Is History an "analytical" degree subject (needed for grad job)

(18 Posts)
Copthallresident Tue 27-Nov-12 09:01:04

Ball and Hoolihan are an agency who specialise in the established routes of career progression in marketing so a trawl through their site may be of interest to your son. There is a getting started section and I would agree with the advice not to limit yourself to established graduate schemes, M&S pull above their weight in the milk round in terms of the opportunities they offer graduates in the longer term. www.ballandhoolahan.co.uk/

Copthallresident Tue 27-Nov-12 08:36:05

I would add that there is a snobbery in Marketing and doing your apprenticeship in a FMCG company in product management is seen as the best start. Retail would be looked on less favourably. However having built my career in business to business, with even a diversion into account management, I progressed much more quickly to getting some strategic responsibility and having a wider and more interesting experience of marketing from very early on.

Copthallresident Mon 26-Nov-12 23:22:09

It doesn't surprise me, I know many good people who moved on from Marks and Spencer because they felt stifled and that there was a lack of progression. It doesn't have a reputation for innovation in marketing either.

I would suggest companies that are truly marketing led (M&S remains operations / finance led) or consultancies with a good reputation for their marketing consultancy, or a role in a small/ medium company where he will get a wider experience of marketing.

Most graduate recruiters who are after real management potential will prefer candidates who have done traditional academic subjects. Business is difficult to teach in a demanding way at undergraduate level, unless it is a course developed closely with companies, and involving on the job training (and then you would wonder why they hadn't been employed by the companies they trained with). So much of it is common sense. Much better that someone gets a good academic training and then does the Chartered Institute of Marketing qualifications / Market Research Society Diploma / MBA based on some real life experience.

fabulousathome Mon 26-Nov-12 22:44:31

Marks and Spencers!

To be fair I don't think he mentioned the A level maths but I'm not sure that would have done the trick if they have a blanket policy.

TheCrackFox Mon 26-Nov-12 22:29:22

He wants to avoid retail like the plague, he has had a lucky escape.

SavoirFaire Mon 26-Nov-12 22:29:02

The more I think about this the more outraged I am. I know investment bankers who started off with a history degree. And accountants. And lawyers. And a tonne of other 'analytical' professions. Sounds like a lazy way of reducing applications to me.

Do tell us who it is so I can be sure of never buying their shares if they are a public company, as clearly they are not investing in the best talent.....

Yellowtip Mon 26-Nov-12 22:24:00

Well he's much better off without them. How incredibly narrow.

SavoirFaire Mon 26-Nov-12 21:51:55

They sound like eejits. He'd be better off elsewhere with a more enlightened view of their recruitment programme. Sounds like they have missed out on a great graduate. Did he mention his A* maths A-Level do you know? He'll get a job elsewhere though don't worry. I heard a stat recently - which I'm now going to hopelessly misquote as my memory is shocking - that something like 80% of all graduate jobs are not discipline specific. When I was applying for marketing-type jobs out of university I didn't have to have any type of specific degree - just a 2:i or higher in anything. I then had to do some tests as part of the assessment, which included VR, NVR and maths. Good luck to your DS.

fabulousathome Mon 26-Nov-12 18:50:21

Thank you for your helpful advice.

It turns out that this particular v large company (703 stores) don't consider History a suitable degree subject for their graduate marketing scheme. DS2 called them this morning. Oh well.

He does have three upcoming interviews with some other companies so hopefully he'll be OK.

Copthallresident Mon 26-Nov-12 00:11:43

fabulous I am a History graduate and had a long career in marketing and History is an excellent subject to study to prepare you for the sort of analysis involved in some areas of marketing, for instance understanding the whole picture and the factors which influence it, especially at the higher levels of marketing where you are devising strategy . However in some areas of marketing and with the approaches adopted by some companies studying STEM subjects would give you an advantage because they are looking for graduates with statistical and modelling experience to carry out detailed analysis. FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) companies in particular focus very much on statistical analysis of markets and careful targeting and measurement of campaign success. I think your son should ring but also he might like to do some research up front into that companies approach to marketing and how they employ graduates (try googling for any presentations their marketing people have done at conferances etc.). In any case as a History graduate, he would probably prefer a company that values the qualitative as well as the quantitative. One of our most successful recruitment ads was for graduates who had been working for three years in a marketing position, something along the lines of "Are you frustrated and looking to have a chance to do some genuine strategic thinking?" We were deluged!

Yellowtip Sun 25-Nov-12 21:50:20

fabulous of course History is an analytical subject. No question.

fabulousathome Sun 25-Nov-12 18:56:27

Thanks Chubfuddler. He really is keen on marketing and has already had telephone interviews with two companies having got through their online tests. He even has an interview with a real person next month for a diff company and all for grad marketing schemes.

That's why I would be a little suprised if his degree subject rules him out of applying for this one.

Chubfuddler Sun 25-Nov-12 18:51:28

If he's already studying history and has a genuine enthusiasm for the grad scheme I can't see any harm in trying. Good luck to him.

fabulousathome Sun 25-Nov-12 18:44:58

Thank you for the speedy replies (and for getting through my strange title).

I've read the link and it supports his view. No, it's not Arcadia but another well known national and international retailer.

When he's phoned them I'll post the result on here. I reckon they'll let him apply (crosses fingers optimistically).

Chubfuddler Sun 25-Nov-12 18:36:53

Is it Arcadia group? A quick google of analytical degrees revealed their grad recruitment page - they mean things like economics. History is an arts subject IMHO.

LillyofWinchester Sun 25-Nov-12 18:34:52

http://www.prospects.ac.uk/options_history_your_skills.htm

See first bullet point. I think he should apply for it.

fabulousathome Sun 25-Nov-12 18:32:38

Sorry, something went a bit wrong with my thread title!

Please read the text

fabulousathome Sun 25-Nov-12 18:31:25

DS2 is in his last year at Uni and applying for various graduate marketing trainee positions with major retailers.

One retailer limits its applications to candidates who have studied for a degree in one of three areas. Namely, marketing, a business related subject or an analytical degree.

Do you consider that a history degree would meet the criteria of "analytical"? He also has an A* in maths as one of his A levels which I hope would swing it if they are in doubt. But I've told him to ring the company so that he doesn't waste his time filling in the lengthy application form if he doesn't meet their basic criteria. It may be hard to speak to the right person and the deadline is approaching fast.

Any graduate-recruitment-type Mumsnetters know the answer.

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