University of Washington Alumni Association
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Dear Alumni

How closely does your undergraduate degree reflect your current career?

165 Answers

  1. Very Closely, I studied communication and now am a public relations professional within a firm.

  2. I still wouldn’t trade my degree at UW for anything! :)

  3. I was a biochemistry major for my undergraduate degree. I am now a High School Biology & Chemistry teacher. My degree prepared me well for this career.

  4. My first career reflected my undergraduate degree very closely. I majored in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics and conducted research in the field of Nuclear Physics at the university of California- Berkeley, Argonne National laboratory and the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark. My research was published in top national and international journals the Physical Review and Nuclear Physics.
    This career ended when my husband took a teaching position at the University of Washington Chemistry Department in 1963. He also did research in the field of Nuclear Physics. The Physics Department rules prohibited spouses working in the same field and I could not even get an interview for a job at the Nuclear Physics Laboratory. As far as i was concerned I felt my husband had taken a job a Taliban Tech.
    I subsequently returned to school and earned a Political Science at the University of Washington and held teaching positions at Colleges since. I am presently retired.

  5. My career somewhat reflects my undergraduate degree. I got my BA in Poli Sci and am a professional fundraiser – primarily for eduation; five years in the UW’s Development (now Advancement) Office and nine years in independent schools.

  6. BA in Philosophy resulted in a career in construction. BSCE resulted in a WSDOT engineering career

  7. My undergraduate degrees are in Nursing and German Language and Literature. I have worked in libraries for over 26 years.

  8. Somewhat. Two degrees, English Lit and Business (IT focus). I am a systems architect/Manager – using aspects of both degrees daily – but most in my field have comp sci/engineering backgrounds.

  9. Pretty spot on. Geography/GIS BA and now I’m a City Planner :0)

  10. Materials science engineering and I work in a semiconductor manufacturing plant as an engi-nerd. :)

  11. Not at all. Double degree biology and classical studies, now I have an online sales business.

  12. Not even close. BA in Korean, working in a highly technical field. Haven’t really used Korean since graduation. The part-time campus job I held working in IT has more relevance than my diploma.

  13. a little maybe, BA PoliSci, was a mechanic then a fleet manager

  14. Still in communications, ended up in radio instead of print as planned.

  15. Maybe a little. My degree is in Psychology but I work in IT. However, I have to work with all sorts of personalities so in a way my degree does help me there……

  16. Not at all, although they likely made me a more attractive candidate when I applied for law school.

  17. Pretty close. Poli Sci bachelor’s, and unemployed. ;-/

  18. My undergrad degree was in Business Admin with a concentration in Marketing and Information Systems. I am currently in online marketing, specifically in search engine marketing so my degree is definitely reflected in my career.

  19. Somewhat – BA in Women Studies, now a lawyer.

  20. I was an English major and I am currently a writer/editor in state government. So, I’d say it’s pretty spot on.

  21. I was recruited (unexpectedly) to go to grad school– I’m currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecohydrology/Freshwater Ecosystems with an intended career path in either governmental agencies or private industry. I have a BS in Biology, but had multiple subject concentrations. Science to science, both biology related….

  22. A little. Psychology comes in handy for any profession.

  23. Not even close. BA in Korean, working in a highly technical field. Haven’t really used Korean since graduation. The part-time campus job I held working in IT has more relevance than my diploma.

  24. A Little. Psychnology comes in handy for any profession.

  25. Very closely; I majored in English (Language and Literature) and am now a middle-school English teacher.

  26. Sadly, not much. Biology/Biochemistry. Can someone help me with that?

  27. Perfectly!! Majored in Social Welfare and I’m a social worker for the State.

  28. Perfectly. Majored in Marketing and International business and I’m a Marketing Manager for a global company.

  29. Pretty close! I was a poli sci/history and now I work for a tribal government (and part of my job includes overseeing gov’t/public relations!)

  30. What career? But seriously, not at all. Bachelors in China Studies, working in a law office for 2 years.

  31. I majored in history and now I am an accounting manager with an ad agency.

  32. BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences. I’m now in grad school getting my Doctorate in Audiology.

  33. Not at all. I was CHID, now in a restaurant manager.

  34. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being the lowest, I would have to say, 0, zero! I say that because I am one of the many educated and unemployed Americans with a MA degree searching for work.

  35. I earned a Bachelors of Arts & Sciences, majored in Communication and now I work in sports marketing.

  36. Earned a BS in Forest Resources, and work for the US Forest Service. Interesting, though I’m doing work that I did not study, because field (GIS) wasn’t invented when I went to school. At least I’m using my forestry background in my work.

  37. 100% I have a BS in Zoology and I teach animal physiology at OU!

  38. Pretty close. Major Environmental Science, I’m an industrial hygienist in environmental consulting.

  39. Directly – somewhat. Indirectly – a lot. I studied poly sci and math as an undergrad. Most of my career has been in healthcare analytics, doing product management, analytics, and business leadership. I use my math skills, but very little beyond basic stats (haven’t done a differential equation since spring of my junior year). I use the skills I developed in my poly sci classes every day: learning, logic, paying attention to people, reasoning, building on concepts, writing, making difficult choices, and having to articulate my position and compel people to agree with it.

  40. I was recruited (unexpectedly) to go to grad school– I’m currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecohydrology/Freshwater Ecosystems with an intended career path in either governmental agencies or private industry. I have a BS in Biology, but had multiple subject concentrations. Science to science, both biology related….

  41. I was an English major and I am currently a writer/editor in state government. So, I’d say it’s pretty spot on.

  42. Somewhat – BA in Women Studies, now a lawyer.

  43. My undergrad degree was in Business Admin with a concentration in Marketing and Information Systems. I am currently in online marketing, specifically in search engine marketing so my degree is definitely reflected in my career.

  44. Pretty close. Poli Sci bachelor’s, and unemployed. ;-/

  45. Not at all, although they likely made me a more attractive candidate when I applied for law school.

  46. Not at all. Double degree biology and classical studies, now I have an online sales business.

  47. a little maybe, BA PoliSci, was a mechanic then a fleet manager

  48. Still in communications, ended up in radio instead of print as planned.

  49. Maybe a little. My degree is in Psychology but I work in IT. However, I have to work with all sorts of personalities so in a way my degree does help me there……

  50. Very closely; I majored in English (Language and Literature) and am now a middle-school English teacher.

  51. Sadly, not much. Biology/Biochemistry. Can someone help me with that?

  52. Perfectly!! Majored in Social Welfare and I’m a social worker for the State.

  53. Perfectly. Majored in Marketing and International business and I’m a Marketing Manager for a global company.

  54. Pretty close! I was a poli sci/history and now I work for a tribal government (and part of my job includes overseeing gov’t/public relations!)

  55. What career? But seriously, not at all. Bachelors in China Studies, working in a law office for 2 years.

  56. I majored in history and now I am an accounting manager with an ad agency.

  57. BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences. I’m now in grad school getting my Doctorate in Audiology.

  58. Not at all. I was CHID, now in a restaurant manager.

  59. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being the lowest, I would have to say, 0, zero! I say that because I am one of the many educated and unemployed Americans with a MA degree searching for work.

  60. I earned a Bachelors of Arts & Sciences, majored in Communication and now I work in sports marketing.

  61. earned a BS in Forest Resources, and work for the US Forest Service. Interesting, though I’m doing work that I did not study, because field (GIS) wasn’t invented when I went to school. At least I’m using my forestry background in my work.

  62. 100% I have a BS in Zoology and I teach animal physiology at OU!

  63. Pretty close. Major Environmental Science, I’m an industrial hygienist in environmental consulting.

  64. Directly – somewhat. Indirectly – a lot. I studied poly sci and math as an undergrad. Most of my career has been in healthcare analytics, doing product management, analytics, and business leadership. I use my math skills, but very little beyond basic stats (haven’t done a differential equation since spring of my junior year). I use the skills I developed in my poly sci classes every day: learning, logic, paying attention to people, reasoning, building on concepts, writing, making difficult choices, and having to articulate my position and compel people to agree with it.

  65. Earned a BA in Art History (mostly Architectural History). Professor of Architecture at Hampton University in Virginia, and still teaching arch. history survey courses!

  66. Majored in History. Now a preschool teacher getting my MA in ECE with a focus in Dual Language and Special Needs

  67. close MSW, now an EEO Specialist

  68. Close… Majored in biochemistry with a minor in chemistry. It gave me the pre-reqs for medical school. I am now a General Surgery resident.

  69. BA in English/Communication Studies… now a PhD student in Communication Studies

  70. b.s. forestry, currently environmental consulting,about 75% relevant

  71. Sort of. I have a chemistry degree and am now a dentist. I use some chem basics but nowhere to the extent of what I learned in college.

  72. Not much. B.S. in Mathematics, now an IT Program Manager at Microsoft.

  73. BA in Drama and in a way always using it. Being able to relate to characters in a play is really useful in real life. Right now though I am a property manager for vacation rentals.

  74. Mostly, BS Econ – business analyst at a major corp and also healthcare consultant for 4 years prior at a small consulting firm. Lots of stats, spreadsheets and charts. Sometimes I think the basic entry level stuff a high schooler with good knowledge in Excel and Power Point could handle and provide all the data to a manager for decision making. Instead of Freshman Composition, all UW students should be required to take an MS Office proficiency course, shocking how many young people can’t throw together a last minute Presentation or ad-hoc spreadsheet.

  75. Not even close. History degree. Retail.

  76. Sociology to Financial Manager – Not related

  77. Degree in oceanography and recently retired after 25 years working as a public library manager where I did use nearly everything I learned in my college classes.

  78. Psychology degree, work in retail- must be honest, it’s very applicable!

  79. For 5 yrs 100%, but now zero (by choice)

  80. Not so much. B.A. in Political Economy & now a paralegal…..

  81. Very, very little. Anthropology (BA) can be seen as a foundation for communications (current line of work), but that’s a stretch.

  82. Majored in Sociology and minored in Education, Learning, and Society and I am now working in an administrative role for a local private school.

  83. Majored in Finance, now a commercial trial lawyer.

  84. BA in history now I’m an Army doctor.

  85. BA in Speech Communication, work as the Connection & Communication Administrator of a large church. Perfect fit!

  86. Some… Majored in Math. Worked in IT but mostly in management, I think Math can contribute to many jobs because it trains your brain to solve problems based on data. Plus as part of my degree I took some computer courses.

  87. Somewhat – Interdisciplinary Studies – now appl for Grad school Master’s in Science of Gerontology, Managing Aging Services

  88. 100% I have a BA in business with an accounting concentration. I currently work as a CPA. Direct correlation.

  89. Not. At. All. (Art History, so I know you’re not shocked!)

  90. 100% — Received my Engineering Degree in Tech Comm 16 years ago and have been in Technical Writing/Communications Development ever since.

  91. Some, I use parts of the skills I learned to help me in the job even though it is a different field totally.

  92. BA in Business Admin. Matches up perfectly with my current role as a Strategic Performance Manager, and as a Marketing Manager prior, across a few different companies and in multiple industries since graduation.

  93. Degree in speech language pathology and I am working in academia as a speech language pathologist.

  94. Not at all. I was Program on the Environment and now I work at an Internet startup.

  95. Bachelor’s Degree in Poli Sci…Master’s in English…career in mortgage banking…so, not directly related, except for the acquisition of communication and people skills.

  96. My B.A. In Art and Design qualified me to take an M.F.A. That allowed me to spend 45 years of my life doing what I wanted to do for work. That is teach at the University level.

  97. Directly: majored in History, now am a high school history teacher.

  98. Got an ME and work as an EE. They are always shocked to hear that. Pretty closely related.

  99. Not at all, but I am well educated which is what was important to me.

  100. Zoology major….only because the course load mirrored dental school pre,req’s. Got my DDS from UW, so I’d say it was totally reflects my career. Or I might be shoveling manure at Woodland Park Zoo. ;)

  101. Bsme and almost perfectly

  102. Directly- my degree in Business Admin/Marketing led me to a career in advertising for Coca-Cola.

  103. Got a BS in Mol Cell Biol, Psych at UW. Now a mol biol scientist (after picking up a PhD) so first one is immediately relevant, second one probably helpful for getting along with labmates.

  104. 37 years in another field, 12 Years in Art and design. BFA In art and Interiors+5th year! Life holds many gifts and Surprises! I’m 60 this year

  105. BA in French, in my second year of teaching high school French. Would have liked the translation thing to take off, but that never happened.

  106. Not at all, but what I learned continues to have value and help me.

  107. BA in English, teaching cert, Puget Sound Writing Project at UW. 30 years in education, pursuing doctorate, and busy reinventing public education (Riverpoint Academy in Spokane). Everything is connected.

  108. BFA Fine Arts & working in Computer Science

  109. None, college degree is only good for telling your employer than you can be trained and educated and of course you are semi-pro at your major.

  110. BSME. Started out engineering. Now In IT and management.

  111. BSN’94 UW, MS ’00 Nursing Anesthesia Georgetown University

  112. International Studies – I export new Aircraft to foreign Customers all over the world.

  113. BA in History and Political Science; Cavalry Officer in the Army.

  114. Not close at all- French linguistics/ supervisor at Verizon Communications

  115. BA in American Indian Studies; worked in a tribal justice system and am now in Law School and plan on getting a certificate from the Indian Legal Program. Directly related

  116. Kind of, but not really (Social Sciences/minor in Political Sci.). But I already had my job in HR when I finished my degree.

  117. Psychology BA then teaching degree, education career now for 30 years.

  118. B.S. in Microbiology, working at. Biomedical device company with ultrasound imagine. Not bacteria and viruses there. But I guess it is still the broad field of ‘health sciences’

  119. B.S. in Microbiology and Medical Technology and I work in a Clinical Microbiology Laboratory. Spot on!

  120. I also have B.S. in Microbiology, and M.S. in Technical Communications; now a technical writer.

  121. Bachelor’s in Business, concentration in Finance. Wound up as General Manager (CEO) for a Public Water Utility in San Francisco Bay Area. The route there was thru the Finance/Admin side of the Agency. Also had an MA in English Lit from another school.

  122. BA in Psych has helped in every career!

  123. BA in Poli Sci with minor in Edu. Worked in private sector for five years…last 21 in public education. This is year 18 a school admin.

  124. BA in German, working in the IT field for over 35 years

  125. BA in Women Studies; I’m a transitional housing case manager.

  126. BA – Double major in History and Sociology. In my eighth year as a high school social studies teacher.

  127. Directly. BA Business and MBA. Originally I expected to focus on HR and OD. Instead have a great career in Marketing and Communications.

  128. Not at all. BA IAS Global Studies (Spanish & Portuguese), minor in Hispanic Studies & Nonprofit Mgmt. I sell ads for a family of newspapers. I’ve my sights set on an MBA and will focus on Marketing.

  129. Not even close. Have a BA in Political Science but working in Construction Management now. I do have a minor in Architecture though, that’s somewhat closer to my job.

  130. BSChE. I have been using it for 44 years

  131. Somewhat. B.S. Physics. Working with clients on very complex, multidimensional information management issues, but haven’t solved for the spin state of an atom in a very ling

  132. B.A. In Architecture and I am an architect.

  133. B.S. in Chemistry; Current Career: Chemistry Teacher.

  134. BA in Ed…I’m a teacher.

  135. BA in Business Management with a minor in International economics and I’ve been using it directly for the past 10 years working internationally and being a Program Manager within MSFT for the past 10+ years.

  136. B.S. in Psych; psychology professor.

  137. I taught in my field for 34 years before I retired!

  138. European History/English Lit/Secondary Teaching = Web Development & Learning Management coordination. I guess that involves English and teaching. Sort of.

  139. English/Elementary Ed–still teaching and enjoying it!

  140. Close. I have a B.A. in geography, masters in college counseling & student development and I am a program coordinator in the cross- cultural leadership Center at California state university Chico.

  141. Not at all, but I couldn’t have climbed the corporate ladder without it!

  142. B.A. in anthropology, working at REI taking phone calls. Not so close, but employers like that it implies I have people skills!

  143. Not in the least. But…I have a job doing what I live BECAUSE I have a college degree!

  144. B.S. Food Science & Nutrition. I just pulished a technical reference/cookbook for consumers about preserving food, with over 300 recipes. Before that, 14 years running my own business, developing and marketing a food product. Prior to that, 15 years in computer technology (software development).

  145. Communications and in HR. it works quite nicely!

  146. BBA in Accounting which was my career for 14 years. Now my career as a stay at home mom involves nothing I studied at UW – but I’m helping my children become Dawgs!!

  147. degree in nursing…I am working as a nurse

  148. BSEE. Doing UX design for Sony Entertainment Network.

  149. I got a degree from the Jackson School, in International Studies. I moved from there to a master in Environmental Policy (in Hungary & Sweden). Now I am a PhD candidate re: urban planning (in the Netherlands). Not exactly the same thing, but very related… and my UW degree has influenced these other choices, most certainly!

  150. BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Mgmt & Organizational Behavior. I currently own 2 companies. One is an internet sports broadcasting company (Pacific Northwest Sports Network, LLC) and with the other company (Clark Entertainment, LLC) I am the Personal Manager of a country music artist. So it has affected my career a lot.

  151. Alot…and not…degree in psych and own a salon…so…50/50 business and people skills…

  152. I am a self-employed CPA and graduated from the business school in accounting, but I still believe my studies and degree in economics have equal worth, even though not resulting in my career!

  153. r BSN and have worked as an RN for 35 years.

  154. It is a useful subject expertise for working as a Reference librarian (but does not have direct bearing)

  155. BA in Philosophy. I’m working menial jobs right now.

  156. BA in Spanish with a minor in linguistics. In my third year teaching English at a bilingual (Spanish and Basque) secondary school in the Basque Country in Spain. Studying abroad for a year in Spain highly influenced my decision to move back here.

  157. BA in French, 1st career software testing/project management. 15 yrs later PhD in psych, now Psychologist in nursing facilities. 6x to France for vacation. So not related to work, just play.

  158. BA in Communications with a Music minor…. now I’m a Product Manger with a baby products company! All my other jobs have been media-related though, so they were all fairly relevant to my degree.

  159. Not even close. BA Psychology but I’m an Implementation Engineer for a small tech company. Heavy database work, product management, etc.

  160. CHID International Programs Majored in CHID and art history. How I’m working on my PhD in art history and I work and teach in CHID! :)

  161. Much more since I am retired.

  162. not at all…unless you count teaching me to think critically

  163. Close. Electrical Engineering -> Engineer at T-Mobile.

  164. Paper Science & Engineering —> Chemical/Contam Engineer at Boeing. (not much similarities, except that when i first started at Boeing I was in the paints/coatings/finishes labs)…Now I just update documents of our business processes. The only useful class was Technical Writing 101.