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Old 05-31-2012, 09:48 PM
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Default Do you use your major in your job?

A coworker and I were talking about school today and modern kids and the 'go to college and get a degree!' mentality. He's about the age to be my grandfather and is just a really great guy that I go to for a lot of information and guidance. He's been working in the industry since well before I was born.

There is no degree for the job I do so people come in with all sorts of backgrounds. Most have some sort of a science, geography, graphics, computer, or math degree.

But I was curious how many of you actually use your degree in your career? I have a mathematics degree and I do use math sometimes on the job but nothing like I learned like advanced calculus or linear algebra. I use my computer programming classes much more. the most important skill I got from the math degree that goes to my work is Excel skills since I do a lot with spreadsheets now. I sometimes wonder why I spent all that time learning advanced mathematics if I'm never going to use any equations past basic geometry and statistics. Then again, I probably wouldn't have gotten this job without the math degree os I guess it paid off there.

But I find learning on the job SO much more fun and so much better since it's actually applicable. I love picking all the veteran peoples' brains and they put up with me really well. I've learned more in 1 year on the job than I did in 4 years of college, I feel. (Yet another thread of just my random musings)
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Old 05-31-2012, 09:58 PM
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Mixture for me. I use some aspects of my degree and the rest is learned as I go. In my last job I used other aspects of my degree...the two jobs are barely related...kind of the extreme ends of what folks with my type of degree do if still staying within the field if that makes sense.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:02 PM
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The thing about early childhood education is, you can have your masters degree and not be a good teacher. And at the same time, I have a assist teacher who I swear could outteach me with her eyes closed, she is AMAZING, and she doesn't have a single college course. Either you have "it", or you don't. Some naturally have classroom management skills, and others work at it and work at it.
I think too many rush into majors too early and end up with degrees they dont use. But thats just personal experience, with the girls in my graduating classes
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:22 PM
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I just graduated, and it looks like I might (fingers crossed!) have a summer job in a lab that's my exact area of interest, so, so far, yes.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:35 PM
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No no and no. Honestly I learned very little technically in college which would help me in my current job. Probably the best class I have taken as I use it every single day was my keyboarding class in high school.

On the plus side I do see some of my better teachers influences in other aspects of work. Like learning how to appreciate knowledge I encounter throughout the day, understanding how animals operate, and understanding how people do and don't work together.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:38 PM
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Yeaaahhhh I have my Bachelors in Elementary Education and my Masters in Cello Performance. Right now I am a dog trainer/walker and pet sitter. So for me? Not so much.

The problem is that orchestras are going under like there's no tomorrow and people are turning away from live music for events/weddings due to the cost. Private students are also difficult to find, as music programs in schools are getting cut and parents can't afford private teachers. It's sad, really

As far as teaching in a school goes, I decided a while ago (a few years too late, however) that I did not want to make my living doing that (hence why I went to grad school for music). It's not that I couldn't do it, as I honestly believe that I am a very good teacher, but I taught summer programs for 4 years in a special needs district, and it honestly burned me out. Mainly dealing with the parents. And even though I've been looking again, there are so few positions and most of them I think are filled internally, so I'm a bit out of luck there....

I do believe that I use some aspects of my education degree while training, especially with large classes. And when I did have a private studio in TX and was performing frequently, I obviously used both degrees.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:41 PM
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I have an Associate's in Animal Science, Pre-Vet, and Liberal Arts. Currently working out of home, not really employed anywhere.

I use the English/Literature/History all the time, just in daily life. The animal studies with all the math and science, not so much.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:51 PM
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I double-majored in psychology and social work.

The psych degree I use every day. Psych degrees are difficult to really evaluate their usefulness because you most undergrad psych degrees cover a wide range of classes. But there are two that stand out for me in my job, first being Behaviorial Psych (obviously, as a dog trainer I have to be really good at learning theory; of course most trainers learn that stuff on-the-job, but it is nice to throw in scientific terms every now and then to sound like you know stuff, like "Differential Reinforcement of Lesser Behaviors," or DRL. Not something your average dog trainer knows about.). Also I'm suprised at how often I use stuff from my Social Psych class, which was about how individuals function in a group. Super useful for anyone working in a team environment particularly, but good for anyone who works with other people. For example, there's the idea that if I ask someone for a simple favor, it actually makes that person like me more. So if you need someone to like you, ask them for a favor; it really does work.

I didn't really learn much at all, as far as facts and such, in my social work classes, but what I did learn was empathy, compassion, open-mindedness, etc., which all, I think, help me a lot in my professional life (as well as my personal life). Social workers are also really good at getting people the help (resources) they need, so I got good at researching, which is useful when my coworkers have personal problems.


I really think college does better about teaching you how to think, than teaching you specific skills and stuff. On the job training is sufficient for, I think, a majority of jobs, but if you can't reason through and solve problems, then you have a situation that your employer is probably not really equipped to help you with.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:54 PM
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My degree is in veterinary technology. Technically I have not started my "career" yet... but even with my part-time jobs, I'm getting use out of my degree. Given that it's a "specialized" degree, I went to school to learn how to be a vet tech... I'm not going to pursue other fields unless I have to.

It's not a degree where you get it and go "hm, now what do I do?" Lol it is very straightforward.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:03 PM
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Well, I have an AS in Automotive Service Technology and I'm a mechanic, so yes, I use my degree every day :P
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