Education Opinions

Mickey Mouse Degrees – Unfair Or Just About Right?

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Written by Simi Gupta

Describing some degrees as ‘Mickey Mouse’ obviously illustrates that discrimination still exists in our education system.  The same also applies to university rankings. Isn’t education supposed to be a gift? Why does this ‘snobbery’ even exist? Especially in forums, I see a lot of hasty comments regarding what people study and this practice is definitely a let-down. Acknowledging that university fees have increased, it should be a privilege to study what you are passionate about.

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Mickey Mouse Degrees – Unfair Or Just About Right?

What Do You Mean by Mickey Mouse Degrees?

This terminology relates to those courses that don’t hold a good reputation in some peoples’s minds, such as Law, Medicine, Economics, Maths, etc. There might be others – I haven’t left them out deliberately; it is because I’m not keen on spending my entire time listing the unattractive degrees out there.

The point is that prejudice in terms of education shouldn’t really exist.

…Does that Mean my Degree Is Worthless?

No! Not at all! I truly believe that going to university is a personal matter. You study what you take pride in, and no one should be forced to take a subject just because it holds a high reputation. In order to find yourself in employment, the minimum requirement is a 2.1. As a result, it is important to study what you love and, therefore, succeed in it. Most importantly, employers want to see what skills you have attained. Work experience has become increasingly important and, dare I say, experience has become more important than gaining a 2.1 or a First class degree. However, entering the rat race of acquiring numerous internships is challenging.  Therefore, every experience you gain is a valuable one.

As Experience Is Highly Important, Mickey Mouse or Not, Is There Any Point in Attending University?

As I have already highlighted, university is a personal decision. I understand that the majority of us are encouraged to go to university as it is the norm and we are too afraid to get out of our comfort zone and go for an apprenticeship or equivalent. However, it could be argued that graduating with a degree gives an individual a sense of stability. That degree is theirs and no one can take it away from them. Additionally, it can be used to their advantage. As a result, if your degree isn’t seen as a highly reputable degree, it is still an achievement. It is an achievement that you’ve put all your hard work and effort into and should be proud of.

What About Employment Rates?

From what I have read, degrees that are classed as Mickey Mouse do have high employment rates. As this is a controversial topic, I have read articles which mention that, although Media Studies doesn’t have much of a reputation, the employment rates within this field are high. Graduates are still finding themselves in employment, which is the reason why most of us are in education anyway.  There’s no guarantee in anything these days. It is all about who you know in the industry you wish to pursue a career in.

Will ‘Mickey Mouse’ Degrees Get Eliminated?

There has been a lot of debate around ‘scrapping’ or stopping to provide funds for these type of degrees. Needless to say, Science degrees need money for students to carry out their research, so I can understand why there is a lot of prejudice around them.  Every degree has a different level of difficulty. Some may argue that more money should be put into those degrees that illustrate a higher level of difficulty. But that’s not always the case. The demand, which determines the supply, will always be there for different types of degrees, irrespective of people’s perceptions of their value. So I don’t see any areas of study going extinct just yet.

There’s still a lot of snobbery out these when it comes to studying whatever subject to a degree level. No matter what degree you’re studying, you’d always hear people saying, ‘Oh, what on earth can you do with that degree?’.

It’s a great shame that, acknowledging that we do have access to education – something others are less fortunate in, there’s still a lot of bickering and prejudice going on. But it will probably always exist.

About the author

Simi Gupta

An aspiring lawyer and fitness geek , studying at the University of Hertfordshire, who also takes pride in helping others to make a difference.