Careers with a history degree..(14 Posts)
Just wondering who out there has a history degree and what career do you have? I am currently halfway through a BA in History with the OU and expecting our first baby at the end of March. The plan is for me to be a SAHM for the next couple of years until baby goes to nursery and I finish my degree, then I am guessing I would need to do some kind of postgrad training to get started in my career... whatever that will be ! This is the first time I have actually felt good at something in about 10 years and I'm loving it.
I was thinking of maybe doing a secondary PGCE to teach history at secondary school level as that seems to be the most logical link to a career that relates to my degree...but what other options are there out there for history grads? Before I went on maternity leave I worked as a PA ... not something I want to go back to !!
The key thing will be for you to choose a post grad with good employment opportunities at the end as presumably you will have incurred debts/fees doing the post grad so need to be able to earn at the end? Realistically, when do you think you will be starting work? How many years away will it be and I wonder whether you could get any work experience before then so you aren't finishing with qualifications but no work experience
Hi, Did a History degree a long time ago, then applied on the milk round (graduate recruiting round) for usual management training schemes, big companies like Procter &Gamble, Lever Brothers, M&S, Banks, Accountancy firms etc. etc. all run management training schemes for new graduates. Found a good History degree made me very marketable, and ended up in marketing, speaking from the other end of my career I think it gives you lots of transferrable skills, the ability to analyse, identify issues, develop hypotheses, a good understanding of modern society, writing skills etc. There is a slight shift to recruiting to specialisms within marketing from vocational degrees but the ability to see the bigger picture, not necessarily learnt on a vocational degree, is going to be a skill that will become more and more important at higher levels of management. You can do specialist postgrads, important that they either lead or give exemption from the Institute of Marketing and / or Market Research Society qualifications. I actually did an MBA five years into my career, sponsored by my employer, which gave me the full haul.
Those coming out of my MBA seeking a career change all got into good careers in banking, marketing etc. and have gone on to be successful (One of the top 10 MBAs in the UK and top 30 in the world though)
Now I too am back at uni, using my History in a postgrad though helped by my marketing skills paying extremely well in terms of doing odd days facilitating senior management planning away days etc. Have to say working in marketing was much easier to juggle with childcare responsibilities than my academic institution
Important if you do decide to go the management route to think through your PA experience which is bound also to have given you transferrable skills / experience.
Hiya, thanks both if you for your replies. Will probably wait until baby gets his free nursery hours before I will l
Look at working again, even, in the meantime think I definitely want to try and get some work exp in a few different fields . Something along the lines of working in education/ social work appeals to me... Hadn't really considered anything like marketing but it does sounds pretty interesting and what you were saying about being able to freelance definitely sounds appealing copthallresident what history postgrad are you doing?
My DS is currently in the last year of Uni studying history and has secured a place as a grad marketing trainee in a v large company starting in September.
He really didn't know what to do with his degree but loved history, so he did loads of unpaid of work experience in various areas during Uni holidays such as in law, museum work, PR, journalism and marketing and at Uni was deputy editor of the Uni student newspaper and did other Uni journalism writing and editing too throughout his time there.
He applied to lots and lots of graduate schemes and was delighted to get this job as the company took only 5 people into their marketing section this year.
Copthall, it's really interesting to me that you took an MBA, presumably to further your career. DS's A levels (apart from History of course) include Maths and English, both at A* so he is a real "all rounder" and I hope this will help him to succeed in marketing in the long term.
If you are thinking of teaching, there are lots of opportunities to train directly with a school. You still get a PGCE (depending on what course you choose) but some places are funded. (Look at Schools Direct or Teaching Schools).
Teaching fits in really well with DCs (holidays), and offers good chances for progressing your career.
Thanks greyvix, had a look on the schools direct page and it would definitely be something I would be interested in in. Couple of years, didn't realise you could get paid to train as a secondary teacher ! I'm not sure if you are a teacher or work in education but If you do do you know the best way of getting some work Exp at a senior school? There are several schools near me and I would like to be able to just go in and observe lessons/do reading etc with any pupils that need it. I've had work experience in a primary school before where I just sat in with a class and helped out a bit but not sure if there is a call for that kind of help within a secondary school?
Hi I'm working on a PhD looking at how a society's experience of trauma emerges in their literature, looking at how the experience of other cultures varies from that of Jewish culture following the holocaust, which has been the subject of considerable study.
OU do their own PGCE , my friend gained their qualification a few years ago now and was very pleased with the course / level of support etc.
The Wiener Library in WC1 area of London is likely to be helpful for you Copthallresident, if you don't already use it.
pippop Thanks, the emphasis in my research is on the other cultures, since the Jewish experience is well studied and documented. I am lucky to have lots of amazing libraries to use in London
I have just picked up your queries about schools direct. You should be able to do some observation at a local secondary school. Try to find one that has some contact with a teaching school, as there are opportunities to do up to 9 days' observation/ helping out at schools. I am a teacher and we have observations most weeks. It would be viewed favourably if you did choose to apply for some sort of post grad teaching scheme.
I do not know where you are situated, but there are lots of opportunities in Surrey; I would think other areas would be similar.
Good luck, whatever you decide.
One relative studied history and became an archivist. Another worked for an MP, another went into finance - regulation and then accountancy. Hasn't the odd history graduate become Prime Minister? Sky's the limit.
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