In my academic career, I have found that it is pretty difficult to assess the quality of a degree before enrolling. Usually only during the course of your study do you learn what the actual quality of the degree is, which are the best schools, and what your chances in the job market are going to be like.

Getting in touch with students studying at the university is usually pretty difficult if you're not enrolled, and i don't really trust the responses of the professors (who have a vested interest).

What would be a good way to judge the usefulness of a degree? And how can you reliably assess the chances of getting a job with that degree?

  • 1
    This question would be much clearer if you told us your definition of "quality". What do you want?
    – JeffE
    Feb 22, 2012 at 21:24
  • @JeffE, i didn't want to state any absolute definitions of quality, because, to me the quality of a degree is a pretty relative concept. To me the best degree does a better job at learning you what you want to learn, and gives you better chances in the job market than the other degrees (in the same field/subject of course). So it's more about comparison than absolutes to me.
    – user216
    Feb 23, 2012 at 8:23
  • 2
    "Better job at [teaching] you what you want to learn" and "gives you better chances in the job market" are not necessarily compatible.
    – JeffE
    Feb 23, 2012 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


Many universities will publish statistics on how many of their graduates are employed or in further education within X months after graduating. If you're only concerned about getting a job, then that's probably your best source of information.

That said, in the end it depends on you. People get jobs with crappy degrees and fail to get jobs with really good degrees. Whether you'll be able to get a job in your chosen field will depend on what exactly you do for your degree.

A good opportunity for improving your chances of getting a job after you graduate is to do an internship while you're at university. Many universities have job centres or similar that can help you with that.

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