Regardless of the realities of the job market for historians in academia, I know that I’m stubborn. I want to get a PhD, I want to teach at the college level, I want to research, and I want to write. But I can definitely appreciate the wealth of “back-up plans” that are available when the inevitable happens and I don’t get the job that I want.
I’m intrigued by the idea of exhibit design. A hundred years ago, I wanted to go to art school, and the idea of combining multiple personal passions into a job is… while still seemingly unrealistic… a tempting one. The folks at West Office have put together some really cool looking spaces.
I’ve learned in the last year that I have absolutely no idea what I’m good at, and what I’m suited to do for the rest of my life. Reading about these different careers keep me hopeful that if it turns out that I totally suck at the whole academia thing, I might have a plan B,C, D… X…Y… oh look, I’ve depressed myself again.
I just wonder how prepared history majors might be for the outside world when they realize that being a historian isn’t a black and white gig. Once you get deep into the major, as a junior and senior undergrad, it’s difficult to get a glimpse of the outside world again before you graduate. Ages ago, I had a conversation with Shiann about how history majors should be required to take a statistics class. I also wonder now if we should be required to take a business class or two, as it might better prepare those who wish to pursue careers outside of the ivory tower.