Post # 1
Hi, I just recently found this forum and I was hoping to get some advice. I am the first person in my family to go(and graduate) to school and I am hoping that someone here can help me on what I should do.
So the issue is this, I went to school and first I did a 2 year degree in business administration. After that, I transferred to the main university and I struggled between wanting to do business and then spanish.Due to scheduling problems with my Spanish classes, I ended up graduating with a BA in History and minor in Spanish
So what’s the problem? It’s this..no matter where I go, on the internet or with real people, I cannot find any POSITIVE information on History majors. Everything is like,”History? What are you going to do with that?”I was assured during advising that my degree would open doors and that I could get jobs and with my associates in business+ my 4 yr degree, it would look good and I could get a job in business. I have not had a corporate job yet not can I find any history majors that can tell me that they have “good jobs” unless they went to grad school. I have found a few forums and I even found a web page with a girl that studied “Medieval Studies” and she ended up with a good corporate job(I read on her blog), but she also went to a private school totally 40k per year,Maybe that had something to do with it. Its just that when it comes to History, it seems like my options are only teach and well that’s it.
At this point, I don’t know what I should do, I know that English majors can get some jobs like editing, publishing, advertising, and even marketing. These jobs interest me and I am thinking about taking some online classes with another university and trying to get a degree in English. I would only need 8 classes as it is.(I already checked), but money is very tight and now I am basically fighting everything to not end up homeless.
Does anyone know of any SUCCESSFUL History majors and what they do? Should I take the 8 online courses in English? Or will it even matter? I had one person advise me and they told me that they wouldn’t do that, but go for a masters, but I can’t afford it. Thanks!
Post # 3
How about museums or cultural centers? I know a lot of schools offer online classes in museum studies that could add to your work.
Post # 4
Oh, I should add that I know one person who has a degree in history. She went on to get her masters in library science and works at university library in their art history research area.
Post # 5
@LovestoTravel: I know two History majors, and they are both librarians! But they both went on and got their Masters degrees in Library science I think? They both LOVE their jobs.
I will say this though.. A lot of jobs just need A degree, not a specific one. And I think what you should do is use how you are DIFFERENT to your advantage. If you want a corporate/business job, find a way to spin your History major as a strength. Show how that you are at an advantage with your degree and your Business AS over other Business majors, etc. Maybe you have a unique perspective, whatever!
I have a friend who has an English degree, and she is a technical writer making really good money for an engineering company! I know for a fact though that her job required a 4 year degree, NOT an English degree. So maybe something like that would be of interest to you?
Post # 6
One of my friends graduated in history and is now working with a company doing restoration of historic buildings in Netherlands Netherlands. I say if History is going to make you happy, do it, but know that you will need a graduate degree to do much other than teaching/librarian (not that teaching is a bad option by any means!)
Post # 7
Wow, thanks for the quick replies so far, because I am SERIOUSLY stressing here!
@ohmybears48: And that’s what I want to avoid, it seems that everyone gets a grad degree and I honestly don’t know if I can afford that right now.
@jessicadarling: I would love to do that, but unfortunately I cant afford grad school right now. The college that I am thinking about going to though is real cheap and I could knock out the 8 classes for 4k. As for the engineering job, are you sure? I thought that you always needed an English degree to be a technical writer?
Post # 8
@Nferrari: I guess I should have made that clear in my OP, that I am not necessarily looking to make history a career, but I would like a nice office job, that would be fine for me!
Post # 9
What do you want to do? I would not spend any more money on education unless it’s a masters–ie, not another bachelors. If you’re a recent grad, you more likely need to get some experience and I would start looking for any entry level jobs that require a degree and get applying. Your job experience will help you progress and get better jobs, but another bachelors probably won’t (unless it’s highly desired and specific–ie engineering).
And yes, history falls into the area of lack of clear job opportunities with only a bachelors, but so do many majors, like psychology, communications, English, etc. Just focus on finding an entry level job for now.
Post # 10
I don’t think an English degree will help you much more unless you get a higher education. Try to get an admin job or other entry level job in a company you’re interested in and work your way up from there, esp if you’re not sure what you want to do in the end. Talk up your business experience and your interest in the company.
Post # 11
I mean, English isn’t going to help you either unless you want to be a teacher, and even then the history would help just as much. The only history major I know that actually stayed in the field and didn’t take a low paying admin job got his PhD and ended up a Cambridge scholar. Not exactly a typical trajectory for most people! Even he is having trouble finding jobs after his PhD.
Liberal Arts degrees are just in general not a great option if you want a targeted high paying job out of college. Only engineering and other technical degrees give that. Even bio/chem/physics need grad degrees, generally!
Post # 12
@LovestoTravel: Liberal Arts education is waay more than just a major. I majored in Religious Studies & got many of the same things you were told, but I LOVED every minute of it. Shortly after graduation I got a job in a law firm as an assistant. I didn’t up talk my degree at all, but more about the liberal arts school- interesting classes, extracurriculars, etc. I knew I could never work in my major’s field without at least a masters degree but I was okay with that. I think employers look more fondly on liberal arts degrees than non- it shows you are well rounded, able to reflect on a wide range of issues, and are adaptable. AND most office jobs now only require any type of 2-4 year degree…
ETA: I know alot of people where I live that have master’s degrees in seemingly useless subjects like art history, religious studies, etc. and most of them work in either office jobs just like me or as waitresses…. So I wouldn’t bother with a masters personally.
Post # 13
Don’t do the second bachelors, its not going to help you. Like someone else said…what DO you want to do?
Post # 14
@BeckyS0: “I think employers look more fondly on liberal arts degrees than non-“
It depends on what you do. I’m a scientist – obviously they wouldn’t have given my resume a second look had I only had a liberal arts degree. It’s also kind of short sighted to say a science degree isn’t well-rounded. I took a lot of history, english, writing, psychology, etc etc classes. Knowledge in one area doesn’t mean I have no knowledge in another.
Post # 15
@LovestoTravel: Do whatever you want. Seriously. My cousin is a guidance counselor and that is her advice. Unless you want to be something specific like an engineer, any 4 year degree will do and really no one will care too much what it was in, especially considering that you also have a 2 year business degree. You don’t have to do something that is history related. You can seek those things out if you want. Mainly, if I were you, I would just apply for jobs I’m interested in that require a four year degree. Do you have experience in anything? That counts for a lot more than your major as well. AND play up the Spanish. If you are proficient in Spanish, and thus bilingual, play that up on your application, that makes you a MUCH more attractive candidate for many jobs. Most of all, don’t let the job search get you down. In this slow job market, it may take a while, maybe a little while extra because of your degree, but it really has nothing to do with your being a history major. If asked about your major in an interview, be prepared to explain job strengths you will have that come from getting a degree in history, Spanish, and business. And that’s the deal with liberal arts degrees. Seriously, let me know if you have any questions! You have nothing to worry about! It’s sort of true that it’s hard to get a job with a liberal arts degree, but if you are creative and persistent you will find your niche! And if you are young and starting out and don’t have children to feed, this is the time to go for a crazy unpaid internship that you really want or try starting up a business or anything you might be interested in!
Post # 16
@crayfish: Aplogies- I never said that people that don’t have liberal arts degrees are unknowledgeable in other areas. The only reason I said Liberal Arts is looked upon as more well rounded is because from my experience Liberal Arts required 2 full years of “other” courses, with requirements in each dept. while everyone I know who has a traditional degree only required 1 year of the “other” courses and only in certain major depts. like english, math & a language.
I should have been clearer but I meant mainly for office / admin type employers.