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The New NickB - on 06 Mar 2018

My step-daughter is starting to look at degree options and is looking at Psychology or Pschology with Biology. She is good student looking at A/A* grades so should go to a good university.

Im all in favour of studying subjects you enjoy and are good at, however I understand psychology is one of those subjects where it is very difficult to start a career in the subject post university. Has anyone got any experience in this area, general thoughts, advice around psychology careers or related opportunities.

Sid Sherborne - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Hi Nick. I started a PhD in Psychology last October but I'm an economist by training so I can't speak much about undergraduate Psychology. I have however met quite a few former psychology undergrads and know a little of their career trajectories.

Most I've met have been on a Behavioural Economics masters and aspire to complete PhDs in the field. Others on the course want to go on to do public policy/banking/strategy careers (see here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/psych/study/bes/careers/). Most of them want to one day work in either academia or the Nudge Unit (http://www.behaviouralinsights.co.uk/).

I've met someone who completed a psychology undergraduate degree and is now doing postgraduate medical training (see here: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/med/study/ugr/)

The partner of someone I went to school with is getting paid £30,000 a year to do an NHS funded Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (see here: http://www.hull.ac.uk/Faculties/fhs/Psychology/Clinical-Psychology-Doctorate.aspx

Then there are all the dead keen psychology students who studied it at undergrad, completed a masters in it, and are now onto PhDs. This lot will no doubt become research fellows/professors one day.

I'm afraid I don't know much about what all the people who study Psychology but don't go on to postgraudate level get up to.

trouserburp - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

If she's planning to be a clinical psychologist it's very competitive and a Trust fund and contacts will go a long way in terms of gathering unpaid experience after her degree

Big Ger - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

It's now very competitive. We were able to have our pick and choice of new grads / post grads, when we offered clinical experience, mentoring and clinical placement.

We looked to those with life experience, work experience, experience in other areas, as well as for the "right personality" to work with our age range and client group. 

My experience for the last 16 years is all Aus based, so cannot comment on the UK situation, nor offer advice sorry.

lithos on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Hi Nick

I work in a leading Psych dept.   (where our offer will be AAA)

we take careers really rather seriously and our careers tutor would say ... the issue isn't what can you do but rather what you can't.  Our graduates (ignoring the v. many go onto further study Msc, Phd, Clinical) go onto man many things from the typical teaching, police, hr, management ... through to fundraisers, statisticians (working for ONS), Sports Psych (after further study Msc), IT/Programming, behavioral stuff (working for Ogilvy Change), health service options eg speech therapists,  occupational psychology  as well as clinical.

Many people want to do Clinicial - its really really tough to get onto a course and many students spend a few years getting experience as they try to get onto a course (this often means non graduate level jobs whilst doing so and harms our employment stats). We are lucky to have an arrangement with Hull Uni for direct entry onto clinical course and unique opportunity for the lucky half dozen (linked by Sid)

We would say that our degree programme produces literate and numerate students, and that's important and provides great flexibility

Here's what our website says...

https://www.york.ac.uk/psychology/prospective/undergraduate/bsc-psychology/#course-careers

I think we make our student resources open access, you may be able to see this.

https://wiki.york.ac.uk/display/PsyStudentDocs/UG+Psychology+Careers

 

Im not sure if that's what you meant or rather about academic psychology but should get you started, feel free to ask questions ....

 

Timmd on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

I don't know how far it applies, but some advice I've been given from a few sources is that what one does as a degree doesn't always end up being one's career anyway, meaning it's most important to study something one enjoys and is good at - to end up getting a decent grade, with to graduates generally earning more in the end.

 

Post edited at 18:00
1
The New NickB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Timmd:

I’m a believer in that Tim, but the graduate market appears to be increasingly difficult and we want her to find a satisfying career and not struggle out of university.

The New NickB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to lithos:

That is useful, thanks.

BnB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> I’m a believer in that Tim, but the graduate market appears to be increasingly difficult and we want her to find a satisfying career and not struggle out of university.

This is the rub. Psychology is extremely interesting (to some) as a subject and, if this is what your step-daughter yearns to study, do not stand in her way. Leaving university after a year because she doesn't enjoy a more traditional course will be much more damaging to her confidence and her CV than a degree in a non-traditional subject.

Rightly or wrongly however, in the eyes of non-specialist employers, Psychology is just behind the first rank of traditional degree subjects. Those employers looking for a 2:1 in History from Durham will start their search elsewhere. But you knew this already and I guess you wanted to test others' views. On the other hand you are wrong about the graduate jobs market. It is far easier today for graduates of all disciplines than at any time since the GFC. Opportunities are plentiful (for the good ones) and salaries are good. Most people don't realise that the UK median graduate starting salary in 2016 was £30k. Psychology is considered one of the most demanding of the non-traditional courses and, while a soft choice for some aimless post A level students, strong graduates will emerge prepared for professional life with research, statistical, analytical and presentational skills that have strong relevance in many professions.

I would be less worried about the choice of subject and concern myself more about the reasons for it. What is her motivation? Is it a soft option or a passion?

Post edited at 18:59
Timmd on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

My step mum(?) studied psychology as part of teaching robots 'how to think' and did that through the OU later in life. 

DerwentDiluted - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Mrs D is an Educational Psychologist, undergraduate degree in psychology then a PGCE and 12 years as a teacher (2 yrs work experience with children required) then went back to do a Phd for 3 years. Her verdict, an interesting and rewarding job, reasonable career opportunities as the qualification is recognised throughout the UK and in many places abroad. Also reasonable amounts of private/LA/resident in school posts seem to be available.

Post edited at 19:16
Ex Poster 666 on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Timmd:

> I don't know how far it applies, but some advice I've been given from a few sources is that what one does as a degree doesn't always end up being one's career anyway, meaning it's most important to study something one enjoys and is good at - to end up getting a decent grade, with to graduates generally earning more in the end.


I agree with you there Tim.
University is about learning to use your brain at a higher level, self motivation (no one tells you off for missing lectures), how to research topics, not being spoon fed information etc.
I know plenty of people who've gone on to careers nowt to do with their degree subject.

I hope it isn't all doom and gloom with Psychology, my daughter's half way through her 1st year!

wbo - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:what BnB says.  I'd rate psychology as a good, 'traditional' subject  with a lot of transferable skills.  What else is she interested in?

picking a vocational degree is a waste of time I.m.o.   Do something you're interested in

 

abr1966 - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Make sure she looks at the courses in detail....some lean towards the science approach and others towards  social science. I'm a clinical psychologist....decent career but I suspect the salary whilst training will change in the next few years, to be fair it has been very good and stands out amongst other health profession training. The undergrad courses are quite varied as are job prospects in psychology...anyone interested in clinical or ed.psych courses will need a few years of experience as assistants or support workers etc before being able to apply.

webbo - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

When I used to advertise for health care assistants ( unqualified staff )in my mental health team, I would get a fair amount of Psychology graduates applying. I never short listed any as they were too qualified for an unqualified post, yet they can’t apply for any clinical posts except Psychology assistant.

Timmd on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

> This is the rub. Psychology is extremely interesting (to some) as a subject and, if this is what your step-daughter yearns to study, do not stand in her way. Leaving university after a year because she doesn't enjoy a more traditional course will be much more damaging to her confidence and her CV than a degree in a non-traditional subject.

That's kinda what happened to me, but college course related. It's a bad feeling to be doing something which doesn't feel right and to drop out. 

The New NickB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

Motivation? It’s a subject she enjoys and is good at, I don’t think the motivation has got much more complex than that so far.

The New NickB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

There will be no standing in anyone’s way, but she does appear to trust our opinion and  I like to be informed if offering advice.

wintertree - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> I’m a believer in that Tim, but the graduate market appears to be increasingly difficult and we want her to find a satisfying career and not struggle out of university.

Um.  Someone doing the wrong (for them) degree for employability reasons doesn’t do them any favours if their heart is not in it.  Given the strong importance of self motivation to university study, it all falls apart very quickly and very badly for some where the motivation is weak (eventual employment) and not strong (personal interest).  Bombing out of a uni course is Not Good for someone, nor is muddling through.

To be more positive - the choice of university is far more likely to influence employability than the choice of degree.  How respected is the degree?  Does it offer a chance to work with industry? (not sure what the deal is here with psychology), What is the careers office like?  What’s the institutions graduate employment rate?

My advice - let her follow her interests and support her in getting the right uni. 

Hedging your bets - check if there are joint honours routes and how much change to content can be affected after the 1st year.  Some places are more flexible than others.

> however I understand psychology is one of those subjects where it is very difficult to start a career in the subject post university

A lot of graduate schemes in industry are not that degree specific - does she want a career in psychology or just to study it?  These days high employability seems to come down to getting good internships and summer placements as well as the degree, another opportunity to broaden horizons beyond psychology.

Irk the Purist - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

>It is far easier today for graduates of all disciplines than at any time since the GFC. Opportunities are plentiful (for the good ones) and salaries are good. Most people don't realise that the UK median graduate starting salary in 2016 was £30k. 

I think it's good to be honest, and earning a £30k starting salary is going to be beyond the vast majority of graduates.  Interesting to know where on earth you got that statistic and how representative it is. It's not fair to sell a lie.

According to this, psychology graduates can expect to earn nearer £19k to start. 

https://www.savethestudent.org/student-jobs/whats-the-expected-salary-for-your-degree.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The New NickB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to wintertree:

> Um.  Someone doing the wrong (for them) degree for employability reasons doesn’t do them any favours if their heart is not in it.  Given the strong importance of self motivation to university study, it all falls apart very quickly and very badly for some where the motivation is weak (eventual employment) and not strong (personal interest).  Bombing out of a uni course is Not Good for someone, nor is muddling through.

I think you are probably seriously misunderstanding my statement, I want her to do the right degree for her, doesn’t stop me worrying about the risks and helping her to mitigate those risks.

ClimberEd - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

Hi, a few thoughts. I read Experimental Psychology at Oxford, many moons ago.

Fewer moons ago I actually thought of becoming a clinical psychologist. Whilst possible, it is a very competitive process to get onto the appropriate course (post uni) and should not be expected as a given even with lots of (often v low paid) experience. This is the career path for practical application of the degree. You could also stay in academia/research, or there are other less demanding (from a qualifications perspective) options such as an occupational psychologist 

Regarding the degree, I also did it because I found it very interesting. From a career perspective my thoughts are that you absolutely need to go to a good university to have it taken seriously as a degree, otherwise it will be laughed at along with media studies and the like. Even better to do a strong traditional subject. Maths, Economics, one of the sciences, imho first tier, along with vocational subjects (law, engineering, medicine spring to mind) then strong arts subjects, languages, classics etc second tier, then other stuff. 

I was lucky and I left Oxford into a very very good job (top tier management consultancy) but as I have changed jobs (I am now 40) I have had to explain my choice of degree in every interview and I think when the push comes to the shove it would count against me compared to if I had done Maths at Bristol for example (another option I had.) 

Do I regret my degree choice? Not a lot but perhaps a little. Would my working life have been easier with a different degree, I think yes. 

Hope that gives a few more ideas for you.

BnB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Irk the Purist:

> >It is far easier today for graduates of all disciplines than at any time since the GFC. Opportunities are plentiful (for the good ones) and salaries are good. Most people don't realise that the UK median graduate starting salary in 2016 was £30k. 

> I think it's good to be honest, and earning a £30k starting salary is going to be beyond the vast majority of graduates.  Interesting to know where on earth you got that statistic and how representative it is. It's not fair to sell a lie.

Before you call someone a liar, get your statistical terms clear in your head.

Before my initial response, I simply googled "uk graduate starting salary" and this was the most popular statistic quoted. You'd expect it to vary according to educational establishment and course but median and everage figures are not designed to convey ranges.

For granularity try this:

"London School of Economics grads can expect to earn an average of £38,000, slightly above £36,000 at City University. Cambridge (£35,000) pips Oxford to third place (£34,000). Bath, Edinburgh and Durham, with £33,000, £32,000 and £31,000, come next in the ranking.

Cardiff Metropolitan props up the table, with an average graduate salary of £18,000, slightly behind Liverpool John Moores, Goldsmiths, Anglia Ruskin, University of Central Lancashire, Queen’s University Belfast and Aberystwyth on £19,000."

Who'd have thought it? £30k turns out to be in the middle, almost as though that was what the term "median" actually means!

What the quote amply demonstrates and in complete accordance with several posters with whom I also concur: the choice of establishment has a significant bearing on graduate opportunity. Possibly more so than the course. 

Post edited at 22:00
2
Timmd on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

You're not an engineer by any chance? You remind me of a relative in certain ways.

( It would take too long and divert the thread if I explained why. )

Post edited at 21:59
ClimberEd - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

I'm not (and have no interest in ) calling you a liar.

However, I'd be interested in if those are stats are for those who actually found employment, and didn't take into account those who were unemployed or went on to further education (which I think will be the case), or are an average of all employed leavers and those looking for work.

BnB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

I don't think it would be logical to include the unemployed in a statistical exercise designed to assess salary values that only apply to the employed.

The numbers also feel about right. The inclusion of unemployed job-seekers would significantly lower the average. Indeed the median, if we included those earning £nil, would be around £20k. So there's our answer.

To Timmd, I was a linguist. I don't have an engineering atom in my body.

Post edited at 22:13
Thugitty Jugitty on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

I think the 2016 £30,000 median figure may have come from here:

https://www.highfliers.co.uk/download/2016/graduate_market/GMReport16.pdf

It surveys "Britains top Employers".

BnB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Thugitty Jugitty:

Yes, that's where google sends you. But it's also close to the median value in wider analyses as my second quote explains in more detail.

ClimberEd - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

> I don't think it would be logical to include the unemployed in a statistical exercise designed to assess salary values that only apply to the employed.

I only half agree (hear me out). I'm going to exaggerate the numbers to emphasise the point. Imagine you are deciding if you want to go to uni, if it is financially worth it. It costs £25k (or whatever, I have to be honest I have no idea these days). But graduates from your uni get £30-35k a year in their first job. Yay, it seems worth it, let's crack on. But then you find that there are only enough of these 30-35k jobs that 25% of graduates get them. And the rest are unemployed because the only other job they can find is pulling pints or in a call centre and they 'aren't going to do that' having spent £25k on a degree. 

Also, if it surveys 'graduate jobs', that will be jobs designated for graduates by employers, rather than 'the jobs that people who leave uni do.'

Post edited at 22:19
BnB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

I depends what question you are asking.

The surveys appear to ask: "What range of starting salaries can those who have employable qualities, together with a degree from university x, expect to earn?" 

You are asking: "What are the chances of my university degree repaying itself financially and in terms of job satisfaction?"

They're both valid questions, but would have a different methodology.

 

Post edited at 22:35
ClimberEd - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

Yeah, I'm asking 'what are the chances of me getting paid 'x' within (say) 6 months of leaving uni.

Which is what I think really matters for people making decisions around such matters (rather than universities blowing smoke up their own arses over how wonderful and wealthy their graduates are.)

BnB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

As for graduate jobs vs jobs done by graduates, that's an interesting one. I think for many employers "graduate" means Russell Group. How many management consultants in your intake came from Oxbridge/LSE/Durham/Warwick/Bristol and how many from elsewhere?

PS Bristol was a top university in your day but has dropped out of the elite. If you'd studied a more traditional subject at Bristol, interviewers today would be sneering at the mid table mediocrity of your alma mater instead of your off-beat degree choice. You can't win ;-)

ClimberEd - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

lol! 

I'm stretching my memory but I think it was about 90-95% Oxbridge. In about 20 I can only think of one from the US and one from LSE. 

Thugitty Jugitty on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

Your second quote appears to be informed by the emolument.com data written about here: http://www.cityam.com/268464/average-graduate-salaries-university-and-subject-go-and

That research lists average salaries for graduates with up to 2 years work experience, from 84 of the UK's universities - which look to have a median of £24,000. Some way from showing that the median starting salary for UK graduates in general is £30,000.

Post edited at 22:45
james wardle - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

You can do some really interesting things with a Psychology  undergraduate degree.

one friend went in to sales and is very successful and puts her success down to a lot of the psychology, a degree in how to manipulate people, she calls it! 

Another friends husband started of with undergrad Psychology  went on to do a PHD and now does this which seem to be a well paid and satisfying career.  http://www.imt.co.il/

I know as an undergrad it sometimes hard to see the connection with where you might be in the future and  I think really what you learn on an undergraduate degree is really just more about who you are and what is important to you.  From that perspective i would not worry about kick starting a career,  that will come and  come the end of the degree perhaps the future direction will be clearer.  Remember this generation will have on average more than 30 jobs over their lifetime.

BnB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to ClimberEd:

> Yeah, I'm asking 'what are the chances of me getting paid 'x' within (say) 6 months of leaving uni.

> Which is what I think really matters for people making decisions around such matters (rather than universities blowing smoke up their own arses over how wonderful and wealthy their graduates are.)

That's going to be affected by the general state of the economy above all else. And today, in terms of employment, there exists a good range of opportunities for able and hard-working fresh graduates. 

Irk the Purist - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

I didn't intend to call you a liar, and I apologise as I can see it came across that way. 

When I was looking at unis I was given very similar statistics and then when I graduated I realised those salaries were way beyond nearly everyone. If we cherry pick the numbers we like, ignoring the context, then we aren't being responsible. 

UK's top employers means the top 100 employers (it took me 30 secs to find that) and the median for the top 100 is going to be a long way from the UK average.

BnB - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to Irk the Purist:

Thanks for your reply and I do agree that a small sample is prone to deliver figures that are out of kilter with a wider sample. And although "median" is not the same as "average" in statistical terms, it is the middle value not the mid-point, which in a pyramidal data-set would be smaller than in a linear one.

I stand by my assertion that graduate opportunities are better today than at any time since the GFC. In fact if you think £30k is out of reach of the normal student then have a look at average starting wages for the traditional "soft option, apparently not bright enough to study physics or maths" computer science graduates.

Even then I've found separate statistics showing average starting salaries varying from £25k to £34k. I'm ignoring the Oxford University IT graduates who start on an average of £45k.

What's important to realise is that those jobs are open to Psychology graduates as well, provided they have transferable skills, like interpreting user needs, or project management. As others have already eloquently explained, most degrees endow the graduate with a range of skills applicable to a variety of disciplines. Try turning a Modern Languages degree like mine into a job. Short of working as a translator there are no inherent professional applications. But the communication and analytical skills I developed alongside the disciplines of self-motivated study and goal-setting have stood me in good stead. My mum still berates me for not using my degree though ;-)

1
Irk the Purist - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

And I've found statistics to show it's nearer £20k, we could no doubt keep going, which only emphasises how misleading and meaningless discussing average salaries is, whichever metric you choose.

 

 

BnB - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to Irk the Purist:

> And I've found statistics to show it's nearer £20k, we could no doubt keep going, which only emphasises how misleading and meaningless discussing average salaries is, whichever metric you choose.

I was referring specifically to IT salaries in the figures I quoted. Sorry, I didn't make a clear enough link between the two paragraphs. And yes, statistics are, shall we say, flexible.

wintertree - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to Irk the Purist:

> And I've found statistics to show it's nearer £20k, we could no doubt keep going, which only emphasises how misleading and meaningless discussing average salaries is, whichever metric you choose.

It’s not misleading.  It does noting to misrepresent things.  It may be used to mislead the ignorant, either wilfully or accidentally, but it’s not misleading in itself.

It’s clear that neither the arithmetic mean nor the median tells one anything about upper or lower bounds, nor about the fraction of graduates going in to employment or further education.

Both sorts of average form a useful comparator between universities or courses etc, but are clearly not indicative of what an individual could achieve.

I would hope that anyone going to university would be smart enough to understand this, but I’ve been proved wrong more than once.

 

neilh - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

Upto a point I believe you are right on computer science.My daughter graduated last year in CS from a middle of the road uni, and walked into a very well paid job with a fintech company.Interestingly that company cannot find the graduates to meet their demand so as to look at physics, electronics engineering graduates etc, even then there is not sufficient supply.Boy do these companys treat there staff well for fear of losing them.

But I do reckon the subject is an outlier, most graduates do not earn that type of salary or even apply for those type of jobs( it is not their interest).

And you can look at the top employers, but the number of jobs on offer is limited and they usually will only go after the very best. Most graduates will not even get to interview stage.

You went to was it Oxford or Cambridge, and I would suggest your view/education is maybe out of kilter with what other graduates experience.

 

James Malloch - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

I know nothing about Psychology, but one thing to consider is whether anything with funding is available. For example the company I work for, Lloyds Banking Group, offer different levels of apprenticeships which are aimed at school and sixth form leavers.

This would provide a salary whilst completing a fully funded degree and work experience during University Holidays etc. The last one I saw was for a digital role doing a Computer Science BSC at Manchester university, whilst being paid c.£18k and getting lots of work experience along side it.

Obviously these opportunities will likely be few and far between and in specific subjects / disciplines. But it would put someone in an amazing position 4 years down the line without accumulating £40k of student debt along the way.

It could be an avenue worth considering though.

Ava Adore - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

I did a psychology degree with the OU in later life.  My reason for doing it was because my career was being hampered by not having a degree.  I never had any particular desire to practice as a clinical psychologist or any such but I have found that as a general "degree for the sake of having a degree", psychology is a great choice.  It is often viewed as giving you enhanced people skills/better understanding of team dynamics and so forth.  It's an incredibly interesting area of study with so many different avenues to explore - social psychology, cognitive psychology, animal psychology.  I hope she enjoys it as much as I did.

BnB - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> Upto a point I believe you are right on computer science.My daughter graduated last year in CS from a middle of the road uni, and walked into a very well paid job with a fintech company.Interestingly that company cannot find the graduates to meet their demand so as to look at physics, electronics engineering graduates etc, even then there is not sufficient supply.Boy do these companys treat there staff well for fear of losing them.

> But I do reckon the subject is an outlier, most graduates do not earn that type of salary or even apply for those type of jobs( it is not their interest).

> And you can look at the top employers, but the number of jobs on offer is limited and they usually will only go after the very best. Most graduates will not even get to interview stage.

 

Firstly, many congratulations to your daughter. Good to see she's well looked after. That's the norm for our industry. But to call IT an outlier. This is where so much of the population lacks understanding. When I started in the IT field back in the 80s, maybe 5-10% of a large, well-established company's workforce was to be found in IT. And IT was already the largest industry in the world back then. Today, my business partner, who's more client facing than me, puts that figure around 60-70%. IT isn't just programming. That's a relatively small component of the workforce but the one everyone identifies with the profession. IT comprises project administration and management, business analysis, customer interface design and product delivery, data science, library skills, software installation. It's the way every company on the planet sells its products, hence the blurring of the terms Marketing and Digital. It's how every firm designs its workflows, what used to be known as Business Change but we now better describe as Transformation. In every large department there's a team of former admin staff earning £50k - £70k a year as a contract Project Office Coordinator. Just look at that job title and de-code it. They type time data into excel for a living. A bloody good living and possibly without the benefit of a degree. Anyone with an organised mind can do it.

So no, IT isn't an outlier, it's the present and the future. And if only successive governments had understood that better, the UK would be much more productive.

Post edited at 13:16
nniff - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

My daughter did psychology and cognitive neuro-science.  She then joined the special educational needs department of a prep school, did a year at that including taking over the department when the SENCO became ill (including an inspection).  Then did a one-year PGCE via Buckingham while still working at the school.  Now (being qualified as a teacher) she is the SENCO at the age of 24 and loves it.  Had thought she wanted to be an ed psych but not sure, or at least, not yet.

At the time she was doing her work experience, I worked somewhere with a large occupational psychology department.  She spent a week or so there and established that she didn't want to be an occupational psychologist.  Her interest is how people learn or, more specifically, why people find it difficult to learn.

cathsullivan on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

> My step-daughter is starting to look at degree options and is looking at Psychology or Pschology with Biology.

If your daughter wants to have the opportunity to study for an actual career as a psychologist (as opposed to the many jobs one can do where psychology is used), then she should do a psychology degree that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).  Accredited degrees automatically give graduates who get a 2:2 or above GBC (which is graduate eligibility to join the BPS). If she does a degree that doesn't give GBC it will be hard/impossible for her to go on afterwards to any professional psychology training or any postgrad courses in psychology.  Most single honours courses are accredited and some joint honours courses are too.  She can find out which courses are accredited on the BPS website. 

If she did do a non-accredited psychology degree (or a degree in another subject entirely) and then wanted to go on to do a course that requires GBC for admissions, then she would need to do a year long conversion course to get GBC.  I'm course leader for one of these conversion courses and it is a year of fairly intensive study that costs £6k in fees. So, if considering psychology, she needs to find out what GBC is and make a decision about her degree that includes knowledge about this.

Dr.S at work - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

> PS Bristol was a top university in your day but has dropped out of the elite. If you'd studied a more traditional subject at Bristol, interviewers today would be sneering at the mid table mediocrity of your alma mater instead of your off-beat degree choice. You can't win ;-)

Depends what you look at - the UK rankings often consider fluffy stuff like student experience. If you look at things like REF ranking (uk top 5) or global rankings (top 10 for UK university’s in European and global rankings) then Bristol does pretty well.

 

neilh - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

I do not disagree with what you are saying. By outlier I am talking about the degree subject itself.

Still attracts very few women ( the % was reducing not rising according to my daughter). So you have a seriously long way to go.

Post edited at 13:48
BnB - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to neilh:

> I do not disagree with what you are saying. By outlier I am talking about the degree subject itself.

Ah. Understood. 

> Still attracts very few women ( the % was reducing not rising according to my daughter). So you have a seriously long way to go.

True. But is that employers' fault? Isn't that an educational issue at GCSE age and earlier? That's one of the issues I was hinting at in my final paragraph. As long as kids think IT means spotty introverts marooned in a basement (as in "The IT Crowd") who go home to play computer games on their own the problem won't go away.

 

trouserburp - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

If you pay your data inputters 70k that would explain your retention rate

Given your rubbish £30k median stat that's ripped apart within 2 minutes searching on Google I am standing by my opinion that everything you say is exaggerated 50%

 

1
BnB - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to trouserburp:

See below. The first link is a statistical analysis of job adverts showing that the median day rate for a contract PMO Coordinator was £275 per day in advertised job vacancies in London during the 6 months to 7 March 2018. For England as a whole the median rate is only £6 lower. The other two links describe typical PMO roles so you can understand that these are not technical, but administrative roles. Note the rates payable in the two adverts, one of them up to £400pd, although that would be a very central London rate.

The rate I quoted in my post was £50k pa to £70kpa, ie £220pd - £311pd, nicely book-ending the median rate. I could provide thousands of similar examples. My original estimate was off the cuff but since it looks bang on the money right away I don't see the need. Feel free to google away and prove me wrong.

https://www.itjobswatch.co.uk/contracts/london/pmo%20coordinator.do

https://www.reed.co.uk/jobs/contract-pmo-coordinator/34083046

https://www.totaljobs.com/job/project-management-officer/hays-job80328990?entryurl=%2fjobs%2fpmo%2380328990

Post edited at 15:40
trouserburp - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

Well you're exaggerating by generalising London to the UK and generalising PMO to IT admin in general but yes whoever gets the 0.05% of all contract IT jobs advertised in London as PMO (link 1) do appear to be very well paid for the period of employment

Generalising cherry picked outliers (e.g. the Top 100 most desirable companies to work for) is exaggerating

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BnB - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to trouserburp:

For England as a whole the median rate is only £6 lower. If you took the time to study the statistical table I linked to you would have read that. Instead you chose to accuse me of exaggerating again by cherry picking London when the table demonstrates just how widespread these rates are. Have a good day.

trouserburp - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

it also says the England median hourly rate is £16.25

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BnB - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to trouserburp:

I'm tempted to joke that if you can find me some for that price I'll take the lot.

But the reality is that we're talking different samples and experience. Bearing in mind that the table describes London jobs, not because I sought to hone in on those but because the link just defaulted to it following my basic google search "contract PMO coordinator", when you look at the sample sizes, the total sample across 3 years is 40 for a day rate and only 2 for an hourly rate. In fact for the 2018 numbers, there are 22 day rate jobs and none for an hourly rate. 

The reason is that contract PMO coordinator is a post that would be filled for 6 months to 3 years on a single project and is virtually universally rewarded by a day rate. It calls for some experience even if the day is mostly spent completing excel columns and matching invoices to purchase orders. That hourly rate is for a temp with no previous PMO experience to come in and help out in the Project Office with some admin for a much shorter period.

 

freeheel47 on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

MaccideD's?

 

alx on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

I’m curious about these earning figures for a low end excel data shoveler, do you have experience in the industry or work inside a PMO?

 

 

BnB - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to alx:

> I’m curious about these earning figures for a low end excel data shoveler, do you have experience in the industry or work inside a PMO?

I've worked in IT since 1985. And I've employed plenty of PMO workers over that period. The figures and links I quoted are for contract staff. Permanent employees earn less. But then the IT industry has long been accepting of contract labour as part of the furniture.

I find the wages eye-watering for the tasks performed at certain levels within the PMO (timesheet checking, receipting POs) but there are complex tasks carried out and important decisions made in the same department and that mystique filters down.

alx on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to BnB:

Thanks. I worked in Pharma for a decade as a PM, I would never pay those salary rates even when I was in London. An associate PM would probably get 22-32k pa depending on experience however it’s a different industry and contractors apart from CRA’s are not as common. PM salaries are wildly different depending on the organisation.

Deadeye - on 08 Mar 2018
In reply to The New NickB:

UKC webchat bum

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