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Changing second major from history...

MemoryInAGarden

Senior member
Oct 26, 2003
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So I'm a twenty year old guy who is going to be a junior in college this fall. I've always loved political science, so I made this my major last year. I had taken courses in the field before, got to know the faculty, and decided that I wanted to either go to law school or pursue a career in international relations. History seemed like a complementary and relevant field to political science and law, so I declared a second major in history at the end of the spring term. After consulting with various faculty over the summer and people involved in the fields of history and political science, I'm questioning how employable such fields are. Therefore, I'd like to expand my potential for good employment and compensation. These are some of the reasons that I thought a business-related degree (thinking about something with an investment concentration) would be a good choice.

1) Working with political parties, universities, think-tanks, and international organizations is all well and good, but how many jobs are in this field, how much do they pay, and where are they located? A history degree even seems less desirable, considering all the concentrations of history and the extra material I'd have to go through to teach at the high school level. I think a business related degree would provide me with more opportunities, that generally pay better, and are available in more areas.

2) My girlfriend is several years younger than I am and I'd like to be able to help her with college expenses if at all possible. She doesn't have the money to go to out of state schools at the moment, and I don't want to have to place her future entirely in the hands of grants, scholarships, and loans. I would have to leave the area to pursue an advanced degree in political science or history, and it would place a heavy burden on us to work, deal with the hassles of city life (we're country folk), and be full time students. A business degree may be more employable after four years than a political science or history degree would be after six or eight. We may not be together then, but it's something down the road that I think about.

3) I don't have the passion for history that I do for political science. Furthermore, I've yet to take the basics for the degree, much less the advanced coursework. So it's not like I have a lot of time or money wasted in this. If I want to get out, now is the best time. I'm also damn close to the political science degree, I know and like the faculty, and have developed some contacts in local politics. It seems unreasonable to abandon the PS degree now. If I want to learn more about history, I could do this on my own time, or come back and take some of these courses later in life. I find how wealth is developed and maintained far more interesting and practical than the histories of countries that I have no relation to or opinion of :)

Does my reasoning seem sound? What's your view?
 

mwmorph

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2004
8,882
1
81
smart. History dosent translate into greenbacks very well in the real world.
 

Lonyo

Lifer
Aug 10, 2002
21,939
6
81
Originally posted by: mwmorph
smart. History dosent translate into greenbacks very well in the real world.
Yeah, because money is the only thing that matters...

If you are more passionate about something then do that instead.
Don't do a degree that you won't enjoy that much, especially if you can fairly easily switch to something you would prefer.
 

MemoryInAGarden

Senior member
Oct 26, 2003
849
0
71
If you are more passionate about something then do that instead.
Don't do a degree that you won't enjoy that much, especially if you can fairly easily switch to something you would prefer.
Like I said in the OP, I'm not nearly as passionate about history as I am political science. There are certain aspects of history that I'd like to study, but I'd also be taking a lot of courses that I just don't care for at all. Jobs in history are few and far between; I talked to one of the history faculty members who said one job opened up in ancient history at American universities last year. He also said history majors were standing in the soup lines. While I'll be the first to admit he's probably exaggerating and cynical, I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that business is more employable than history.
 

senseamp

Lifer
Feb 5, 2006
35,025
5,108
126
Unless you are a trustfund baby or plan on getting a sugar-momma, you need to get some marketable skills. Unfortunately history is not a very marketable skill by itself.
 

mwmorph

Diamond Member
Dec 27, 2004
8,882
1
81
Originally posted by: Lonyo
Originally posted by: mwmorph
smart. History dosent translate into greenbacks very well in the real world.
Yeah, because money is the only thing that matters...

If you are more passionate about something then do that instead.
Don't do a degree that you won't enjoy that much, especially if you can fairly easily switch to something you would prefer.
Until you consider the whole survival thing. Friend majored in historic french literature and modern english literature. Found out later tht he cant make a decent living with those majors. and had to go back to college. You still need skills you can use in the real world so you can you know, eat and live somewhere.

Now if you are actually looking at political science, there are a bevy of positions there, its jsut that almost none of them pay any decent amount(with the whole pesky cost of living thing around washington dc...) and the ones that apy well take a lot of patience and work. The jobs are out there though.
 

MemoryInAGarden

Senior member
Oct 26, 2003
849
0
71
Until you consider the whole survival thing. Friend majored in historic french literature and modern english literature. Found out later tht he cant make a decent living with those majors. and had to go back to college. You still need skills you can use in the real world so you can you know, eat and live somewhere.
That's the reasoning behind doing the double majors. Should graduate school not work out for any reason, I think I'd be be back to square one. This is also why I'm nervous about pre-career programs. I've heard a lot of people who have a child, get married, fall on hard times, etc, and don't get through graduate school. Real life happens, and many people seem to ignore this when choosing a major, and then they have to go back to school or work for some piddly salary. I don't want to be thirty and working at McDonald's, but I also don't want to still be going to school and not have a decent degree. I want to have a marketable backup just incase my dreams don't work out.

Now if you are actually looking at political science, there are a bevy of positions there, its jsut that almost none of them pay any decent amount(with the whole pesky cost of living thing around washington dc...) and the ones that apy well take a lot of patience and work. The jobs are out there though.
I think you're probably right here. Some people feel (ironically, I hear this a lot from business and science majors) that political science doesn't relate to the "real world." I can't think of anything that is more applicable to the real world than understanding how politics and international relations works. It's far more useful than an English degree, even if it's only for your own benefit. But like you said, many of these jobs don't pay well or are concentrated in major hubs like DC and NYC.
 

JulesMaximus

No Lifer
Jul 3, 2003
74,182
635
126
Smart.

History is a completely useless field of study...as in, it isn't going to land you any sweet jobs.
 

duragezic

Lifer
Oct 11, 1999
11,234
4
81
While I mostly agree with what you say, depending on what area of political science you are going into, History is IMO very valuable knowledge to have. If only our leaders knew a damn about history they would make wiser decisions.

President Palmer FTW

;)

(<---- too much '24', I know)
 

Horus

Platinum Member
Dec 27, 2003
2,838
1
0
Originally posted by: Lonyo
Originally posted by: mwmorph
smart. History dosent translate into greenbacks very well in the real world.
Yeah, because money is the only thing that matters...

If you are more passionate about something then do that instead.
Don't do a degree that you won't enjoy that much, especially if you can fairly easily switch to something you would prefer.

Man, I used to be SO passionate about history. LOVED it in high-school.

THEN I got to university. And can't WAIT to get that stupid piece of paper and GTFO, so I can go into a field where I can SURVIVE.
 

everman

Lifer
Nov 5, 2002
11,288
1
0
If you want to be a politician, then I'd say go with either econ or finance. We already have too many who know nothing about how to properly handle money. I'd lean towards finance myself, but I'm a bit biased towards that :p
 

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