Alternative Career Planning for Non-Scientists
To those of us who just aren’t scientifically-minded, careers in that field often look more desirable and, arguably, command greater respect. One interesting study from a professor at Princeton University, for example, mapped the level of competence undergrads perceived various career choices required. And at the furthest reaches of that competence axis were Engineer, Scientist and Doctor. Interestingly, however, the engineers and scientists weren’t perceived as being particularly “warm” or friendly – unlike doctors.
Nevertheless, the findings illustrate the point that more technically and/or scientifically based jobs are generally considered to be harder to do and, therefore, to qualify for. But if your brain simply isn’t naturally a scientific one, then it’s difficult to forge an education and career path in this general direction.
For those of us whose personalities take us down a more arts-based or generalist route, subjects such as history, drama, psychology and English literature often come more naturally and these are what we tend to choose at degree level. But recent research by Voucherbox reveals that we may not be getting a fair crack of the higher education whip. In fact, the study shows that arts students are paying more than three times more per hour for their university tuition than their scientific counterparts.
Science vs. Arts
As an example, the report shows that biology students have an average of 22 hours per week of tuition in one form or another. Compare that to English literature students average just eight hours a week. Bear in mind, too, that university fees tripled four years ago and went up by an additional £250 this year. For most young people studying in the UK and starting in 2017, the fees each year will now be up to £9,250. Unless you’re lucky enough to be Scottish and study there – in which case it’s free.
On top of that, you need to find your rent for accommodation and day-to-day living expenses – so it’s an expensive business. But it’s much more expensive, based on hours taught, for the non-scientists. To illustrate the point, a UK nursing student will currently be paying an average £8.63 for each hour’s tuition. But language students will pay an average of £27.50 per hour.