The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers a plethora of information that can be interpreted many different ways. The optimist will quickly realize that all of the history related fields pay well. The pessimist will readily notice that the number of applicant far outweighs the number of history related jobs. The realist will accept these realities and recognize that all of these jobs have a modest, modest meaning at par with the national average, job outlook percentage. The real benefit of the Bureau of Labor Statistics webpages is the descriptions that explain the quick facts. In order to garner a history related position, one needs something beyond the traditional educational experience; practical skills, hands-on work experience, and a competitive spirit. Rather than being distraught with the current job market, I was assured that I am in the right program. Getting a Masters in Applied Historical Research will allow me to fill the gaps of traditional academia while simultaneously boosting my chances to stand out above other candidates in whatever history related field I choose to enter. Something else this website reminded me of was that historical research does not necessitate a historical position; people in the MAHR program are especially equipped to compete in a variety of job markets. Sometimes looking for a job entails thinking outside of the traditional box and looking at where you can best utilize your skills and interests.
Bob Beatty’s article contained great insights about the public history; although, I wish he would have left the personal stories and clichés out. The best sentence I found in any of this week’s articles was Bob Beatty’s “the process of doing history was, and should remain, the primary focus of academic history.” He goes on to say that it isn’t always possible for public history programs to teach skills and provide service learning opportunities. My questions is why isn’t this possible? If public history programs can’t teach the necessary skills and provide the necessary opportunities then what are they doing? What is the point of a “public history” program if no one is learning about doing history? This should not be a question of possibility or need, there is no point in having a public history program that can’t train people to do history for the public! He concludes his article stating that it is okay for public history students to not receive formal training in museum work, but I completely disagree. If someone wants a museum job, they need to be working with museum things, they need to be studying museum things, and they need to be doing museum things. Beatty’s article can be boiled down to some great sounds bytes that fail to truly benefit public history students.
Scott Stroh’s article read like a “How To” article for eternally happy and ambitious people ready to change the world. He explains that organizations must inspire, challenge, question, nurture, inform, educate…the list goes on and on. At what point does a descriptive list still help people? Rather than provide bullet points of what an organization does, Stroh should add prose explaining why these things are imperative for a successful, beneficial organization. Moreover, Stroh should explain how to do these things. By this I do not mean that he should list eight ridiculously simple steps to, seemingly, succeed in life. “Be relentlessly positive.” “Take action on your passion.” Really? This article lacks depth and life application.