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My future...

Article about: Hi guys! I'm going a bit off topic here I know. Let me talk to you a bit about my background first. My name is Larry and I live in Montreal Québec in Canada (for those of you who have not he

  1. #1

    Default My future...

    Hi guys!
    I'm going a bit off topic here I know. Let me talk to you a bit about my background first. My name is Larry and I live in Montreal Québec in Canada (for those of you who have not heard about the province of Québec we are basicly the last "territory" in the Americas that has french as the 1st language). I'm am a 20 year old and currently studying economics in college. I have been surrounded by history since childhood and developped an intrest in 20th century history early in my teens. During the last few years my intrest in history got sidetracked because I was getting a degree in music. In the last year or so I came to realise that my intrest for history was very much alive and it was something that I enjoyed more than music (I still play the bass but a lot less). More recently I started my bachelors degree in economics but I really dont know if thats my cup of tea. I am thinking about studying history full time and making my eternal passion my job! Since we are all history buffs here I was wondering if any of you took the road I'm thinking about taking. Any comments would be greatly appreciated and I really hope that I'm not boring you guys with all of my rambling!

  2. #2

    Default re: My future...

    Not at all Larry good on you for doing what your heart says rather than your head,wish i had taken up collecting years ago when items were a lot more available and affordable too,plus i would have been at my happiest doing a job that involved history of some sort of capacity,oh well thats how life turns out sometimes,regards minnie.

  3. #3

    Default re: My future...

    My advice would be to get qualified and obtain a career in something that pays well and study history as a hobby. If you earn enough money you can spend your free time studying and publishing on history and even switch to it as a career later in life when you are on a firm financial footing, as most people who study history or a similar subject end up doing something else or as in my case as a professional archaeologist, being badly paid and mostly working on dig sites of little interest and mostly being hassled by builders to get out of their way.

    Sorry if this a pessimistic outlook on the academic route, but most who follow this path fail to achieve their goals and even those that do often find out that academia is not what it used to be, or at least that is the case in the UK these days. My wife is a professor at a university in Holland and is also a senior lecturer at a university in the UK and the latter university has had its budget cut to such a low point that there are no departmental admin or support staff and she spends a large % of her time doing secretarial tasks and has almost no time to undertake research anymore, which was the main point in following that route in the first place. She is also given a very small amount of time to prepare lectures which means that the quality of teaching in her department has also declined, which is a shame for those who have paid the fees to be there. All the staff in her department are suffering from the same situation and staff moral is at an all time low and this situation is replicated at most universities in the UK at this time.

    Sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear and hopefully the situation in Canada is much better and following your dreams is a viable option.


    Whatever its just an opinion.

  4. #4

    Default re: My future...

    I agree with Jerry. Get schooled and trained for a solid career and keep history as a passionate hobby. In the long run, it will pay off in spades. Even if your job or life gets monotonous, you will always be able to keep it interesting and enjoyable by indulging in your hobby that you love so much.

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  5. #5

    Default re: My future...

    I also thought of studying history in my future to have a job related to it, but I realized that I should have already picked a different school two years ago. Now that I think about it, it will be better for me to keep history as a hobby rather than a full time job, this would make it feel like work (duh) rather than a hobby I enjoy.

    Oh and by the way, Im back!

  6. #6

    Default re: My future...

    I am at the University of North Carolina right now studying for my Bachelor's Degree in History, I am in my third year. I'll tell you the truth, if I had any doubts that history was not for me, I would change my major immediately. Think about it, this is a huge decision that will affect the rest of your life. If you decide to stay with a major that doesn't make you happy, then prepare for an unfulfilling and dull occupation that awaits you in the future. The best advice I can give is to do what your heart tells you. So what if the job market isn't great, as long as you are doing what you love that is all that matters.

    Just a quick story: After my dad graduated highschool, he went to college to pursue a degree in engineering. He always liked engineering and felt it was the path for him. He worked hard all through college, juggling 5 classes a semester and 3 separate jobs. After four years in college he got his engineering degree. A few weeks after the graduation, my dad was out riding his bike one day and he got hit by a semi truck. He was rushed to the emergency room and the doctors saved his life. A few weeks passed and he was finally released. Once he got better, he decided to go back to school and become a doctor. He studied and worked for 6 years and finally got his medical degree. My dad has been running his own medical practice in Hickory, NC for the past 20 years now. He often says one of the best moments of his life was the day he got hit by that truck.


  7. #7

    Default re: My future...

    Thanks a lot guys! It's good to hear (read...) both sides of the argument. Got a lot of thinking ahead of me....

  8. #8

    Default re: My future...

    Just remember, when the fun is done, you still have to put food on the table for your wife and kids and have a roof over your heads. Enjoyment is one thing, but necessities are always priority one.

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  9. #9

    Default re: My future...

    It is a mistake to major in something you don't think is right for you. Sure, you may make a lot more money by choosing one career over another, but in the end, money will not make you happy. True happiness in life comes from doing what you love. If you love economics, major in economics. If you love history, major in history.

    Here is the truth: All of this "job market is terrible" and "you won't make any money" stuff only applies to those who do not TRULY put their hearts and souls into their major. Let me explain what I mean. I can tell you from experience that 90% of history majors at my school do not want to put in the effort it takes to be the BEST. They expect that if they do all the requirements then they deserve jobs and they will be handed them on a golden platter. The problem is, the job market does not work like that. Only the BEST people get the jobs. And to be the best you have to do more, go beyond what average people do. This is how the History field works. It is possible to be successful as a history major, make a lot of money, and get a really good comfortable job, but it will only happen if you want it bad enough.


  10. #10

    Default re: My future...

    If you're studying economics then you know all about the law of supply and demand. Ask yourself then: What is the demand for history majors? Not that much really, unless you earn your PhD in the field and go into college teaching. Such is, perhaps, what I should have done. I ate up History and ROTC classes at UCLA in 1966-67 but my overall grades were not good enough to keep me out of the Vietnam draft so I enlisted in the USAF. Picked computer repair as a specialty. Got a good job at JPL when I got out. Worked full time, raised a family and went to school at nights for 17 out of 25 years. Earned a BS in Business, MS in Comp Sci and an MBA. Never paid a penny of tuition thanks to the GI bill and the fact that the Lab paid for school if I put in the time.

    I just turned 65. Have been married 43 years to same dear woman. Sent two daughters through college. House is paid for. Could retire but people with my skills and security clearance remain in high demand. Theres that word "demand" again. Bottomline: Work your tail off, make the sacrifice and you can succeed at anything. Such is what I taught my daughters and they're doing just fine. If history be your passion and you can afford to pursue it, then go for it. But as counselled above, with low demand, you must be the best at what you do in order to put bread on the table. Finally, as for my teaching of history, I do it every day by virtue of the personal militaria museum that I keep my office ...and the value of my little collection, I wish the stock market had done so well the last 10 years.

    Work hard and make your luck.

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