Your science degree might get you a job, but it won’t give you a personality

Big up the BAs

arts degree BA boring BSc science degree university of birmingham

Studying science must be great.  Barely a week goes by without some poll or survey cropping up in the media, proving scientists are the only students with a post-graduate future that won’t depend on benefits.

But being reminded every five minutes I’m paying £9,000 a year for my “useless” Arts degree, all day, everyday, is now starting to grate. A lot. How often have you heard: “You want a job? Then why on earth are you studying an arts subject?”

Because it’s interesting. Because, although it’s great that plants need sunlight or whatever, Bachelors of Arts are for people more interested in things that aren’t quite so straightforward. Arts students have to consciously channel their own thoughts and develop new strands of arguments with the (admittedly overpriced) materials they have.

£9,000 PLUS book budget.

£9,000 PLUS book budget.

Science students don’t do this. They just do what’s been done before. And, if they’re lucky, they get… exactly the same results. Yawn.

So yes, we may be spending a small fortune to read books we only half-understand, and fart about in the happy-clappy world that is the arts – but at least we’re not self-righteous bores.

The mind of the scientist is, naturally, very logical. This is great when it comes to making things explode and such. But it does also limit your emotional range to that of an egg. Can you really know despair if you don’t care for Shakespeare?  Can you really know romance without Austen?  And how many synonyms for penis can you list when you cast Carol Ann Duffy aside?

Arts even make kids fun

Arts even make kids fun


‘The beef bayonet, the pork sword, the saveloy, love-muscle, night-crawler, dong, the dick, prick, dipstick and wick, the rammer, the slammer, the rupert, the schlong…’

Science is impressive (sometimes), but that doesn’t mean your patronising tones and refusal to accept anything in life that doesn’t sensibly progress from A to B, isn’t totally exasperating.

See the box and take your mind out of it.  Read something that suggests actually maybe to and two DOES equal five, something that awakens your decaying right brain.

We get it. Job prospects don’t look great for the artists.  We’re reminded of that by smug scientists virtually every waking moment. But on the bright side, you don’t need a job to appreciate the better things in life.  We may be Theresa May’s definition of useless and unemployable, but we can whack out great and out of context quotes until the cows come home.

Something we can all agree on?

Something we can all agree on?

So just leave it out, scientists. In the words of the great Oscar Wilde: “The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.  All art is quite useless.”

Yes, we’re more likely to be seen at the job centre in a couple of years, and no, you can pretty much bet we won’t be clutching a tattered copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray by this point. But hey – at least we have personalities.