Arts & Humanities

How important is a university degree?

Arts & Humanities

Posted by: Zedd

19th Nov 2021 03:29pm

I am new to uni and can't decide between a business or commerce major? is there a huge difference to employers? because I am not more passionate about either. should I just do what's less work?

Comments 39

  • 30th Nov 2023 11:05am

honestly I think University is less about the qualification and more about being able to show you can stay committed to something that is challenging for a long period of time. Uni is also the best time to experiment and take risks all of which become more difficult if you enter straight into full time work

Sil sil
  • 20th Jul 2023 02:29pm

Considering the social media frenzy requiring zero qualifications that's a good question. Big money is being made without it I guess...

  • 6th Feb 2023 05:18pm

The choice between a business or commerce major largely depends on your individual goals and career aspirations. While both majors can provide a strong foundation for a business-related career, they do have different focuses. A business major generally covers a wider range of business topics, including management, marketing, and entrepreneurship, while a commerce major typically has a more narrow focus on economics, accounting, and finance.

In terms of job prospects, both business and commerce graduates can find work in a variety of industries, including finance, marketing, and management. However, the specific opportunities and career paths available to you will depend on your skills, interests, and experience.

In terms of workload, both business and commerce degrees can be challenging, and the level of difficulty will vary depending on the specific courses and program you choose. Rather than choosing a major based solely on perceived level of difficulty, consider your personal interests and strengths, as well as the career paths you hope to pursue.

Ultimately, it's important to choose a major that you're passionate about, as this will help you stay motivated and focused throughout your studies, and ultimately lead to a more fulfilling career.

  • 14th Sep 2022 03:25pm

I dont believe that you necessarily need a uni degree unless you want to work in a field that requires it. TAFE is good also for atudy but even then, if you dont need it for your work there are many jobs out there that are great and dont require too much study...whatever you need for yourself. Sometimes uni degrees are wasted on people as they dont use their common takes all types :)

  • 5th Aug 2022 02:49pm

From my understanding the main difference between a business and commerce major, is that with commerce you will be able to become an accountant. If you are not passionate about what you are studying, I would strongly suggest finding something that does interest you, as you could be working for 30 or 40 years.

Con D. Oriano
  • 14th Jul 2022 08:31pm

They are both the same to me. It doesn't make a difference to your boss. It only makes a difference to HR. Graduate positions are so competitive.

The world is going to get turned upside down as the true recession hits. You might as well get a degree and work experience to ensure that you are valuable.

Try to start your own business and see how you enjoy that.

But it sounds like you won't enjoy Business/Commerce. I did the degree and it's technically worthless and doesn't help you be a better corporate worker. If you want the piece of paper, The Master of Business Administration is more valued, you're better off going into stem for undergrad and you can transfer into more roles first, and do the MBA part time or online.

  • 15th Jun 2022 11:50am

I would agree that having a degree does allow for better opportunities as well as growth as a person . Maybe you are not inclined in either and would benefit from a creative industry degree . There’s no harm in taking a subject as elective , it might just be the boost you need .

  • 8th Apr 2022 03:12pm

Unless your job is like nursing, accounting or a lawyer etc a lot of employers don't care what degree you have. I got a degree in criminology but work in risk and compliance. I got an entry level job at a company and worked up to the role I was interested in. I'd pick based on what sounds most interesting. You're going to spend a lot of your time studying pick what sounds more enjoyable. In saying that if you aren't committed to a degree consider holding off doing one. Look at your career goals, are there other ways to achieve them without a degree? A lot of people tend to get a degree then work in a completely different field and end up paying for a degree they don't use. There's often easier more creative ways to begin a career. Just something to consider.

  • 3rd Mar 2022 11:38am

Important to get your feet through the door of where you would like to pursue from your studies. It's an experience that's within your knowledge.

  • 12th Dec 2021 12:26pm

It all depends on the actual job you want at the end of it. My aim is to be a data analyst but also similar fields if I choose to later. For this reason I choose to do a bachelor of Information technology with a double major. To gain the good jobs and higher salary most employers need your certification because it shows consumers you have actually been formally trained in your chosen field.

Bill Collins
  • 10th Dec 2021 04:07pm

Do a double degree, Business/Commerce.

aunty gran
  • 10th Dec 2021 02:20pm

I was a hospital trained nurse wiht 2 hospital based qualification, l returned to study while working full time with 2 small children. To be perfectly frank l found the graduate diploma did not really teach me a great deal more than what l had learnt in the previous 15 years other than to r"talk the talk". It did however make me more employable and there was the incentive of a paid allowance for the degree.
It does seem now that for many career path oppurtunities a minimum is a a masters degree.
My son is a tradie who earns more than l do- often people do look down on these as professions but there are so many choices that can be made. He has learnt invaluable life skills working with so many different people but importantly has many cross over skills and or contacts that allowed him to undertake home renovations.
My daughter has 3 degrees including a masters, she commenced in the work force 10 years after my son with a huge hex debt. He hs owned his own home for 8 years she has only recently gotten inot the market.
What is my answer to your question- consider every alternative available to you and perhaps also a realisation that you will quite possibley have many jobs in your life time. Whatever field you choose to work in do because you enjoy it otherwise your life can become quite stressful
Good Luck Zedd

  • 10th Dec 2021 11:56am

From my experience is get a job with someone who will pay for your education if possible.
1. You will have an income and practice experience on the job.
2. you will be undertaking studies which are applicable to your career
3. It will take longer than doing university first as you will be doing it part time and is a challenge time wise but your employer is invested and you almost certainly will have a career path already determined.
4. Employers see the practicality of their employee working with them.
5. The market loves the combination of education and practical knowledge.
6. They see how determined and goal oriented you are.
7. It puts you in a rare group of people

  • 10th Dec 2021 11:32am

Just focus on what you want to do in life then follow that academic stream. For example - do you want to be an accountant or do you want to be key support personnel in an accounting firm. The academic requirements are subtle but means a lot to the Firm.
Have seen too many just mindlessly getting a degree for the sake of a degree and taking the easy courses to achieve that but in the end means very little in the real workplace unless aiming for an educator vocation. Make sure the HECS incurred puts you in the best income earning stream in that discipline.

Avocado Green
  • 9th Dec 2021 03:06pm

In my experience, having degree is more important than what you major in. You learn skills at uni that demonstrate good work values. If you're not passionate about either, I would swap and do something you enjoy!! It's a lot of money and time on your end - will you wish you spent it doing something you were passionate about later? You could always have a gap year and work to earn some money while you decide what you like. :)

  • 9th Dec 2021 01:51pm

That depends! I am 73, and never completed high school. I now wish I had continued my studies, and gone to University, and completed medicine.

Joh :)
  • 8th Dec 2021 08:49am

The business and commerce sectors are often grouped together – after all, to be successful in either of these fields, you need business acumen, drive, problem-solving skills and critical thinking, just to name a few core attributes. However, they’re also vastly different, and can lead to unique careers in a number of industries.
So, if you’re tossing up between a Bachelor of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce, it’s important to know the key similarities and differences between these programs, and ultimately, where they could lead you in the future.
Both the Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Commerce kick off with three modules designed to support every graduate’s career trajectory, incorporating critical thinking, leadership, and team building. These are part of University curriculums, and are central to every undergraduate degree in an effort to equip you for the workplace and help you to stand out amongst your peers.

Across both degrees, there are also nine required subjects that are designed to give you a well-rounded perspective of the business world and the attributes necessary to succeed. Some of these subjects overlap, but you’ll find that the Bachelor of Business takes a more general approach, imparting broad-spectrum knowledge in marketing, human resource management, business law, finance and more, whereas the Bachelor of Commerce places more emphasis on specialist fields or professions like economics, finance and accounting.
Therefore you can actually choose Bachelor of business and major in Commerce or vice versa

  • 7th Dec 2021 11:42pm

You’ll learn more from your mistakes than anything you could ever learn at school. The qualification only proves that you can go the distance. You have tenacity and you will stay the course. You will learn how to use your brain in different situations. Ultimately I don’t think a piece of paper is worth a damn once you are employed in your industry of choice. They will retrain you the way THEY want you to operate. Unless you work for yourself, in which case you can outsource a lot of work provided you have the revenue turning over. That’s the hard part!

  • 7th Dec 2021 10:11pm

Why not an apprenticeship? The country is screaming for tradies, you can earn a great wage with a trades background.

  • 7th Dec 2021 09:15pm

It’s really very important to survive in this fast moving world

  • 6th Dec 2021 04:53pm

The question you've posed is a little off topic to your dilemma.
How important is a Uni degree" In my opinion uni degrees have almost become an imperative if you want to advance quickly, in your chosen career. Large corporations value them over track record. Small companies however don't care what piece of paper you hold, they care about what you've done and able to do.

Turning to your issue about which course to pursue... you need to seek advice from a mentor. Someone who already works in your field of interest, and who can guide you through with the benefit of his/her experience. I wouldn't turn to us for that kind of advice.

I fear that if you choose something you're not interested in, it's going to make the next few years painful for you.
My advice, and take it with a large grain of salt, if those are you're only choices, choose the course you like the most, and go with that. If you find you're not getting what you want then hop over to the other'll probably find there are many common subjects between the two and you will pick up some exemptions.

Good luck. :)

  • 5th Dec 2021 01:40pm

Best to find something you are passionate about but by doing business/commerce you can find work in field or companies that speak to your hobbies and interests so it doesn't feel like work. They are very similar courses, it comes down the the majors or specialisations on offer and what will be of more interest to you. Have a close look at the course handbooks and outlines. Good luck!

  • 5th Dec 2021 09:13am

I do not understand the point here. If you are not interested or passionate about either of the courses, why do you still want to go with those two options? Why don’t you first learn about your interests and then decide which course to do, just my opinion.

  • 2nd Dec 2021 02:26pm

A close friend of mine completed a business degree within the past year. He said much of what he learnt was basic/intuitive, and the way he got the most out of the degree was through the extracurricular activities. He expanded his network massively, found a job within the university through his connections, did some intern work with multiple businesses, and now has a new job as a consultant which he found through that developed network. So I would say that whilst some degrees definitely impart important information, (eg. Medical or science degrees) one of the most important things is the opportunities that university provides.

  • 1st Dec 2021 04:14pm

You will definitely stand a higher chance of getting a job if you have a degree. I would suggest that you study something you are interested in as you will definitely do much better and enjoy your Uni life.

I have a lot friends including myself currently working in a field where I only utilise less than 20% of what I study in Uni. The degree is just a stepping stone but it is hard work, determination, compassion and willing to learn that will get you further.

  • 1st Dec 2021 09:56am

In this day and age, having a degree has become a very common thing. I've heard a lot of employers would be more willing to give you a job if you have a degree. However, make sure you choose one that is relevant to your career of interest. I have wasted 4 years of my life studying a degree that I had no interest in because my parents just wanted me to become a scientist. I ended up spending 2 more years studying a different degree after completing my parents' dreams. I finally chose a path that I like and am now happy with it, but not after spending 6 years of my life in uni, when other people in the same career are already way ahead of me.

  • 1st Dec 2021 08:40am

Do the degree that will not make you regret your pathway in years to come. However, saying that, you can always upgrade or change your career path by studying a different degree in later years depending on your life's direction and your preferences.

  • 1st Dec 2021 06:59am

I agree with most comments by kidwithsmurf. Excellent summary and insight.
Your initial choice should depend on what job or industry you think you want to work in. Each course is different, many uni courses are different, with different reputations.

I also did a double degree in what I was interested (econ & arts) which was highly theoretical. The country was in recession when I graduated with no jobs in the areas of study, so I followed up with a Masters of Commerce (it is a subset of MBA, but aimed at those that wanted to do Accounting work). Because I am still working in the accounting industry I have never stopped studying. The government and governing bodies of this country continually change the tax/accounting/audit/HR/health & safety/banking/insurance requirements.

Part of the university experience use to be the networking, this assisted us when we went into the workforce. It was ‘who do you know that could help with this…’ With the increase in online study, and the requirement for students to be experienced and do so many other things this may no longer be viable.

I still maintain that it would be wise to start a uni degree (or tafe) in the area you are interested in. I can’t stress enough to talk to other students, staff and people that work in any field you may be interested in working in. Getting employment in one of these areas early on will highlight if you like it (or not). There is usually an ability to change courses after the first year if you do reasonably well. You may look into this if you don’t like the industry that you will end up in, or the course work you are doing, or you see other courses that suit your requirements better.

Good luck - Uni is a mix of higher learning, fun, networking, and a stepping stone to learn more....

  • 1st Dec 2021 03:35am

I think you should work on what you identify most, whether in a business or commerce major, what matters is that you are happy and over time you will acquire knowledge and skills and with creativity you will be successful in your work

Bill Collins
  • 1st Dec 2021 01:13am

Study in an area you love & you will never work a day in your life.

  • 30th Nov 2021 08:18pm

It's not that important depends what you want to study for other then that not important

  • 30th Nov 2021 07:09pm

Do what you have interest in. We should always chose in which we can enjoy.

  • 30th Nov 2021 06:11pm

No employer wants anyone who bases their key decisions on "what is less work". Find another reason that speaks to better personal values to decide one degree over the other.

  • 30th Nov 2021 10:20am

If your not passionate about either then don't do them. You don't need a uni degree, go and do what makes you happy. Trust me when your laying in your death bed you're not going to care how much money you made. You are going to care about how you lived your life and how you treated others.

  • 30th Nov 2021 05:12am


  • 26th Nov 2021 09:41pm

It is very important for high self esteem and for own satisfaction , you gain more knowledge, more experience and meat more people , slso you get mire high paid job quickly

  • 26th Nov 2021 11:03am

I think a business degree is viewed better by employers. You can always go on to study your MBA to climb the corporate ladder. I think of commerce as seedier money hungry people trying to buck the system. I've known people with commerce degrees not to gain employment after uni and personally see better employment prospects from a business degree. My daughter studied arts concurrently with a grad cert in business and later a masters in art and a mba, which now means she has no further study to undertake.

  • 21st Nov 2021 09:30am

Coming from someone who has a Bachelor of Commerce I can try an explain the differences. But firstly, don't put all your eggs into one basket and do Uni for the fun of it. At the end of the day Uni means little compared to real life experiences. If you can get work experiences in the field you're looking to study in first and then go and complete your degree... You'll come out finding work a lot easier after Uni is complete then not.

This is because the employer holds experience over degrees 90% of the time. It's good to eventually have the degree but a lot of employers if you have experience would let you work and study. If you were doing a Uni degree such as doctor, nursing, teacher etc it is fine in this situation to go straight to Uni as these degrees have prac components of your course where you have to complete x hours in the field. This gives you the work experience employers are looking for and makes it easier to be hired after the degree.

Now back on topic; The difference between Commerce and Business:

A business degree stems more into running a business. Such as Business management for example which teaches you how to manage a business. Business can also stem into Business Marketing, communications, business economics etc. The aim here is to basically teach you how to run a business or essentially be a boss.

A Commerce degree is more branched into either Finance, Economics or Accounting. Commerce lets you become a Financial planner, work in the share market, credit/financial analyst, economic Consultant, accountant or auditor etc.

This said which one you choose is basically what you want to do at the end of your degree. If you want to be more business orientated do business. If you want to be more finance orientated then do commerce. On top of this though a lot of universities offer different courses. The university I graduated from allows you to only do a Bachelor of Business with one or two majors for example, "Bachelor of Business majoring in Accounting and Management" or you could do "Bachelor of Business majoring in Finance and Marketing" or you could do "Bachelor of Business majoring in Business Analytics and Sustainable Business" for example. Now you don't have to do two majors, but depending on what your studying it can cut the time down for your 2nd major because normally your first major will overlap to some extent.

Lastly, every Uni offers different courses and different majors. You just have to make the hard decisions of the following:

1. Is Uni for me or can I complete a Tafe degree for the same result? - If I personally could do life over, I'd do Tafe instead of Uni because for Business/Commerce my Uni degree just gave me debt and took way too long to get a job. Whereas Tafe has a prac component to most courses where you have to do work experience in the field to pass. Thus 90% of the time, depending on your degree, Tafe is faster, easier and gets you experience which leads to a job sooner. In my opinion, way your options up between Uni and Tafe before choosing.
2. If Uni is right, decide what career you want and which career path will give me the most options in life.
3. Pick the course based on what you want to do, enjoy and will give you the most opportunities in life. Do not pick a course because a friend is doing it or because it's easy, pick it because it will benefit you in the long term.

  • 25th Nov 2021 07:28pm
Coming from someone who has a Bachelor of Commerce I can try an explain the differences. But firstly, don't put all your eggs into one basket and do Uni for the fun of it. At the end of the day Uni...

I could not agree more. Sound and above all else, practical advice.

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