Bizarre graduate degrees

PaulaO
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Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby PaulaO » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:40 pm

I'm hooked on the programme University Challenge which I watch on YouTube. I spelt programme the British way. The show is the British version of College Bowl. Two teams for 4 players each answer questions so difficult that I cannot even understand the questions. During the introductions, each student gives the degree s/he is studying for. How about getting a Ph.D. in "middle Byzantium eucharist objects"? Talk about a niche degree. I'm guessing he will end up a professor. What else do you with a degree in middle Byzantium eucharist objects? Work at museum, maybe? How many other people do you think have that degree??

Kelo
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby Kelo » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:15 pm

That is a VERY specific degree!

I guess the good news is he'll be a foremost expert in it, since I bet he's the only one that has it! :lol:

Chancellor
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby Chancellor » Thu Apr 30, 2020 8:00 pm

Those people who get those degrees are the ones who complain about the cost of higher education. Because what CAN you do with a PhD in that?

One of the people on one of my spinning groups wanted to get a degree in the fiber arts (so like spinning and combing wool). Then she complained about the high cost of the degree. Well, you don't NEED that degree to do the fiber arts....or even to teach them. So, if you are going to get that degree, then you just pay for it because you want it. This is not something you NEED.

It's like the young kids out there who want to get a degree in Equine Studies and then complain that they can't find a job that pays off the student debt. Well, you don't need a degree in Equine Studies to work at a barn. Sure, there are some jobs out there that you could use that for. But more likely, you don't. I hope I didn't offend anyone who has that degree and works actually using that degree.

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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby Moutaineer » Fri May 01, 2020 12:21 am

But he isn't getting a degree to go out and get a job. He's already got his degree, and his MA, and he's now doing original research for a Ph.D., which is a job in it's own right. So yes, he will become one of the foremost experts on the subject, through many years of work, and if he is fortunate, go on to a professorship at Oxford or Cambridge and be able to continue his research.

You may consider this arcane, but the pure pursuit of knowledge for it's own sake (or for the sake of understanding history, which would be important if we would bother to learn from it's lessons,) rather than every form of education having to be vocational, doesn't seem so wrong to me. In fact, it seems to me what separates us from the Barbarians.

(My degree is in Fine Art, painting and printmaking. My thesis was on technical developments in 19th Century European art printmaking. So shoot me.)

Chancellor
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby Chancellor » Fri May 01, 2020 2:23 pm

Moutaineer wrote:But he isn't getting a degree to go out and get a job. He's already got his degree, and his MA, and he's now doing original research for a Ph.D., which is a job in it's own right. So yes, he will become one of the foremost experts on the subject, through many years of work, and if he is fortunate, go on to a professorship at Oxford or Cambridge and be able to continue his research.

You may consider this arcane, but the pure pursuit of knowledge for it's own sake (or for the sake of understanding history, which would be important if we would bother to learn from it's lessons,) rather than every form of education having to be vocational, doesn't seem so wrong to me. In fact, it seems to me what separates us from the Barbarians.

(My degree is in Fine Art, painting and printmaking. My thesis was on technical developments in 19th Century European art printmaking. So shoot me.)


Mountaineer, I totally understand the pursuit of knowledge just for knowledge sake. I have often gone down that road.
The only complaint I have is when people complain that they got a degree in something and now can't find a job to pay off the student loans.

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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby Koolkat » Fri May 01, 2020 4:51 pm

Moutaineer wrote:You may consider this arcane, but the pure pursuit of knowledge for it's own sake (or for the sake of understanding history, which would be important if we would bother to learn from it's lessons,) rather than every form of education having to be vocational, doesn't seem so wrong to me.


Realizing in college that everyone was not there in "pursuit of knowledge" was one of the shocks of my rather sheltered idealist youth.

PaulaO
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby PaulaO » Fri May 01, 2020 9:12 pm

Heavens, I got my B.A. in cinema studies which is useless so I had to get my master’s in library science.

Bip
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby Bip » Sat May 02, 2020 11:04 pm

Koolkat wrote:
Moutaineer wrote:You may consider this arcane, but the pure pursuit of knowledge for it's own sake (or for the sake of understanding history, which would be important if we would bother to learn from it's lessons,) rather than every form of education having to be vocational, doesn't seem so wrong to me.


Realizing in college that everyone was not there in "pursuit of knowledge" was one of the shocks of my rather sheltered idealist youth.


Lol true! I think people who are there for knowledge and people who are there for job training probably all come out as productive members of society. People who just want to party? That can go either way (sometimes they end up getting educated and/or learning job skills).

heddylamar
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby heddylamar » Sat May 02, 2020 11:25 pm

The degree really doesn't matter. College doesn't teach real-world work skills. The young professionals I've hired with shiny new community college, BFA, and MFA diplomas have all been equally unprepared for a real live work environment. None of the projects they've worked on in college taught them to design for temperamental, picky clients, reach particular audiences, etc. Let alone prep files for production, work with templates, etc. I figure there's a 50/50 chance with each hire, set them up with a mentor, and cross my fingers ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Bip
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby Bip » Sun May 03, 2020 12:25 am

I absolutely learned real world skills in college, though I went to three semesters of community college and finished up at state college so maybe my experience was more career focused than some. I work with people who went to top liberal arts schools, who usually have a graduate degree or two from fancy places too, and they all have mad practical skillz. Some are approaching (and past) retirement age, some are my age, and some are millennials. Our world is changing so fast, transferable skills and resiliency are key, and a liberal arts education prepares people to be curious and learn new material

Several years ago a coworker interviewed management at Gillette for information about their workforce needs for manufacturing. Bottom line was that there are no “press this button” jobs in their factory. Even entry level workers need to be able to do algebra and calculus above a high school level. They get that training at community college. College is not just one thing.

But as far as the obscure PhDs, usually there is not an entire program focusing on that obscure topic is usually a Phd from a more broad department, and the obscure part is their Dissertation topic area or specialty. Some are useless and some are highly useful even if they don’t sound like it.

piedmontfields
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby piedmontfields » Mon May 04, 2020 6:43 pm

I certainly understand the desire to pursue deep study of specific subjects or questions.

Chancellor, my short-hand to people considering graduate school is "If the graduate school isn't paying for you to get a degree, you should not pursue a degree." Although I should add "unless you have money to throw away"---kind of like horse people do. :lol:

When hiring, I like people to have a genuine background in a research field---not just "job skills." I want them to have good methods for finding things out, evaluating what they find, and communicating that to a variety of audiences. Although I work in communications, my best hires have had PhDs in history, philosophy and physics. All were smart, creative, evolving people who could adapt to changing information and interests in intelligent ways. The "job skill" type graduates I've had (inherited)-- like those with your typical undergraduate degree in communications and lots of "work-relevant internships"-- have been incredibly slow, uncreative and challenged to learn new information and behaviors. Maybe they'd be great for a corporate drone setting?

blob
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby blob » Sat May 23, 2020 9:24 pm

Chancellor wrote:
Moutaineer wrote:But he isn't getting a degree to go out and get a job. He's already got his degree, and his MA, and he's now doing original research for a Ph.D., which is a job in it's own right. So yes, he will become one of the foremost experts on the subject, through many years of work, and if he is fortunate, go on to a professorship at Oxford or Cambridge and be able to continue his research.

You may consider this arcane, but the pure pursuit of knowledge for it's own sake (or for the sake of understanding history, which would be important if we would bother to learn from it's lessons,) rather than every form of education having to be vocational, doesn't seem so wrong to me. In fact, it seems to me what separates us from the Barbarians.

(My degree is in Fine Art, painting and printmaking. My thesis was on technical developments in 19th Century European art printmaking. So shoot me.)


Mountaineer, I totally understand the pursuit of knowledge just for knowledge sake. I have often gone down that road.
The only complaint I have is when people complain that they got a degree in something and now can't find a job to pay off the student loans.



PhD programs don't cost money. You teach and get a stipend + a tuition waiver. Undergrad and professional degrees cost money, PhDs don't--so they're not the main ones complaining about debt.

Benatus
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby Benatus » Mon May 25, 2020 4:22 pm

I thought spelt was a grain?


I am sorry that people get so bugged by scholarship. It is a specific degree, but on a broad foundation

PaulaO
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby PaulaO » Tue May 26, 2020 5:10 pm


Ryeissa
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Re: Bizarre graduate degrees

Postby Ryeissa » Wed May 27, 2020 5:53 pm

blob wrote:
Chancellor wrote:
Moutaineer wrote:But he isn't getting a degree to go out and get a job. He's already got his degree, and his MA, and he's now doing original research for a Ph.D., which is a job in it's own right. So yes, he will become one of the foremost experts on the subject, through many years of work, and if he is fortunate, go on to a professorship at Oxford or Cambridge and be able to continue his research.

You may consider this arcane, but the pure pursuit of knowledge for it's own sake (or for the sake of understanding history, which would be important if we would bother to learn from it's lessons,) rather than every form of education having to be vocational, doesn't seem so wrong to me. In fact, it seems to me what separates us from the Barbarians.

(My degree is in Fine Art, painting and printmaking. My thesis was on technical developments in 19th Century European art printmaking. So shoot me.)


Mountaineer, I totally understand the pursuit of knowledge just for knowledge sake. I have often gone down that road.
The only complaint I have is when people complain that they got a degree in something and now can't find a job to pay off the student loans.



PhD programs don't cost money. You teach and get a stipend + a tuition waiver. Undergrad and professional degrees cost money, PhDs don't--so they're not the main ones complaining about debt.


or you get a research post doc and get paid off NIH grants. Still poor though :(


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