how is the situation of an historian in your country?

Jun 2018
10
Naples, Italy
#1
Although in my country, Italy, people who have an humanist degree should get by only with culture (italy is plenty of monuments, history, churches, libraries etc., in every single corner), the situation isn't properly in this way. After i graduated, i came across many difficulties, firstly the unclear system of recruitment to become teacher (as me, others 600.000 people in my country are looking forward the national competition). Also To become a tourist guide we have to wait our regions which after several years announce a test, but it seems always a false promise. Accademic career is only for wealthy people, you have to start with PHD, and in italian university it's pointless to try it if you don't have any backing. Even though you win a phd, the wage is very low, it's difficult to live on your own, and after three years, you are nobody for the university, but in the meanwhile you are older and without a job experience. Besides, in italy, have a phd in medieval history, for example, it's like to have an useless piece of paper (as useless as your degree in History). So, i'd like to know how the situation in your country is, better or worse?
 
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Dec 2011
1,297
#2
I cannot really say whether the situation in my country is better than it is in Italy. In general, though, I would say that many history students decide to go into history with either false expectations or for the wrong reasons.

Whether you will find a nice job after graduation from a history program depends a lot on your own effort and curiosity. You won't be taught skills to be applied in a well defined area of the economy where you will be paid a lot of money, but you can get the skills necessary to work in a niche you carve out for yourself. However, that requires thinking about what you want to do, what you can do, where money can be earned, and how to get the necessary skills and experience to do so. Many a history graduate works in HR, PR, strategy consulting, policy consulting, translation, in NGOs etc. There are many other possible careers, but whatever one does, it usually isn't enough to just study and graduate. You have to educate yourself and gain experience and skills outside your studies (languages, teaching, programming, accounting, sales, etc.) and be realistic about where you want to get (if you do not belong to the very best, you are not cut out for an academic career, if you are weak with people, tourism might not be for you etc.). The typical "dreams" of history students to get into journalism, teaching or tourism often turn out to be unattainable or unsatisfying and you need a plan B or a plan C to not get stuck.

Nonetheless, a good history degree produces very good thinkers that are both analytical in their pursuit and yet have a very good sense for social reality with advanced knowledge of certain cultures, traditions and usually, languages. Combining this with some more practical skills and experience will make for a good CV. Personally, I have received a lot of stupid comments on my history degree, but I got into three possible careers, one of which I follow primarily, and a second which I do as a side-job. So I would say, it is as hopeless as it can get if you just graduate without thinking long and hard about what you want and can do, in my country, but it is entirely possible to succeed if you really give it your all, and not hopeless, at all.
 
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