Post # 1
I was just wondering what a person could do with a degree in History besides teach? I loved what I studied, but i feel like I cannot really find any jobs with this degree. I went to school when the economy was still good and told to “major in what I love” and the money would follow. Since I have graduated, I have been a teacher and I worked as an executive director of a non profit. It did not pay that much and there was no room for advancement, but I liked what I did. Is there anyone else that is having this problem?
My solution at this point is to either go back to school for a degree in corporate communications(entirely online $500/class and I need to take 14 classes) The downside to this is that if i miss a class for any reason then i have to wait a YEAR for it to come back around. I would do this degree to help me get into marketing, advertising and PR, but I have never worked those types of jobs and I do not even know if i would like it. At the director position, I had to deal with a lot of politics/fake people and I hated it. The other solution that I have is to go for a masters in education technology. I will not start with a good job at first, but I have to the potential to make 55-78k. It is also entirely online and I would need to take 13 classes @ 705 per class. The downfall to this, is that I have also never worked in upper administration and while I like the professionalism, I do not know if that is what I want to do for the rest of my life either..help!
Post # 3
@2beeornot2bee: Hello! I just popped on here to find guestbook suggestions, but as I’m about to start Grad school in the fall I couldn’t help but click on your post 🙂 This is just my opinion – so please just take what you need and leave what you don’t.
From what I’ve found, it is best NOT to start grad school unless you are positive it is something you want to do. It is a lot of work, a lot of money, and a lot of time. You know the old cliche – if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. That goes doubly for grad school, because if it’s a good program you will learn a lot but it for sure won’t come easy (or free probably). For history I know teaching is one of the main tracks, but get creative! Museum curating is something I have known my history friends to do. If it’s money you’re after then maybe you have to sacrifice your interests -but don’t spend money on a degree you don’t plan on definitely using. I am going in a whole new direction from my undergrad for grad school but that was after taking 2 years (of painful job searching, a number of jobs, and a little extra schooling I’ve always wanted to do) to think about it. After two years I knew that this is exactly what I want to do, and also the only way to do it from this point in my life.
Experience and networking are becoming more or at least equally as important as degrees – since a Bachelors is “the new High School Diploma”. I think you answerd your own questions with the fact that you “don’t know if you’ll like it.” Since you did non-profit, idealist.org is a good place to find ideas for history jobs you wouldn’t think about.
Just a thought. If you disagree with what I said and it pushes you towards school then you know its what you want. If you find yourself relieved then you know it isn’t. The “real world” transition is challenging for most of us that graduated when the economy slipped – you are definitely not alone!
Everything turns out right in the end. If it’s not right, it’s not the end.
Post # 4
I am very hesitant to rely on what jobs say they make….it is VERY hard to get a job these days, let alone on a good wage. Degrees seem to mean nothing…so unless the job area/degree guarantees an entry level that is attainable with no experience and a wage that is desirable to you, then schooling *might* be worth it. Also its important to know that there are enough jobs where you live, and how competitive the position is if it does exist.
I completely agree with the PP that are saying experience and networking are the new degrees! I have found that to be 1,0000 % accurate.
Post # 5
Honestly, it doesn’t matter a whole lot what your bachelor’s degree is in so I would not go back for another. Master’s degrees are very expensive and in many fields they don’t increase your earning potential a whole lot. If you can get your master’s degree funded through the university, then do it!! If not, then I would make sure you can get a decent salary after it so you can pay it off. You could also look into a master’s in public policy, an MBA, or law school (or something completely unrelated but those are common paths for people with a history degree).
Post # 6
I agree with PP. I would not recommend a second bachelors, and only a masters if you’re confident you will have more job opportunities and it’s worth the investment of both money and time.
If you do decide to get a masters, what about history and becoming a lecturer at a community college or getting a phd and being a professor at a university?
Post # 7
Thanks pocketsized! And after reading your message, it is something that I want to do. As I stated before, I am not really good at math, so the MBA is out. The biggest thing driving me is that I owe ALOT in student loans around 50k and I need something that can get me a decent job. If I go for the second bachelor’s in communications, I might be able to do PR marketing or advertising, the classes are cheap, but if i miss a class for any reason then I have to wait a year and I don’t want to do that, i currently have a few grand saved to take 6 classes and I need 14 to graduate which is alot. My university does not offer a masters in communications.
A masters in english and history, while i really do like it and want to do it, they just are not going to have a big return on investment, I will not make alot of money at all. The masters in education is in education technology leadership. The pay rate is advertised with the position and I have worked for this school district before. The classes are 700 a piece and it’s 13 classes. The classes are interesting, graphic design and desktop publishing, video and media, technology, human resource mgmt etc. I just feel like a big increase in salary would help me make a dent in my student loans, the only thing is that I do not want to go for the BS and then find out that I cannot work with “corporate people” either. I seem to do well with the teaching thing, maybe i should just stick with that.
Post # 8
I wouldn’t go back to school unless I had a specific career goal in mind, and was super inspired by it. Schooling’s expensive, and it’s not worth spending more money on unless it’s something you know you should do. Especially since you already have a lot of student debt. The Bachelor’s in Communications I think will just land you in the same boat you’re in now, just with more debt. Communications and Business Degrees are a dime a dozen now.
In all honesty, I’d keep looking for work, maybe check out other non-profits, and in the meantime try figuring out what you’re good at, and what kind of job could use those skills. For example, I majored in Accounting, and hated it. I’d always been good at science and art, and I went back to school for a Science Illustration program. It was only a year, and the best decision I’ve ever made, but it was also something I’d dreamed of, and believed in 100%. You don’t sound passionate about any of these options, which tells me you need to keep looking. In the meantime, just try to work off your debt.
Post # 9
a BS in communication won’t earn you a big increase in salary – EVERYONE and their brother has a bachelors in communication and a lot of the entry level positions are being outsourced to asia.
Post # 10
I’m not saying you should do any one path, but I have a history degree (well – double major in history and ME Studies) and an MA in International Human Rights Law. I’m a Conflict/Justice/Development researcher oversees. The only thing I would say is “Seriously, don’t go to law school unless you are absolutely, 100% sure that you want to be a lawyer, you have always loved law, and you can get into a Top 5 (seriously, not top 25) law school.”
Whew! Now that that’s out of the way, I really think that “if” you are really thinking about going back to school, there are a few things you can do to narrow it down. Did you like working in non-profits? What skills did you find that you didn’t have in that workspace? Can you write a killer proposal and bring in tons of money? Etc. Look at job adds for positions you would like to have, and figure out how to get the skills necessary for that. Some of this might involve getting an MA, but it doesn’t necessarily have to. Did you know that a lot of top-tier schools now offer FREE online courses taught by their professors? I’m talking Harvard and Stanford and others.
Here are some MA programes you might want to consider with you history background:
- Special Education certifications (if you want to continue teaching)
- Library Science
- Museum Studies
- Non-profit Management
- Social Work
- Public Policy (Although, honestly, and not trying to offend anyone here who has it, I work in a lot of policy areas and tend to think this one is a very general “catch all” degree that produces people without a ton of applicable marketable skills).
School is not the guarantee it used to be. I’m going to be paying it off for at least another 10 years. However, for me it was a must to have a career. It’s not for everyone, but I just wanted to throw out some options for you.
Post # 11
I think what you need to do is spend some time thinking about what it is you really want to do, and then work backwards and figure out how you can get there. There isn’t just one path for every job. You may be able to get some kind of entry level position in an industry you like, or perhaps you can do some volunteering. The important things are networking and job skills. You don’t necessarily have to go to school for job skills–maybe you can learn some things on your own. For example, some communications/pr related jobs have a focus on social media–do you know the ins and outs of that? Do you know about SEO? This is just one example, but there are job skills out there you can learn. Also, find out what kinds of networking events and opportunities there are near you. I know where I grew up they have monthly events for professionals and all kinds of people attend–my dad (who is executive level) and someone I went to high school with (entry level) were at the same event. Networking is huge.
I don’t think going back to school for a second bachelors is really a good idea unless you want a degree in something specific that has high earning potential from a ba/bs. Engineering comes to mind as one of those careers, but unfortunately a degree in communications probably wouldn’t be worth your investment. Like a PP said, they’re a dime a dozen.