Roz talks about degree subjects being more respected if they apply directly to the job market
Chapter details: Roz finds that her English Literature degree is more respected than her PhD in Media and Politics but that English is still far further down the social hierarchy than the sciences and commercially orientated courses
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Subject: English Literature
Student status: Home, Graduate
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This is actually, this is disgusting too but it is a bit respected. People think English Lit's a proper subject. It's bullshit but there's a suggestion that it is and so people do take you a bit more seriously if you've got a degree in a proper subject. I don't know but … so no, I don't regret doing English, I just do regret not doing a Law conversion or something afterwards.

When you say 'proper subject' in that you get a good reaction to it …

Well I think a better reaction than … my PhD's in Media and Politics. I probably shouldn't go into more specifics than that, should I? [laughs]

Well you can talk about … be …

Nobody cares about my research interests [laughs] but my PhD's in Media and Politics but primarily Media and I was coming at it, not within the Media Studies department, actually, but because there's an onus on Media departments and Media scholars, I guess, to justify themselves, I've thought about this quite a lot and I know that there's a backlash to all the criticism of Media Studies where people are saying 'Oh it's just the English Lit of the future' and all the rest of it but having seen the way that people respond to the mention of Media vs. BA in English Literature, it's a radically different response which makes me wonder how people would swoon if I did Medicine. 

Have you ever had any negative reactions to English Literature, having studied English Literature or has it all been positive?

A friend of mine … well I say a friend, she's not really a friend anymore, to be honest, somebody that I went to university with that I saw quite recently because I've moved to London quite recently, she's here too and we met up and we talked for a bit. I think she … I was talking about not being able to find a job and she said 'Yeah but you did English' and then had a bit of a snigger. So yeah it's more respectable than Media Studies but it's still not Medicine, it's not Physics, it's not Molecular Biology so yeah it's still a bit risible, isn't it? I think ultimately, most Higher Education isn't specifically scientific or commercially orientated and in basis is a bit risible, you're just doing it because you like books. Or maybe you're a bit interested in, I don't know, some area of 30s Berlin or whatever, it's just you indulging your own interests. It's not going to make you a better person, it's not going to boost the economy.