I'm currently at a community college with my general ed, and undergraduate units for a major in History ready to transfer to a university. But think more and more about my choice, I'm certain of my interest in the subject, but question my path after graduation. If I'll get my masters, and become a educator. Fulfilling my desire to be a mentor, and teach the subject which inspired me, or joining the corporate job market to acquire wealth and develop more skills.
What kind of person am I if I get a History Degree?
What jobs are available for a History Degree?
Am I setting myself up for success?
My sister was a history major, graduated in 2012. She spent her summers interning in national and state parks, leading nature hikes, etc., for youth and adults. She's now in the Peace Corps, working on a literacy project overseas. I imagine when she finishes with the Peace Corps she'll be well teed up for a number of civil service and education jobs.
A liberal arts degree is not a path to nowhere, if you take advantage of all available opportunities.
become an Army doctor. 30 days leave each year. Be part of future history. Travel. Retire around 40 just in time to start a civilian medical career.
A liberal arts degree is supposed to provide you with a few things; the ability to look critically at facts, form a logical argument based on those facts, and deliver your argument appropriately. Whatever focus you have while earning your degree is just that, a focus. I don't know anyone who works in their degree field outside of technical fields. Study what you like, it's the work which matters, not the major focus.
Working in a liberal arts field, not teaching: Dad was a biology major as an undergrad, but his graduate work was in history. He testified as an expert once. He had to teach to get the qualifications, though.
If you can stand lawyers, I always recommend parlaying any expertise into being an expert witness. Lawyers (actually, our clients) pay experts better than lawyers are paid.
Go pre-med then med school. There is a serious doctor shortage and I am getting older. As a doctor you will be paid well enough to indulge your love of history through travel, digs, museums, and sponsorship better than 99.9% of the history majors.
My mother's a doctor. She had to wait at least 5 years, maybe 10, before she had 14 days off in a row for a 2-week vacation. That's after 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, and 5 years of residency. Her first 20 years after residency, she traveled internationally 3 times (though a lot of that had to do with preferring to use travel time to visit family).
Your college career development center can answer question 2.
Undergrad was History(and political science). I was a computer tech for the last 15 years(graduating with MBA next week)
If you love history, stick with it as an academic major, but just don't expect to find a lot of jobs for a freshly-hatched historian. The skills and discipline needed to be a successful college student tend to be what the more sophisticated recruiter looks for in a candidate. When I graduated, I found the recruiters were after grads above a certain level GPA, and my current employer specifies only a Bachelor's degree for a number of very well-paid positions.
I would strongly recommend not going to college for history. Unless you have a lot of money and would not mind the excessive tuition costs.
I lived and breathed history entering college and decided that I wanted to teach high school students. The history classes were not what I expected. Some of the professors were good, but a lot of them had political motives and the class descended into nothing but listening to dry nonsense.
The books they made us read were books written by them or by someone close to them. They cost an average of $80-$200 and were poorly written. I started to hate going to class and I put on $40,000 in debt graduating college. The student loans I acquired stressed me out all through college that I could not really enjoy anything.
I loved student teaching though and it was only because I had control on what to teach and how to weed out the material that would put students to sleep. I loved teaching high schoolers. But there are no jobs in the field for someone with no connections. For every history teacher spot there are over 500 applicants. The career fairs were meat markets and I despised the vulnerability of waiting over an hour in line to sit in on an interview, only to be brushed aside after 5 minutes by the arrogant interviewer.
Thankfully, I found a union job and paid off my loans, but I was not hired because of my history degree. What caught my boss's attention was that I had a martial arts background listed in my resume and that got me the job. If you love history, study it as a hobby. Your wallet will thank you.
Universities need to remove degree programs that are not in demand because the 18 year olds are suckered into them by the advisors. It's criminal how they tell students there are always opportunities but once they take your money they leave you to fend for yourself.