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the_dork

What Career Would You Go For If Starting Today?

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I did maths but due to 2:2 wasn’t able to go for top City jobs and wasn’t particularly motivated to do so. I have a safe and easy but ultimately dull job in finance. If I leave it will be to pursue a lower paid but more satisfying career in either food or gardening though I'm not ready for the salary drop just yet

If I had my time again, I’d either do an easier subject to be sure of the 2:1 or think seriously about doing a vocational subject but there’s little there that seem to be genuinely safe other than the 'lower' vocations like nursing, physio etc. I am sceptical of the value of 3 year degrees for these subjects but that's for another thread...

My dream job would probably be some form of academia, though not in maths. Other than medicine or trying to get into the City I’m not sure what top graduates aim for today?

law-Unless Oxbridge level, chances of progressing to high flying career seem low. Plenty of decent law grads apply to my place for routine 20k admin jobs.

Accountancy-wages not going up any time soon. Outside the big 4 it's a steady but unspectacular life

IT-as above, lots of competition and not great opportunities unless you are very specialist of get into a bank

Grad training schemes-retail, logistics, HR etc. Again very competitive and not particularly enthralling.

Civil service/local government-I would probably consider this as relatively interesting and steady career progression, but presumably lots of competition and salaries are not exciting.

Journalism-rapidly becoming a self-indulgent career for trust fund types. Very little long term career prospects unless you’re the small % of ‘bright young thing’ like Owen Jones

Engineering-if you study this you obviously have a good chance of progressing in the industry but hard to get onto unless you actually do a degree in it (I tried).

Genuine question-what would you do today? What are graduates, not just STEM subjects but even arts & humanities actually aiming to do other than the small % who get solid starts in the careers above? Considering this I can see why teaching is an appealing option as you avoid the tedium of office work, reasonable salary and solid career prospects.

I would probably try to do natural sciences if not medicine and pursue an actual career in it. I'm not sure what else actually has logical career progression to it

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I have 2 Dream jobs, first i actually went for was to become and aerodynamisist (sp) in the motorsport industry. Got steered in the wrong direction when i went to college... but fell in love with CAD and have been working in various industries with CAD, mainly technical with the software.

The othe would be a multilingual translator specialising in Aisian, mainly Japanese

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This is a fantastic idea for a topic; I'm very interested in seeing what others suggest - your career goals will change alot from what they were when you were 18 after decades in the workplace.

I have a Computer Science degree; and I've worked as a software developer since I graduated 8 years ago. I consider myself lucky; recession proof (or as near to recession proof) £35K job a 10 minute walk from my flat....not a massive wage by any stretch of the imagination, but it's enough money for me at the moment. I don't know many careers where you could earn drastically more than that anyway (I mean £20K+ more).

There's still a voice in my head telling me that I've not done 'well enough' or reached my full potential (I'm 30) - but I think that's maybe my inner workaholic speaking. The only way I could earn drastically more is contracting (which I don't want to do as I like having a steady job) or setting up a business on the side (a possibility).

I don't think I'd change anything if I went back to uni, because I don't know what else I'd be good at...my degree was vocational, and I don't think most other normal jobs pay drastically more than mine does. The only jobs that pay drasically more (doctor/dentist/investment banking) have alot more stress or aren't things I would like to be doing all day.

If I ever have kids, I'll be advising them to go for a vocational degree in an industry that has globally portable qualifications - the problem with IT is that you can spend years on one technology stack and if the company then lets you go then it can be difficult to find another that needs your particular area of expertise.

An important thing to realize I guess is that it's not worth being unhappy or even taking on any measurable amount of stress for an extra 5 or 10k a year, since it'll not really buy you any major increase in your quality of life or the size of the house you live in.

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I'm more of a unicycling one-man-band sort of a pimp motorcycling dude!

I wish I had done medicine!

Then I could cut people open and not get arrested too much!

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I studied political science mainly at uni. Total waste of time as I realised I wanted nothing to do with government/public sector type work under the auspice of politicians two years into my degree. My family are more of an engineering background (brother and father at least) and that is probably what my mind would really like to do, but I'm not clever enough when it comes to maths/physics etc.

I ended up working in a big corporation since 10 years back, which luckily means I can move between roles and very varied jobs internally. So, considering I don't ever want to go back to university (I don't think) I'm going to become one of these generalists who have no special expertise from a vocational point of view. I'm quite happy with that. I've done customer service manager, business analytics (e.g consumer comment type BA whatever you want to call it) and now corporate travel manager.

Next in line probably some form of SAP work.

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I studied political science mainly at uni. Total waste of time as I realised I wanted nothing to do with government/public sector type work under the auspice of politicians two years into my degree. My family are more of an engineering background (brother and father at least) and that is probably what my mind would really like to do, but I'm not clever enough when it comes to maths/physics etc.

I ended up working in a big corporation since 10 years back, which luckily means I can move between roles and very varied jobs internally. So, considering I don't ever want to go back to university (I don't think) I'm going to become one of these generalists who have no special expertise from a vocational point of view. I'm quite happy with that. I've done customer service manager, business analytics (e.g consumer comment type BA whatever you want to call it) and now corporate travel manager.

Next in line probably some form of SAP work.

Yes you are! You can blow up things with me!

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I think part of the problem is choosing at 18, I picked what I enjoyed and knew had reasonable career prospects. However, went from being top of the class to average at uni level, hence a 2:2 despite working harder than my friends on other subjects.

How many people at 18 honestly know they want to be a doctor/lawyer etc?

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An important thing to realize I guess is that it's not worth being unhappy or even taking on any measurable amount of stress for an extra 5 or 10k a year, since it'll not really buy you any major increase in your quality of life or the size of the house you live in.

I've been working about the same length and agree with you that you very quickly start 'working to live' rather than agonising over moving up some imaginary ladder (hey let's keep that talk for house prices!)

Reading back my OP I realise it's rambling, could better be put as 2 questions, one personal, what would YOU pick with hindsight and one actually addressed to people who know 6th formers/students, what are they actually aiming to do?

Ultimately I agree that if you get a job you love you'll never work a day in your life. Unfortunately, for me there aren't that many such things out there outside academia, sports, arts etc that qualify as such

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Taxidermy, and taxi driving! Everyone wants to travel with a stuffed badger!

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One thing I've learned is that it doesn't matter as much as you think it does. Obviously at this point there may be a disproportionate number of opportunities in finance but the fact is that people can rise to the top in virtually any line of business, whether its hospitality, IT, engineering, retail or whatever.

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Never had any idea in the first place and still don't. Just about every realistic way of making a living looks soul-destroyingly dull.

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Never had any idea in the first place and still don't. Just about every realistic way of making a living looks soul-destroyingly dull.

There's always Mr Pin's big butt bitch ho car wash! :blink:

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I think part of the problem is choosing at 18, I picked what I enjoyed and knew had reasonable career prospects. However, went from being top of the class to average at uni level, hence a 2:2 despite working harder than my friends on other subjects.

How many people at 18 honestly know they want to be a doctor/lawyer etc?

I remember the crushing feeling of having been top of the class since a young age to 19 years old - to becoming average at university :) Ouch! Reality set in. Having to learn how to actually study was a fecker.

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I remember the crushing feeling of having been top of the class since a young age to 19 years old - to becoming average at university :) Ouch! Reality set in. Having to learn how to actually study was a fecker.

I had the same feeling, but I did go to a university, and I suppose some people will be even cleverer than me! :blink:

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I remember the crushing feeling of having been top of the class since a young age to 19 years old - to becoming average at university :) Ouch! Reality set in. Having to learn how to actually study was a fecker.

Luckily future generations will be saved from this experience by sending the average to university too.

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Luckily future generations will be saved from this experience by sending the average to university too.

I think you are right! :blink:

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I think that's a jolly tune! :)

I am also a great fan of "Parliament" and Bootsy Collins!

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Despite my earlier post flying around in a helicopter chucking out sticks of dynamite to set off controlled avalanches sounds like a great job.

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I had a great career as an electronics engineer. BBC engineer, then recording studios, film studios, very brief interval as a radio pirate, supersonic aircraft, spacecraft, F1 racing cars, telecomms in the bubble years. The only issue was the constant learning, but I found that enjoyable too.

But if I had to choose another course, it would be film and TV special effects designer. Preferably with things that go kerboom and splat. What qualifications would be necessary, I wonder, other than knowing the right people to get into the field, which is how I got started?

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Despite my earlier post flying around in a helicopter chucking out sticks of dynamite to set off controlled avalanches sounds like a great job.

You are not allowed on helicopters with explosives! Sometimes you are not allowed a steel banded watch!

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You are not allowed on helicopters with explosives! Sometimes you are not allowed a steel banded watch!

The army must have some on theirs...

I genuinely thought that they did that in some part of the world (presumably with different rules), another shattered dream :(

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The army must have some on theirs...

I genuinely thought that they did that in some part of the world (presumably with different rules), another shattered dream :(

I've never been on a military helicopter! :blink:

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