What to do with a BA in history..

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Discussions' started by Dr. Gina, Feb 9, 2004.

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  1. Dr. Gina

    Dr. Gina New Member

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    A question...


    What can one do with a BA/BS in History degree? My husband has decided to persue his BA/BS degree and wants to major in history (even though all of his education/work experience is in IT/MIS). He is looking at Excelsior College for this.

    Thanks
     
  2. airtorn

    airtorn Moderator

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    Good question. My wife is a humanities major (minoring in history) and we often wonder the same thing. Here is what we came up with - besides personal fullfillment.

    - teaching
    - working at a musuem/historic site
    - go to grad school
    - fill a square for jobs that require a bachelors degree (no specific major)
    - communications field (liberal art degrees are usually writing intensive)
    - government and foreign service jobs

    Here is an example of a current job ad for history majors. Scroll down to the Director of Education position. http://www.florida-arts.org/jobs/positions.htm

    Or try this one - Assistant Curator of Programs. http://www.co.oakland.mi.us/arts/artists/job_openings.html
     
  3. Mary A

    Mary A Member

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    I asked myself that very question back in the 80s. As a "mature" adult trying to get the fastest degree possible, it turned out that with all of the various credits I had, History was the result. It helped that I loved history and I planned to teach - I mean what else does one do with a history degree. Along about my senior year I began to think there might be other options and at Cal State Fullertone at least they had a course aptly titled: What do with History if you don't want to teach". Its other title was Public History. Do some research in Publich history - there is work in archives, restoration, museum work, and lots of other things I can't recall at the moment. Publishing is also a field for historians. The bottom-line for me was it got me interested in Oral History. My project for the course was to manage the Public History conference (easier than writing a 25 page research paper with 4 kids at home) at which I was introduced to Dr. Eric Boehm - founder of ABC-CLIO (historians will know this well!). I did his oral history and helped to found ISIM, now Aspen University...

    I haven't left my history roots too far behind. Last year I authored an entry in "Encyclopedia of Women in the American West" on women drivers, so my degree in history has continued to serve me well.

    Mary
     
  4. Tireman4

    Tireman4 member

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    Well,

    Hummm. You can teach. You can go into government. Some of my fellow classmates went to law school. I chose to go to grad school. I will tell you this. This is my sermon I give my students. History is great. It soothes the mind and enlightens the soul. Be forewarned, it can break your heart. I have the scars to prove it. I tell my students, if you major in history and you are not going to law school or government, double major. I hate to blunt, but it was pointed out to me at an early age.
     
  5. drwetsch

    drwetsch New Member

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  6. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

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    Work in a museum (I do that on weekends), become a journalist, work in politics, work for National Park Service, work in a company archive dept, be a guide for a tourist company, enter law school.
     
  7. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Active Member

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    History is as useful as any other liberal arts degree which is to say very useful indeed for training you to think.

    Santana was right.:)
     
  8. MarkIsrael@aol.com

    [email protected] New Member

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    My wife Rosie took a Creating Writing course from Harvard Extension: "Advanced Fiction: Writing the Historical Novel". The novel she's been developing has many exciting ingredients: witchcraft, sex, time travel, and a new perspective on a historical character already famous from other people's novels. It should be a best-seller.
     
  9. Tireman4

    Tireman4 member

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    When it comes out, tell us. I will make sure my library gets it. Tell her good luck for me!
     
  10. tcnixon

    tcnixon New Member

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    My wife took her B.A. in history and became a social worker. It has worked out well for her. When she applied to graduate school last year in school psychology, she did have to complete a few more courses, but that was it.



    Tom Nixon
     
  11. GENO

    GENO New Member

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    What do you do with a BA in History?

    You get a law degree and run for political office - they haven't outsourced that occupation yet.

    My occupational hazard is,my occupation just ain't around

    -Jimmy Buffett
     
  12. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

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    No one used the "Do you want fries with that?" joke. How disappointing. ;)
    Jack
    (currently under the influence of Ny-Quil and not entirely responsible)
     
  13. Tireman4

    Tireman4 member

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    Jack,

    It would hurt too much. I have used my BA and MA to....Work 10 years cleaning cars at Avis. Yes, I said cleaning cars. I worked 1 year at Luby's (cafeteria). Three years at Firestone. All this with my degrees in history. So, if forethought is not used, you can be left out in the cold. How about.... Ma'am " those Bridgestones look great on your car. They are the best in the business" Does that suffice....:)
     
  14. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

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    Yes, Michael, that's close enough. Good luck with that Texas program.
    Jack
    (the Ny-Quil is really starting to kick in now)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2004
  15. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

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    Here's a thought for you folks. My BA is in English. My friends thought it was an "advanced degree in unemployment". I have worked exclusively in IT and Communications for many years and completed the BA because I have yet to read any managerial job announcement or description that did not require the ability to read, write, and communicate well with others. My thought was to round out technical training and skills with what I lacked. This thought has served me well over the years. It also has served my employees well as my literate abilities have merited them some nice awards and bonuses.

    Your efforts to expand your minds and interests outside of direct money making degrees have benefited all the folks with which you share knowledge and interact daily. I, for one, applaud your efforts.
     
  16. -kevin-

    -kevin- Resident Redneck

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    And on another note. There is a "History" channel on cable. Sure don't see anyone clamoring to have an "English" channel, so there must be more than a passing interest in the field...:D
     
  17. Kirkland

    Kirkland New Member

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    Does it not seem that History covers half of the known universe, with Future the other half, and Present a passing phenomenon and catalyst?
     
  18. Tireman4

    Tireman4 member

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    Dear Fed,

    To be sure, there are many who like to study history as a hobby or interest. Our genealogical library branch of the Houston Public Library is always full. My dad is a History Channel nut. You can't tear him away. As far as history being a job, then the avenues are somewhat tricky to navigate. I have a book full of adventures within my goal of achieving my ultimate goal... the Phd. As I stated in the early post, you must use forethought in regard to wanting to make it a career. Remember,( I will then get off my soapbox) history as a hobby and history as a career are two totally entities.
     
  19. BoogieRambler

    BoogieRambler New Member

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    Here are a few helpful websites:

    http://www.theaha.org/pubs/careers/Index.html

    http://www.career.pdx.edu/majorhistory.htm

    http://www.history.villanova.edu/careers.htm

    http://www.history.villanova.edu/careers.htm

    http://www.simmons.edu/resources/libraries/crl/history.html

    Here is an interesting book that might prove useful: Great Jobs for History Majors by Julie Degalan & Stephen Lambert.

    Good luck!
     
  20. Tracy Gies

    Tracy Gies New Member

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    A degree in English is also good preparation for a career in technical writing, one of the best-paying writing jobs around.
     

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