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Old 09-11-2003, 12:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Oakville, Ontario
History Degrees

Hey Hey,
I've been wondering what kind of careers a History degree can yield. I'm looking into getting a masters or doctorate in the subject, but want to see if there are any other options besides professor or high school teacher. Does anyone here have a degree in history? If so what do you do now? Are you happy your choice of education? Just wondering heh
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Old 09-11-2003, 12:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 09-11-2003, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, i did enough history in my ARTS Degree to make me eligible to teach it now. I prefer teaching History to English. But, im still under 25 (havent paved out a career or plan to in this field) and often think about what other stuff i can do with my degree- practically speaking. I mean, from a 'good for your mind' standpoint the history degrees are freaking excellent... but i guess they dont automatically open alot of interesting doors practically.
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Old 09-12-2003, 07:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I was a history major. History with a concentration in International relations and minors in economics and govt. I feel I received an excellent education and I would not have traded it for the world. I leaned how to research and write and it is generally a great area of study. I feel that I received a very "well rounded" classical education. I also took math, psych, science, etc. courses - many were very challenging and upper level courses that really stretched me. If all you get is "history" and none of the other, or even no govt. or econ. then I guess it is still OK, but not as well rounded. I never considered going grad level with the history. If I had gone grad school (almost did - just decided against it) I would have don MBA, but I wasn't the mba type. I figured I could have gone for state dept. or fbi, etc. foreign service type stuff.- wasn't really drawn to it though. If you want to teach that is great, but if you aren't sure then I don't know if I would go ahead and get such a specialized degree if you arent' going to use it. I always figured that if I had known exactly what I wanted to do then I would have used college for "job training". Many people do and that is probably fine with them - especially if you go to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer - very specific fields. In many ways I feel that recipients of specialized degrees are not as flexible and are more limited in their possibilities than someone who gets a well rounded education. You can be a CEO, or a teacher or just a smart person, etc. It isnt' like you can only be one thing, like an engineer.

As for me, I asked myself "what do I really want to do" when I graduated. I was honest with myself and didn't go for the crap MBA. I said I want to learn how to build boats or build houses. I become a carpenter and made great money right from day one. I leaned an incredible bredth of skill and can get a good job anywhere I go. Within 7 years I had moved into construction managment and then ended up working my way up through the family business. I now run multiple businesses, am involved with everything from IT to strategy to managment. The thinking, learning, research skills and knowledge I learned as liberal arts history major have served me well, along with hard work, sticking to my real dreams and learning from life and business, etc. along the way.

What can you do? What CAN' T you do?

My wife has a masters in art history. There aren't many paying jobs in that field. But we are both smart educated people. Chances are, you won't do anything directly related to your degree. So what? You will be a smart, interesting person. My wife runs a company herself - marketing and internet, etc. very sucessful. It is probably more important to go through the college motions - even if that is all you do - to lean the ins and outs of doing well and how to learn, etc. very intangible but valuable nonetheless. good luck

Last edited by jbrooks544; 09-12-2003 at 07:23 PM..
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Old 09-18-2003, 05:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I got a history degree and am now a teacher, but it's great for law school if you're interested. I think it's also a great basis for any education. In a way history teaches you everything, because as you go through the various courses, you learn English, economics, sociology, psychology, etc ... It's a great way to get introduced to everything. I think most grad schools see it that way also. In terms of jobs, I think a lot of businesses will see you as a smart person. And a smart person can learn the job they want you do, perhaps better than someone with a little experience that might cause problems integrating past experiences with the new way of doing things....
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Old 09-21-2003, 05:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: Oakville, Ontario
Thanks everyone for your input, it's good getting advice from people that actually experienced it, not some guidance teacher who only knows what the booklet tells him.
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