Image may contain: Clothing, Sleeve, Apparel, Female, Laptop, Computer, Pc, Electronics, Glasses, Accessory, Accessories, Face, Person, Human

Which degrees really are the best? We investigated Lancs degree rivalry

You all seem to love STEM subjects


Maybe we caught your attention because someone has told you that their degree is better than yours. Maybe it's because you think that your degree is the best. In some cases, it could be both. Whatever the reason, one thing is indisputable: that there exists a fierce sense of rivalry amongst university students about which degree is 'superior'.

Which is the hardest to learn, the most employable, the qualification that gives you top bragging rights? The Lancaster Tab Instagram polled ‘Do you believe some degrees are better than others?’ to receive an overwhelming 71 per cent response of ‘yes’.

We decided to dig a little deeper into this topic and consider what exactly makes a degree ‘better’. We had a mixed bag of responses.

The All-Rounders

To some respondents, what made a degree better was wider skill application. One student responded that Psychology was superior ‘because it can be applied to anything’ while another said that the top degrees were ‘the ones with better, and more opportunities.’

A LinkedIn study revealed that 57 per cent of senior leaders today say soft skills are more important than hard skills for job prospects- citing examples such as creativity, persuasion, collaboration and adaptability.

Image may contain: Electronics, Screen, Seminar, Speech, Lecture, School, Room, Classroom, Indoors, Human, Audience, Person, Crowd

The Specifics

Other respondents to our poll believed the exact opposite- that narrow, technical skill sets were most important. ‘Subjects without minors (Law, engineering and medicine) are harder and have better jobs,’ one student argued.

Another went so far as to say: ‘Can’t see a lawyer winning many cases with a drama degree', indicating that degree choice should be driven directly by the career you wish to pursue. It is true that the hard technical skill set required makes these examples some of the most employable degrees- with 99 per cent of medicine graduates in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

Image may contain: Town, City, Office Building, House, Villa, Urban, Lawn, Tree, Architecture, Housing, Vegetation, Building, Plant, Grass

The STEM Subjects

On our poll of 'Stem vs. Humanities and Arts', STEM just scraped their way to the top position at 51 per cent. A large amount of comments indicated that STEM subjects were the best degrees, because 'the world needs more problem solvers'. However, we discovered that even within STEM subjects themselves there was rivalry, with responses such as 'Physics because we don't think Pi =3 but we’re more relevant than mathematicians.’ Can there ever really be a top degree, then?

Everything Else

We had a lot of responses that didn’t fit any real category. One student said, ‘Anything but sociology.’ Someone insisted that History was the best. Another, law. Another, Economics. One respondent was particularly vague and said: ‘Ones that require a decent brain to do well in.’

So, what's the deal?

Image may contain: Crowd, Clothing, Apparel, Lighting, Person, Human

Our poll results made it clear that people have very different ideas of what constitutes a 'better' qualification, and everybody looks for different things. No single degree is everybody's cup of tea. To some, a better degree is about employ-ability or salary. To other's it's about widely applicable skills, playing to their strengths or emotional fulfilment.

One respondent stated 'I feel like some degrees are more employable than others, not necessarily superior.’ Each degree comes with its own challenges, and its own skills, and everybody is studying for different reasons. Let’s face it, people wouldn’t be funding £9000 a year into a degree unless they felt it benefited them.

A CV Library study asked workers how they measured their career success. A massive 83.6 per cent measured this by career satisfaction.

Ultimately, if you’re studying a subject that you enjoy and learning skills that you find useful- you’re studying the best degree for YOU. So, it really doesn't matter what anybody else thinks.