Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Masters Programs in History

  1. #1
    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    7,237

    Default Masters Programs in History

    I recently graduated from SUNY StonyBrook University with a BA in History (European) and I am at a crossroads. I do not know whether to get my Masters in History or some sort of business program. I have never been big into reading or writing the things that are required by my professors, but I have been generally liked by all and managed to get a cumulative average of 3.6 with relatively minimal effort.

    I do not have any glaring or lucrative options in either direction and I can either plan to study history, accrue enormous debts and work as a teacher OR go for an MBA and work at something new that I have a miniature skill at. So here I am!

    -I am 23
    -I have no debt
    -I want to someday start a family with the girl that I am currently dating
    -I speak English with a mild knowledge of Spanish, equivalent to that of a 4-year old
    -I am a rather skilled salesman with years of luxury retail experience
    -my SAT score was a modest 1240 (old scale), taken once
    -my GPA was a 3.6


    any interesting comments or input? Any info on impressive Graduate programs in History, general wise words, catastrophic warnings, etc. would be greatly appreciated

    Feel free to move this thread to the front room, I just thought that the History Freaks might have some helpful comments or personal experiences.
    Last edited by ICantSpellDawg; 12-04-2006 at 06:30.
    "That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
    -Eric "George Orwell" Blair

    "If the policy of the government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court...the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned the government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."
    (Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, 1861).
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  2. #2

    Default Re: Masters Programs in History

    Go for the MBA is my advice. I also did a BA in History and quickly realised that for all I enjoyed it (it was more like studying for a hobby than real work) it was in fact pretty useless. Most of those who did the course with me wanted to be teachers or rather they ended up being teachers as they had little idea what else to do.

    I ended up in Financial Services after a brief spell in the Army but that ended quickly as I developed asthma. I had to begin studying all over again and it was a real shock to the system working and studying full time.

    Do the MBA as its universally recognised world wide and will inevitably get you on the road to a serious career.

  3. #3
    Guest Stig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    At the bar
    Posts
    4,215

    Default Re: Masters Programs in History

    I don't know how the American University systems compares to the Dutch (European) one, but afaik it's the same.

    Personally I'm doing Archaeology, that means 3 years of Ba and then 1 (or if I'm lucky (and get high marks, which is my goal) 2) year of Ma. Without the Master you're nowhere, yes you can get a job in theory, but there are enough people with a Master, and what would you prefer in your company?

    Yeah you can do something like a Business study, but is that a master or another new study?

    I would simply continue, make sure you get into the Master and do that

  4. #4
    Member Member Del Arroyo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    noyb
    Posts
    1,009

    Default Re: Masters Programs in History

    I know a guy who got 2 Master's degrees and enlisted in the Army at age 30.

    I also have a half-brother who loved sports and was a skilled salesman, but started his own business to please his wife's family and nearly went into the ground with it fifteen years later.

    So my advice would be that if you can't find something you like, at least find something you're good at.

  5. #5
    Kanto Kanrei Member Marshal Murat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Eye of the Hurricane (FL)
    Posts
    3,372

    Default Re: Masters Programs in History

    Just to ask about ancient history and being a professor?
    "Nietzsche is dead" - God

    "I agree, although I support China I support anyone discovering things for Science and humanity." - lenin96

    Re: Pursuit of happiness
    Have you just been dumped?

    I ask because it's usually something like that which causes outbursts like this, needless to say I dissagree completely.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Masters Programs in History

    I am a professor of history at a four-year university with some experience in the real world as well.

    I understand completely your quandary but I also think you show a good grasp of what your options might be. If you want to make money and start a family (relatively) fast and on firm foundations I would suggest avoid grad school like the plague and either go for the MBA or get a job as a salesman (if you're so inclined, but that is tough going in the beginning).

    Being a graduate student in history does tend to put you in debt but with your GPA I have a feeling you will be able to get an assistantship (teaching or graduate depending on the school you choose) but the stipend is pitiful -- you will be making less than the minimum wage in most states and you are not technicallly allowed to get another job to supplement your income.

    Starting a family is next to impossible financially, unless your partner has a real job -- you will be poor (and I mean poor) much longer than the people you graduated with in college. The work is moderately tough and you will have to apply yourself a bit more than you did as an undergrad but if you can read and write well and meet your deadlines with a few strategically timed all-nighters you should be OK. Finally, if you do choose to continue for the PhD, remember that the job market is very tight for professors and you might be forced to get a job in a place you would never have considered otherwise.

    If you are thinking of stopping with just and MA there are options in the business world - some (still rare but more and more common) businesses are looking for well-rounded people with critical-thinking skills and people I've talked to seem to think a History MA is ideal for that sort of thing. However, if you're thinking of teaching at a community college with just an MA you will probably be only able to get a part-time job (a brutal and thankless existence) in most cases because, once again, the market is tight. Public history is another option and there are many good programs for that (like working at Colonial Williamsburg or as a curator for a museum). But that is a real job and ultimately you will be making less than if you had acquired an MBA in the first place.

    However, for me at least, there is no better job than being a professor if you can make it to that level. You will never make a lot of money but you will be able to afford a solidly middle-class existence. The advantages of being a professor are legion, however.

    a. Huge amounts of free time. I "work" an average of 15-20 hours a week. I have four months of vacation time throughout the year if I choose not to teach in the summer. I never work 9-5.
    b. No boss. If you get tenure it is next to impossible to ever lose your job and tenure transfers if you get a position at another university. You are the master of your own destiny - not even administrators can tell you what to do.
    c. You work your brain constantly. You deal and talk about issues that are intellectually challenging and frankly enjoyable to tackle.
    d. You can afford a lifestyle beyond your means because, quite often, there are institutions (including your own) that are willing to pay you money to travel and attend academic conferences.
    e. You will be a published author (although it is doubtful anyone will ever read what you write aside from fellow historians).
    f. Being a teacher is rewarding and fun.

    I could go on but you get the picture. For me, being a professor at a university is the closest thing you can get to a post-modern aristocratic existence. Hope this helped! Oh and...

    g. You can use all that free time to play video games!
    Last edited by Boulis; 12-05-2006 at 14:17.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Masters Programs in History

    I knew very quickly I was far too thick to ever get a Professorship.

  8. #8
    Part-Time Polemic Senior Member ICantSpellDawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    7,237

    Default Re: Masters Programs in History

    Most people with experience tell me that hardly anyone gets a good job as a professors in history. I am starting to think about going to law school locally, passing the Bar and THEN going for my PhD. This way I could establish myself and start a family and then later get my PhD when I am comfortable in my spare time (maybe 8 years).

    I am pretty much open to any suggestions as long as they do not entail becoming a teacher for any grade 12th and under, any field ending in "ics" (ie: mathematics, physics) OR serious sciences.
    "That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there."
    -Eric "George Orwell" Blair

    "If the policy of the government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court...the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned the government into the hands of that eminent tribunal."
    (Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, 1861).
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO