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  • History/Political Science as a major?

    I was recently accepted into a few colleges, and one of the majors I was looking at for one of them was their degree in History/Political Science. I was wondering if majoring in something like that is a good thing in today's job market. Now I'd rather not have answers like "if you love it, do it", I'd like to see some more concrete thoughts then that. Thanks.
    "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

    George W. Bush

  • #2
    Study something that will lead to a profession: doctor, lawyer, engineer, biologist, chemist etc... Keep History as a hobby. Otherwise you're wasting your four years and a lot of money.

    I know. I have a BA in History amd a MA in West European Studies. I work for the government. But that is mostly because of my military experience. Don't get me wrong I like my job and everthing I've done, but the traditonal professions are more worth your while.

    There are not that many jobs that require the skills of a historian. You most likley will go on to something else or trach in college. BTW, most public school systems won't let you teach history because you won't have their education mafia education degree. Who cares if you know anything about history and historical research and analysis.


    Better yet, go become a Mercedes-Benz mechanic and skip college. They can make $90k plus!
    Last edited by Blackcloud6; 21 Jan 05, 22:25.
    Blackcloud6

    Refighting World War II - One hex at a time!

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    • #3
      I concur wholy with Blackclouds analsis. Get a degree that makes money and use that to fuel your research into history. Besides once enrolled at a major university nothing is excluding you from using their library to peruse history without some proffesor's slant.

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      • #4
        unfortunatly I have to agree. I reasoned long ago that there is no future in the past.
        Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedy. -- Ernest Benn

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        • #5
          Speaking as one in the health care profession.....look around you everyone is getting old. Healthcare is a good bet .
          As lord and master of your grill, you will welcome any opportunity to display your grilling prowess.
          Mario Batali, 2006

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          • #6
            I just sent out applications for a few four year schools to get my BA (Will finish AA degree at a community college) and I chose history as my major. Everyone has told me the exact same thing, choose something that will help you get a job. Oh well, I chose something I would enjoy studying. A BA degree in anything will help you get a job.

            Advice: Be a cop Good pay, benefits, fun, there will always be crime so you will always have a job and you can have a degree in anything... most cops say get a degree in anything buy criminal justice because they teach you everything in academy after you get hired anyway. I worked as a service officer for a year at a PD and heard a lot of advice about schooling.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Lt. Dan
              one of the majors I was looking at for one of them was their degree in History/Political Science. I was wondering if majoring in something like that is a good thing in today's job market
              http://www.cia.gov/employment/index.html
              Best regards, Major H
              [email protected]

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              • #8
                I did two searches at the Occupational Outlook Handbook website, one for History and one for Political Science.

                History

                Political Science
                Stay Alert, Stay Alive!

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                • #9
                  History is nice for a hobby unless you're going into teaching or a niche into government; as a 'bread-winning' career field, I'd look for greener pastures, and they shouldn't be too hard to find. Poli-Sci... well... you'll have a job if you latch on with winners and nothing if you don't. Neither translates very well into a career outside teaching or government (that does seem repetitive given the two majors doesn't it?)
                  If voting could really change things, it would be illegal.

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                  • #10
                    Major in something you enjoy. The purpose of an undergraduate degree is to obtain a fairly well rounded education. If you major in accounting or engineering simply bacause you think they are shortcuts to post-graduate employment, you may be disappointed. Most college students wind up in professions they did not envision as freshmen. If you major in something you genuinely like, you are more likely to excel academically. I am not saying that you should totally discount future employment prospects, but your focus in college should be your education not job training.
                    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

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                    • #11
                      Remember that most BAs have majors and minors. You could consider combining both a practical and a preferred course of study.

                      I am not even close in my career for what I majored or minored in. However, if I had not taken the course of study I did, events would not have brought to my current field. You never know.

                      Follow Doc's advice. Pursue something you enjoy. Know how many stock brokers studied finance? You can probably count them on one hand. Most acquired English or History degrees.

                      If you don't waste the time, you will have opportunity in college to expore employment possiblities, with the luxury of having something to lean on for four years.
                      Retreat hell, we just got here. Every Marine, a rifleman.

                      Never let the facts get in the way of the truth.

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                      • #12
                        I have BSocSci double majoring in Politics and International Relations, with hons in strategy and defence. The US is different to Oz, but here are my (and those who graduated with me experiences)

                        My employment - I got headhunted by a mining logistics company to do political analysis for future ventures. The two main reasons I got that gig was because I'm fluent in a few langauges (specifically Indonesian), and that I'd been in a hot zone before. My degree meant very little.

                        my options now are either local politics (doubtful, positions tend to go to partyy members of long standing), government depts (Foreign Affairs, Trade or Defence) or the intelligence/Federal Police services. All of these take new politics grads, and I assume the US govt is the same.

                        However, to get into these positions you must have done further study - a plain BA or somesuch will not get you a job, you need at least Hons or a MA, or preferably a PhD.

                        guys I went through my course with ended up in the following positions;

                        2 in state government depts
                        3 in federal govt depts\
                        2 in private sector
                        12 in Dept of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
                        4 in OGA (other Government Agencies, ie intel services)

                        but speaking to a american mate who has similar qualifications he basically said the US Federal govt is the biggest employer.

                        the chance of getting a grad level job straight out though depends on the world situation at the time - ie pre-9/11 it was a hard to get a job, 3months after 9/11 you had your pick of whatever, and you could bargain hard for perks (like better superannuation, salary packaging etc)

                        In the US, and if you do go with it, my best suggestion would be to get an internship with any govt department at the earliest possibility - will give you a taste of being a civil servant, and whether you're that interested.

                        To be honest, I've been lucky with my degree - I've had a chnace to travel and a very decent wage. Most of the guys I did graduate with are bureaucrats stuck in an office with nowehere else to go. But then some are also overseas at various Australian embassies.

                        as mentioned above - do what you like, ont what you think will get you a job - I spent the 1st 2.5 years at uni doing physics because I thought it would get me a better job, not because I enjoyed it; I have no regrets, but I also relaised it wasn't for me pretty quickly - imagine doing something you don't like for 20 years and then finding out it's too late to do something else.
                        Now listening too;
                        - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

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                        • #13
                          If you get your bachelor's in Education, and follow up with your masters in history, then you do have something that will get you a job. The Education degree will get you in any of the primary/secondary schools, and the masters in history will admit you into the post-secondary environment (though admittedly you might want a PhD.).

                          It was said before, to get a degree in something you like, not in something you think will get you a job. Take it from a former Aerospace Engineering turned History Student--The Doctor was Right.
                          Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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                          • #14
                            Another consideration is not to go to college right away. I'm not so don't go, but maybe it might be best to go off and do some other things first, like join the military or do some adventurous job or even a religious misson. This way you'll gain some maturity and learn something about yourself. Maybe you go put your toe tin the water of some jobs to see if you would really like them before committing the extensive time and money to college. When I went to college, the guys who just got out of the military seemed to get more out of it and know more what you are doing. College is an investment (and an expensive one) for your future. Nobody says you have to rush into it. I think way too many people go before they are ready, have the maturity to get the full experience and just don't know what they are there for. And the schools will gladly take their money.
                            Blackcloud6

                            Refighting World War II - One hex at a time!

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                            • #15
                              Also, check out public history. It is a good degree if you want to run a museum or something of that nature.
                              Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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