Monday 14 July 2014

Degree Majors and Career Options - Part 4

One of the factor must be considered when choosing a degree major is career options. We have put together a series of guides for confused graduates seeking career ideas and options. In them we outline some key skills that are gained in each degree, and what you can do with them.

16. What else can I do with an architecture degree?

Architecture students have clearly defined routes into careers that pay reasonably well and offer a high level of satisfaction. Nonetheless, it isn’t always easy finding the right job for you, and you may face tough competition.

This guide should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.

The following is a list of key skills that architects develop while studying for their degrees. It also applies to architecture technologists, who are particularly concerned with the technical performance of buildings:

  • time and self-management
  • design skills
  • concise and accurate writing/communication skills
  • organisational skills
  • identify and predict trends and patterns
  • interpret and evaluate events, information, and ideas
  • computer literacy
  • up-to-date knowledge of the latest legal developments in their field.
Architecture graduates tend to be perfectionists, as it is crucial for original plans to be faultless in order for a project to succeed. This means that they would do very well in careers that require mathematical precision, such as finance, accounting and computer programming.

They are also used to having to think laterally. If something doesn’t work on the build, they will have to think of ways of getting round the problem. This would make them ideal for roles in the armed forces, civil service, or education.

Other relevant jobs include:
  • business and management
  • finance
  • fire prevention and safety
  • law
  • management consulting
  • urban and rural planning.

17. What else can I do with a medicine or nursing degree?

Medicine and nursing are very different degrees, leading to distinct professions. Nonetheless, they are based in the same field, and have many of the same transferable skills.

Whether you have decided that hands-on nursing isn’t for you, or that you don’t want to be stuck in medicine training for years on end, there are a number of possible routes.

This guide should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.

Some of the skills you should have acquired include:

  • adaptability and flexibility
  • analytical skills
  • problem solving skills
  • providing person-centred care
  • risk management skills
  • teamworking skills
  • verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
All that attention to detail and personal care means that medicine and nursing students would be ideal for roles with bespoke package providers. This could be in anything from tailoring, to tailor-made holidays.

Other suitable roles include:
  • Adult nurse
  • Children's nurse
  • Community worker
  • Health and safety officer
  • Healthcare management
  • Learning disability nurse
  • Lecturer
  • Mental health nurse
  • Personal trainer
  • Pharmaceuticals scientist
  • Police officer
  • Social worker
  • Welfare rights adviser.
18. What can I do with a sociology degree?

Sociology is a relatively new subject and has had a hard time establishing its reputation. The sociology graduate may fear being seen as ‘a jack of all trades, master of none’, but they will have a number of specialist skills which will be of use in the graduate careers market.

This guide should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.

You will have gained the ability to do the following things:

  • think and act creatively
  • maintain a flexible mind
  • read pages of text and pick out the essential points
  • conduct research and evaluate sources with a healthy scepticism
  • lead and participate in discussions
  • develop opinions, propose ideas and theories
  • maintain objectivity, particularly towards other people
  • play devil’s advocate
  • have confidence in your opinions
  • base conclusions on statistical research.
A sociologist’s ability to form and defend an argument, regardless of personal opinions, could be helpful for a career in marketing. Sociology graduates would also be well suited to jobs in the Civil Service and politics.

With further training and qualifications they could do:
  • journalism
  • law
  • teaching
  • work with charities
  • human resources
  • retail management.
19. What can I do with an IT degree?

IT graduates are often very happy to try new things, an attitude which is popular with employers. A willingness to respond to new developments can be just as valuable as their technical knowledge and ability.

This guide should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.

IT graduates will come away with a number of different skills:

  • A capacity to think logically, quantitatively and creatively is probably the single most important skill you can gain.
  • Software development: design, engineering and one or more programming language (such as Java or C#).
  • An understanding of computer networking, databases, and some level of web development along with a general knowledge of computers.
  • Ability to communicate your ideas, both verbally through giving presentations and in the form of written assignments. This is very important since a lot of time is spent presenting ideas and explaining decisions taken.
  • Good planning and careful execution of your work; in many IT tasks the planning and design phase is crucial, and this is transferable into the wider world.
  • Teamwork is another important addition, since IT graduates will often find themselves working closely with many people on a day-to-day basis.
Many companies hire graduate developers, and some use freelance developers. You may find there are opportunities for you to become self-employed at an early stage in your career.

IT graduates who are interested in alternative career paths may wish to consider translation. Experienced developers will know many computer languages, and many of the same techniques can be applied to learning a foreign language.

Other obvious careers for IT students include:
  • analysis
  • computer sales support
  • database admin
  • development
  • programming
  • software engineer
  • software trainer
  • software testing
  • IT consultant
  • IT support, whether internal or external
  • systems designer
  • systems programming
  • website design.
20. What else can I do with a law degree?

If you’re a law student or graduate and you’re having second thoughts about whether you want a career as a solicitor or barrister there are plenty of options for you.

Whether you’re interested in a career that will make direct use of your legal knowledge or want to change direction and work in a different industry then this guide is for you.

It should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.

Some of the other skills you will have picked up include:

  • communication skills
  • ability to state a case (orally as well as in writing)
  • good analytical skills
  • problem solving skills
  • ability to see the bigger picture
  • assimilation of facts
  • self-management
  • precise expression (especially in writing)

One obvious career option is to seek work as a legal executive - often seen as inferior to solicitors, but with increasingly similar roles. You should also be well placed to get into graduate schemes at auditing employers.

Some jobs you could go on to do include:
  • advice worker
  • bank manager
  • Civil Service administrator
  • customs officer
  • lecturer
  • insurance claims inspector
  • insurance underwriter
  • legal clerk
  • legal secretary
  • local government administrator
  • police officer
  • probation officer
  • trading standards officer

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