Bachelors in History...am i overthinking this?

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harry in Beaumont, Texas

24 months ago

Hi,

I graduated with a Bachelors in History(minor in Spanish) and ever since I left school, I have no had confidence in my degree. Let me explain, when I first graduated, I got a job teaching spanish which i liked but not were i lived. Fast forward a few years later and besides teaching, the only other decent job that I have had was a manager position at a non profit making $13/hr and a banking position making $14/hr.

I do not know what it is, but i feel like even a degree in English/Spanish would be better than my History degree. At least with an English degree, a person can work at a publishing house, edit, do journalism, copy write and technical write. I really liked what I studied and I just feel like I cannot do those things with a degree in History. Am I right to think this or am I overthinking it? Is one BA enough or would it be better to have two? I feel like History should be on par with English, but after all the studies that have come out on the internet especially with the "not every degree is created equal" I am just not so sure yet. Can anyone here give me some insight to this?

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

24 months ago

An arts major is useful for three things:

1. Teaching. Get an MA, teach high school, or get a Dr. and teach college.
2. Being an "expert" on a cable TV show. Any special on any historical event looks for people with letters for credibiity.
3. Putting it under your drink so that the condensation doesn't ruin the wood of the table =D

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

24 months ago

Unless it's a FINE arts major, in which case you need to spend all your days doing art and all your nights waiting tables, until someone with money thinks that you're as talented as you think you are.

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my advice in Chicago, Illinois

24 months ago

a bachelor's in History will only either A) give you a job as a high school History teacher or B) open the door to pursue further education in grad school as either a historian or a lawyer. A girl I worked with in retail had her B.A. in History and she couldn't find anything so she went on to law school to become an attorney.

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harry in Beaumont, Texas

24 months ago

im not going to bother with the first comment, i really only wanted serious comments only. I have an associates in business, i know that doesn't do much but its better than nothing.

For the second comment, that is what I was afraid of, but would the situation be the same had I majored in English or Spanish? I just feel like the you can do more with those majors or would the job options be pretty much the same?

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GoGetter in East Peoria, Illinois

24 months ago

To get a job that's remotely related to your BA/BS degree you need to go the vocational route, getting a bachelor's in nursing, engineering, accounting and the like. It's been that way for years. Nothing complicated about that. Fine Arts/Humanities majors have had little opportunity to find jobs connected with their degrees aside for those fortunate enough to become professional musicians, artists, or teachers.

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Nick in Somerville, Massachusetts

24 months ago

harry in Beaumont, Texas said: im not going to bother with the first comment, i really only wanted serious comments only. I have an associates in business, i know that doesn't do much but its better than nothing.

I was being serious. You'll find out soon, if you haven't already. Your BA isn't useful for anything other than teaching. If anything, you'll get more use out of your Associates than you ever will out of your BA. Other than teaching, BA's aren't worth the paper they're on anymore. Everyone has one. You're not special.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

24 months ago

I have a B.A. in History with a minor in PolySci. I thought I had a double minor in PolySci/English, but my transcripts do not reflect as such.

All Liberal Arts degrees are kind of the same. You probably won't use your degree. What you could use are the skills you picked up in attaining these degrees. The best case scenario would be to have connections so someone could pull a string to get you into a job. I'm convinced that's why so many Big 10 people from Ohio and Michigan come to Chicago and seem to get jobs easily.

So, yeah. I have this degree. And I'm out of a job. Doesn't mean I'm stupid or unemployable. It's just hard to sell it as well as convey to them what skill you bring to the table.

Lastly, I've heard the teacher joke a billion times. No can do. I'd demolish them. :D

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

harry in Beaumont, Texas said: For the second comment, that is what I was afraid of, but would the situation be the same had I majored in English or Spanish? I just feel like the you can do more with those majors or would the job options be pretty much the same?

Pretty much the same. I am not sure what the plan was when you started school but liberal arts degrees are a dime a dozen now. You will either have to fit the job to the degree, make a connection or sink money into learning some kind of in-demand vocational skill.

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harry in Beaumont, Texas

24 months ago

Gogetter- Thanks for your response, I was afraid of that, I don't really mind teaching(after all its better than retail or fastfood!) but I was hoping that having a BA would allow me to have MANY opportunities, I noticed that my college now no longer publishes that with a degree in history you can do this, this and this..hmmm i wonder why THAT is?

Parafreegal- Wow, its nice to meet another history major that also has a liberal arts minor kinda like me.I had several questions. What is the Big 10 and what kind of jobs do people with liberal arts degrees usually get in chicago? I am thinking that a change to a more metropolitan place might help my job search. Also what kind of jobs have you been able to get with your degree if you don't mind me asking?

Bluetea-Thanks for the answer, that is what I thought. I mean a degree in history, english and spanish, while there is different subject matter, I feel like it is essentially the same. As for what I planned to do, I feel for the whole, get a liberal arts degree and you can do anything bit. I did do some research and I found some things but nothing really conclusive for or against the degree until the recession hit.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

harry in Beaumont, Texas said: I feel for the whole, get a liberal arts degree and you can do anything bit. I did do some research and I found some things but nothing really conclusive for or against the degree until the recession hit.

Its not true anymore but if you could turn back the clock, what would you do differently? Go to plumbing school? I would. LOL!

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Eric 01 in Lithonia, Georgia

24 months ago

With a liberal arts degree it will be difficult
to find a good job in this economy. Bachelors degrees
are so common now they do not carry the same
weight they used to.

A college degree is the new High School Diploma.

I worked the census in 2010 and there was a
practicing attorney on my team. Knocking
on doors like the rest of us.

Have you thought about any post graduate education?

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

harry in Beaumont, Texas said: Bluetea-Thanks for the answer, that is what I thought. I mean a degree in history, english and spanish, while there is different subject matter, I feel like it is essentially the same. As for what I planned to do, I feel for the whole, get a liberal arts degree and you can do anything bit. I did do some research and I found some things but nothing really conclusive for or against the degree until the recession hit.

Your History degree isn't worth very much in today's market but your fluency in Spanish is. Type in bilingual in the keyword field and you get a ton of new ideas.

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Bluetea in Texas

24 months ago

harry in Beaumont, Texas said: Bluetea-Thanks for the answer, that is what I thought. I mean a degree in history, english and spanish, while there is different subject matter, I feel like it is essentially the same. As for what I planned to do, I feel for the whole, get a liberal arts degree and you can do anything bit. I did do some research and I found some things but nothing really conclusive for or against the degree until the recession hit.

Your History degree isn't worth very much in the job market but your fluency in Spanish is. Type in bilingual in the keyword field and you should get a ton of new ideas.

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Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

24 months ago

I never knew what I wanted to do when I was growing up. I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up. That's part of the problem.

I came out of school with my B.A. in History thinking I was the man and everything would just sort of fall into place. I got quite the shock when that scenario didn't quite pan out.

Shortly after I got out of school, we entered a recession. I worked for the Census for a bit in the office. Then, I worked as a store manager at place that was hot at the time but then fizzled out and for all intents and purposes, um, melted into oblivion not long after I left.

That's when the recession became full blown and I couldn't get a job anywhere. I ended up going back to school for an accelerated program. I had problems getting a full-time job after completing that program and worked temp jobs somewhat steadily but not continuously for two years until I finally got a permanent job. I worked that job and then another job in this field until business at that second job dried up. And I've been unemployed and unable to land a permanent job or any temp jobs, a 30-day deal early on notwithstanding, since then.

A History degree won't really prepare you for anything in the working world, but then neither will many other degrees. (College is mostly useless. Finishing only proves you've done the required work and finished, unless you're in a technical area. Most of what you learn there is not applicable in the real world). You'll just kind of end up somewhere. You could work in insurance, government, legal and maybe some other fields. If I knew what more you could do with a History degree, maybe I'd be doing it.

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harry in Beaumont, Texas

24 months ago

eric 01- I have thought about some post graduate education. The problem is is that I suck at math, I had a really bad algebra teacher and geometry was no better. I struggled with grades like a 23 and I wasn't the only one only a handful of people passed each six weeks and everyone else ended with a 70. All I needed was for her to SLOW DOWN. Well fast forward to now and I have tried to over come my math deficiency with little success. I tell you this because I was thinking about doing an MBA, but there would be no way that I could pass the math part of the GMAT.

Parafreegal- I felt the same way when I graduated. I had accomplished a terrific feat! My mom wanted me to major in Political Science so I could be a lawyer, but I chose history instead. I was also pushed to learn and I liked it. I like reading and studying and knowing things, learning things. I guess i would call myself an "intellectual" I don't like to just read history stuff, but political science and even economics. However, those majors were not made readily available like history was. I just want to know is it possible to get a job at a business with a degree in history? or are those jobs out of reach unless you have a degree in business?

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