Career Guidance Top 5 most regretted majors(history is one of them)

Apr 2011
3,075
New Jersey
#71
I'm not seeing the regret for majoring in history. Maybe it is the fact some people don't view teaching as a viable career path? For me I can either go south and teach after my 4 year or do a one year masters program so I can teach up North. What's the point of learning history if you can't share it with other people?
Because you love the subject for itself.
 
Nov 2009
8,402
Canada
#72
When we choose our fields of studies, we don't necessarily think of the careers.
I have read of people who have taken general majors in Arts or Science before taking professional credentials.
Anyway, I know a couple who both husband and wife are historians.
From my experience attending university and being affiliated with one over the years, i'd say that a large majority think of careers before they go to university.
Atleast, that is true for STEM fields.

its also a factor of 1st world luxury of being able to go back to school whenever we want, lots of well paying jobs not requiring credentials, etc.
But if you go to the third world, the overwhelming majority of students think career first, because its the only shot you have and the difference is barely making enough to afford a car versus having multiple properties and vacations 10 years down the road.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,311
Brassicaland
#73
From my experience attending university and being affiliated with one over the years, i'd say that a large majority think of careers before they go to university.
Atleast, that is true for STEM fields.

its also a factor of 1st world luxury of being able to go back to school whenever we want, lots of well paying jobs not requiring credentials, etc.
But if you go to the third world, the overwhelming majority of students think career first, because its the only shot you have and the difference is barely making enough to afford a car versus having multiple properties and vacations 10 years down the road.
Still, adult education is quite common even in China.
Many have entered the work force and earn their credentials later.
 
#74
This is pretty understandable.

I am an avid fan of history and i cannot see myself ever taking history as a major, unless i am retired, bored and rich.

History education is a big fail. Investing time and money into something that isn't very employable is not a smart career choice. As people get older, they realize this: they are either 'stuck' in their jobs due to dearth of degree related job options or having being forced to branch out due to repeated failures in securing jobs in the said field.
You might say the same of business and science graduates. Even the odd law graduate. Most highly paid jobs require a degree, it's that simple, even the non-vocational ones. And also, university isn't just about learning a trade, it's about networking and putting yourself out there. People who sit at home working a dead end job are not going to achieve much compared to people who move to a new city to attend a prestigious university, where they can make contacts. It's about who you know not what you know.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,215
Albuquerque, NM
#75
"It's about who you know not what you know."

One might get a job from family and/or friends on the basis of a sunny disposition and a fond relationship, but unless the work gets done to an acceptable standard it is all for naught.

To perform successfully in most professional positions a person has to be able to:

1. Be an accomplished communicator skillful in use of the English language, whether spoken or written. One of the marks of professionalism is mastery of the specialized vocabulary in the profession. The foundation of skillful language is a sound grasp and use of English grammar, and the ability to write clear, effective prose. If a person gets their news from television, and hasn't formed habits of avidly reading, their chances of success in most professional positions is limited.

2. Handle more than the basics of making change. In the sciences, technology, and engineering fields, success on the job may require more than Plain & solid Geometry and Algebra. Even in the less mathematically oriented positions higher math is commonly required. Would you hire and keep a friend, or relative as a CPA level book-keeper if the friend had only the vague notions about book-keeping, taxes, and budgets? Knowledge of statistics is essential for using polls, analyzing most business functions, and identifying trends and forecasting trend outcomes. If your son-in-law can't construct, or properly read, statistics, charts, and do the math required for analysis, its money down the drain. Kept on the job for the sake of your daughter, idiot enough to marry a slacker, you and your son-in-law will soon be a company joke. That can be a serious problem, and can threaten survival. Make the son-in-law your driver instead of the head of a department or division essential to your business.

3. Some might argue that the dead-weight employee can be compensated for by hiring qualified subordinates. Managers, after all don't have to have the same level of specialist expertise as the team/unit they manage. The manager must still be able to get the job done, and incompetent managers (without leadership skills, at the bare minimum) are dead-weight.
 
#76
"It's about who you know not what you know."

One might get a job from family and/or friends on the basis of a sunny disposition and a fond relationship, but unless the work gets done to an acceptable standard it is all for naught.

[...]
Well, I was taking all that as a given since we're talking about educated graduates. The average humanities graduate from a semi-decent university is perfectly capable of doing any non-vocational job. The real difficulty is getting into a job in the first place, not lack of basic soft skills like communication and high school level numeracy.

A degree doesn't really help you get your foot on the ladder at first glance, since what you really need is experience in a relevant role if your degree doesn't provide you with that (that's not a problem you get so much in a business or medicine degree for example). But on second glance, it's obvious that a degree can help you get your foot on the ladder: firstly you make contacts at uni who can help you get entry level roles, internships etc (either older students and alumni who help you directly, or just a peer group where everyone is applying for the same types of roles and can share experiences and information).

And secondly, many roles in humanities related sectors (i.e. anything that requires literacy: marketing, civil service, think tanks, policy research institutes, recruitment, charities, NGOs, academia and so on) require either a bachelor's degree, or more often a Master's, if you want to progress to higher salary bands once you are already in a job.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,311
Brassicaland
#77
Well, I was taking all that as a given since we're talking about educated graduates. The average humanities graduate from a semi-decent university is perfectly capable of doing any non-vocational job. The real difficulty is getting into a job in the first place, not lack of basic soft skills like communication and high school level numeracy.

A degree doesn't really help you get your foot on the ladder at first glance, since what you really need is experience in a relevant role if your degree doesn't provide you with that (that's not a problem you get so much in a business or medicine degree for example). But on second glance, it's obvious that a degree can help you get your foot on the ladder: firstly you make contacts at uni who can help you get entry level roles, internships etc (either older students and alumni who help you directly, or just a peer group where everyone is applying for the same types of roles and can share experiences and information).

And secondly, many roles in humanities related sectors (i.e. anything that requires literacy: marketing, civil service, think tanks, policy research institutes, recruitment, charities, NGOs, academia and so on) require either a bachelor's degree, or more often a Master's, if you want to progress to higher salary bands once you are already in a job.
Unfortunately, most graduates from humanities do not know where to land a job!
 
Mar 2016
946
Australia
#79
This should come as a surprise to nobody.

I'll admit that I became very impatient and somewhat irritated reading certain posts in this thread from people defending the taking of history majors in university as being not a waste of time and money. As somebody that's currently studying at university and knows many people that have graduated, I can assure you that every single person I know that's graduated with a degree in social studies or social sciences (sometimes majoring in history) has deeply regretted it and said they wished they'd studied something completely different. While some other graduates are finding work in businesses, law firms and health clinics, they're stuck either at home doing nothing or in a dead-end part time job that pays next to nothing, and all because they have "qualifications" that are so genuinely useless in the real world it's baffling that they ever thought (or were told) it was a good idea.

This has become such a huge problem with young people now (thanks in no small part to be ridiculously excessive pushing of everyone to university), that the very first things most students ask upon considering a course is "how will this help me get into a career?" Young people are rightfully concerned about this, and the actually smart ones put some deep consideration into this before choosing what to study and major in.

Now, I love history. I really do. Biographies and military histories have almost entirely replaced my fictional reading, I greatly enjoy posting on here, occasionally discussing history with friends and family if they're interested in it, and even sometimes attempting to write stories based on history.

But... none of that means I think it should be studied at a university for the ridiculous timeframe of like 2-3 years and for thousands of dollars. History is a fantastic hobby/personal interest to have, but going to university with the intention of paying thousands of dollars and spending years to study it is a really bad idea. I understand that people will tell you (especially university employees trying to sell their university to you) to "choose what you're interested in", but that should only go so far. Do not sacrifice a viable and realistic career opportunity solely for your own personal interest or enjoyment of a subject. Personal enjoyment does not give you the means to buy a house, start a family, save for retirement, etc.

And as for people saying studying history makes you smarter or more 'aware' of things... no. Come on, seriously. That's gotta be one of the most condescending, elitist things I've ever had the displeasure of reading. Most of the smartest and more aware people I know haven't even gone to university. You know what they have done though? Gotten a good job with good pay and built a secure life from that.

I'm not trying to be smug or arrogant here, I just really want young people (aka people my age) to realise there is a considerable difference between a personal interest and a viable career opportunity. Please, please be realistic and think of your future. I know far too many people that are miserable because of the courses they picked in university. It's something I've certainly taken into consideration and have urged others to as well.
 
Dec 2011
1,301
#80
This should come as a surprise to nobody.

I'll admit that I became very impatient and somewhat irritated reading certain posts in this thread from people defending the taking of history majors in university as being not a waste of time and money. As somebody that's currently studying at university and knows many people that have graduated, I can assure you that every single person I know that's graduated with a degree in social studies or social sciences (sometimes majoring in history) has deeply regretted it and said they wished they'd studied something completely different. While some other graduates are finding work in businesses, law firms and health clinics, they're stuck either at home doing nothing or in a dead-end part time job that pays next to nothing, and all because they have "qualifications" that are so genuinely useless in the real world it's baffling that they ever thought (or were told) it was a good idea.

This has become such a huge problem with young people now (thanks in no small part to be ridiculously excessive pushing of everyone to university), that the very first things most students ask upon considering a course is "how will this help me get into a career?" Young people are rightfully concerned about this, and the actually smart ones put some deep consideration into this before choosing what to study and major in.

Now, I love history. I really do. Biographies and military histories have almost entirely replaced my fictional reading, I greatly enjoy posting on here, occasionally discussing history with friends and family if they're interested in it, and even sometimes attempting to write stories based on history.

But... none of that means I think it should be studied at a university for the ridiculous timeframe of like 2-3 years and for thousands of dollars. History is a fantastic hobby/personal interest to have, but going to university with the intention of paying thousands of dollars and spending years to study it is a really bad idea. I understand that people will tell you (especially university employees trying to sell their university to you) to "choose what you're interested in", but that should only go so far. Do not sacrifice a viable and realistic career opportunity solely for your own personal interest or enjoyment of a subject. Personal enjoyment does not give you the means to buy a house, start a family, save for retirement, etc.

And as for people saying studying history makes you smarter or more 'aware' of things... no. Come on, seriously. That's gotta be one of the most condescending, elitist things I've ever had the displeasure of reading. Most of the smartest and more aware people I know haven't even gone to university. You know what they have done though? Gotten a good job with good pay and built a secure life from that.

I'm not trying to be smug or arrogant here, I just really want young people (aka people my age) to realise there is a considerable difference between a personal interest and a viable career opportunity. Please, please be realistic and think of your future. I know far too many people that are miserable because of the courses they picked in university. It's something I've certainly taken into consideration and have urged others to as well.
Well, the major problem with history is one that is not directly connected with the skills it teaches. Rather, it is that many who don't know what else to do or who are somehow, someway, kind of are interested in history, take the major and end up regretting it. History opens many doors, if you are willing to invest time, work and a certain amount of curiosity to look where and how you can get and utilize the skills you need to land a job. It also closes a lot if you are not willing to do so. If you want to get a job with a history degree, you have to be more curious and more active than, say, an engineering graduate. And that's the problem with the majority of students, they often choose the major half-heartedly.