's one thing the education system needs to do better for future generations. There's a lot of things schooling will never be able to teach.

I'm sorry your family and friends are not giving you the best support at this time, but you're still young and can adapt. Keep your head up and keep working through it. At the end of the day, this is your life, and you need to figure out what will make your the most happy.

I got my IT degree because there was just one year remaining, so I just decided to finish it. I'm doing something different as well than my area of study.

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