Schools Has Your University degree helped you finding a job?

Having an University degree is useful for finding a job??

Poll closed Sep 6, 2009.
  1. YES

    81.8%
  2. NO

    18.2%
  1. Has Your University degree helped you finding a job??

    * Yes

    * NO

    For those that have gone to University or Polytechniques..my question is if this has been helpful for you when trying to find a job..since Physicsforums include people from different countries, i would like to hear everyone's opinion..

    Unfortunately my case has been NO, i earn 800 €€ (euro) per month.. as my best job ever had, although i have a degree in Physics..:cry: :cry: :frown: before this i worked in Pizza Hut and cleaning with even worse salaries, then what's your opinion about having a degree from an university and finding a job?..thanks :redface: :redface:

    EDIT: if possible, could you say what country are you from??..(if you don't mind) thanks
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    Certainly. However, one needs at least a MS or PhD these days. I completed the MS, but left university to take a job. I was one of about 12 students in the country who had experience with a particular code, and a company made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I worked there for nearly 10 years.

    I now work at a different company with several other colleagues from the same university program. We all did research in similar areas to support the development of analytical software which was developed by the company where I now work. We provide services to various organizations in US, Europe and Asia.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  4. Well, I'm from India and a 1st year Computer science engineering studet and in my college, we have job placement in campus itself, so you're assured of a job, and usually with one of the major MNCs if you're reasonably good at what you do. Life's easy.

    However, the ironic part is that people who major in one of the science streams are having a tough time finding a job these days, even if they may be more intellectually capable than many engineers.

    Astronuc, you've got me curious. What sort of code was it that only you and 11 others in the US had experience in ?
     
  5. Yes.

    BSc -> MSc -> PhD -> research.

    UK.
     
  6. By having a degree you at least get a look at by many high tech companies... years ago this may not have been the case, but a friend of mine who had over 15 yrs experence was unable to get a decent job after being laid off due to lack of a degree. That said I am afraid that in order to get good jobs in the industry these days you need at least a masters; which makes me a bit on the underqualified side of things... part of what is driving me to go back to school and get a phd.
     
  7. In which field did this happen? Because I have never seen anything like this before in IT. Unless that person has specialised in some legacy technology and never diversified.

    Anyway A degree helps, but its not the be all and end all. Asking a question like this on a Physics Board, is going to give you a skewed poll. Regardless of that, of course it is helpful, BUT I dont think it is the most important.

    In my experience in highly technical Jobs within Information technology Experience & Knowledge is king. Degree get outdated so quickly that the raw information you learn is outdated very quickly. Sometimes the Methodologies and processes learned can be valuable.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  8. BobG

    BobG 2,340
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If you have no job experience, then of course having a degree will help you. In fact, it's about the only asset you have going for you.

    Experience and a decent network of folks you've worked with before is more helpful, but, obviously, that requires a person to get a decent job in the first place and to hold on to it.

    As to Anttech never seeing anything like a laid off worker with 15 years experience having trouble finding a job ....... If a person with 15 years experience is laid off, then it means either there's mass layoffs and all of your IT folks are having trouble finding a job or the company felt that particular person was very expendable. I've seen both happen.

    The IT industry in Colorado seems to have its booms and busts. Workers that stick it out can almost always get rehired when things improve, but quite a few get frustrated about the second or third time they go through these layoffs and decide to try something new, or at least try a different location (that makes the boom times good for new college graduates).

    A job requiring a college degree usually means workers don't belong to a union. There is no requirement to lay off employees based just upon seniority. If a person with 15 years experience is laid off in normal economic times, it raises a red flag with prospective employers. They start asking themselves why his old company found a person with so much experience expendable.

    On the other hand, hanging on to your job even through upheaval is a big plus. It's almost better than a personal reference from an ex-boss since so many companies are weary to say anything bad about an ex-employee.

    HR folks always preach how important past employment references are - that they always contact each and every one of them. The same HR folks will also tell you the only thing they're allowed to say about past employees is the dates the employee worked there. It's tough to get good info on prospective employees, hence the importance of a good network of former coworkers. Everyone likes to hire someone they at least know something about, even if second hand.
     
  9. My degree is in mathematics but my career is in software engineering. My degree hadn't helped me until my latest position where people without degrees simply are not hired. My education however has been invaluable to me. When I started working in the early eighties, small companies would hire anyone willing to say that they were a programmer. When it turned out that the applicant was lying, the company was faced with two choices:

    1. Fire the bum.

    2. Train the bum while its body was still warm.

    Often option 2 was taken. I don't think it's still that way.
     
  10. brewnog

    brewnog 2,793
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There's no chance I'd have even got a first interview for my job without my degree. Having said that, I selected my course and university based partly on the post-graduate employability prospects.
     
  11. chroot

    chroot 10,427
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'd say a degree is essentially a necessity for any kind of technical profession. You may be able to get away without a degree for business administration, finance, etc. -- but, for example, you're going to have a very hard time getting any kind of engineering job without a degree.

    - Warren
     
  12. brewnog

    brewnog 2,793
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The only professional engineers I know who don't hold engineering degrees are those who are time served. There really is no other way to do it.
     
  13. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,521
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member


    That is probably true if you wish to do research, but a BS in physics is very marketable. Before graduating I moved to the middle of Oregon about ten miles from a small timber town. There was one local company that had tech jobs, but at the time they were offering less than what I made before going back to school. However, in the end I have managed to make a good living with a BS in physics. In fact, on good days I make as much as a consulting Ph.D.

    Karlisbad, I suggest that you take a resume writing class. Also, be bold. When I graduated and started looking for a real job, there was not one ad for a physicist at any degree level to be found in the entire state! But there were two things that made all the difference in the world. First, I took a class and learned how to write a killer resume. THIS IS IMPERATIVE!!! Next, I started mass mailings. My thinking was that surely there are companies who would want me but I don't know who they are, so I got a list of all high-tech companies in Oregon and mailed out five-hundred resumes in a couple of weeks [I specifically set the goal of mailing out five-hundred]. The next thing I knew, I not only had job offers, some companies were paying me to come for interviews. I ended up taking a job in an industry that I never would have even considered. I had no idea that I could find such a good match. It was just a matter of finding the right place.

    It worked out so well that before long I went out on my own. It has been an adventure ever since!

    Edit: There is one more very important point here. There are many companies who would hire physics grads but who need to be educated as to what physicists study. Instead of listing "physics" and assuming that everyone knows what that means, you need to explain what you have learned. Plenty of people [including some engineers] are clueless as to what a physics grad can bring to the table.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  14. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    A college degree in anything is almost a must have for any decent job in the US. I know when I helped out with hiring at my old company, we had so many replies to a job add that we tossed any resumes that didn't list a college degree, we had to have some starting point, there were just too many to read.
     
  15. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,521
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    One rule of thumb that I learned is that you have five to fifteen seconds to get someone's attention with a resume. I believe that five seconds is more like it.

    The resume gets the interview
    The interview gets the job.

    Don't try to get hired with your resume. The goal is to create interest.
     
  16. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Excellent advice. Also, don't try to get attention by using colored paper, fancy fonts, or flowery borders. Those also get tossed without a look. (well, unless you're applying for a job in some "artsy" position")

    One of my clients is a large advertising agency and the floor for the "creative" people is a trip into Never, Never Land. It's wild. :tongue2:
     
  17. brewnog

    brewnog 2,793
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I think there's a lot of truth in that. I worked for a while recruiting new graduates. I wouldn't have even considered inviting a physics graduate for an interview unless they had highlighed what they could actually do for us, rather than what they had studied or what they knew.
     
  18. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,521
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Re Evo: I used what was recommended in the class - a heavy white page with a slight texture and a watermark.

    Use one page only and references available upon request. Don't waist your five seconds with names and phone numbers.
     
  19. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,521
    Staff Emeritus
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    Gold Member

    Heh, this is really bringing things back.

    One key concept learned is that we all have many skills that go unrecognized. One has to think of everything ever done for fun, as a hobby, as well as actual work experience. A foot in the door is all that you really need and you never know what might make that happen.

    A degree is a degree, and you need the degree, but the company is hiring an entire person. You will be surprised at how many things you know how to do if you start listing them all. Take time to figure out how great you are. :biggrin:
     
  20. mathwonk

    mathwonk 9,681
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    After a BA from Harvard and an MA from Brandeis. I was working as a meat lugger for $4/hour, until I got on as a tempopary instructor at a small college for 4 years teaching math.

    It seemed generally agreed I was the most knowledgable person on staff, I taught extra courses for free and gave the only seminars ever offered there, brought in outside speakers and traveled to give talks at other schools, and was the only person who went to summer math conferences, but without a PhD I was terminated. So i went back to grad school at age 32 with a wife and 2 children, got a PhD and became a university professor elsewhere.

    so a degree waS HELPFUL TO ME. my son on the other hand, went to stanford, majored in math, but took a job in the internet world before graduation. he ultimately graduated but i am not sure it mattered in his work, as the school did not teach anything he used in his job, rather he learned it on the fly. the people he met in school were useful to him though as they were movers in the internet world, and knowing them was an entree to at least an interview.

    the only thing i rmember about resume writing was that on mine i said if they had a quota system, then i was something like 1/256 th part full blooded cherokee. that got a laugh. the color of the paper has nothing to do with it, but could detract if not plain white. the key is when a friend of mine writes from holland "this is the best PhD student i have ever had. You cant go wrong here." or something like that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2006
  21. brewnog

    brewnog 2,793
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    And make damn sure you get the watermark the right way up!
     
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