What Can I Do with a History Degree?
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What Can I Do with a History Degree?

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  • Materials/Handouts:-Pens-Sticky notepads-UCC Brochure?-Careers for You Handout for History-Famous History Majors-KU Career Connections Registration forms?Start by giving the audience a brief overview of our office (where we’re located, our hours, etc.)Have the students go around and introduce themselves and name a career path they are considering (if they have one in mind)For fun, you might distribute the Famous History Majors handout
  • Activity idea: Pass out KUCareerHawk sticky notepads and pens and have each student write down one career concern they have and have them stick them on the chalkboard. Review them aloud and assure class that these are all topics we will touch on today and/or are issues that can be addressed at the UCC. Revisit these topics throughout the presentation when relevant.
  • Review the presentation’s agenda
  • Good career decisions involve good information about yourself, your options and gaining hands-on experience. The UCC offers career coaching services to help you determine where you are now, where you want to go, and how youcan get there. Self –AssessmentA major part of our role at the Career Center is to help you explore your strengths, interests, personality, values, and talents. Students who really know who they are and what they are looking for will be better equipped to identify potential career directions and options that will best suit them. We won’t focus too much time on this component today, but if you are having a difficult time identifying your career interests or what types of work you might want to pursue, we have resources, such as interest and personality assessments, available at the UCC to help you with this process. ExplorationExploring career options will help you gain a realistic understanding of the “world of work” and your career possibilities. We’ll talk about some examplecareer paths in history nextEngagementIt’s important to gain exposure to different careers/fields that may be of interest to you to help you determine if you will enjoy a certain career/environment, make connections with other professionals in the field, and gain hands-on experience.Examples include: internships and jobs, volunteer opportunities, student organizations, job shadowing, informational interviewing, etc. Think about where you are at in this process
  • If you didn’t ask the audience to introduce themselves and their career ideas, you might ask how many of them are planning to pursue a career in a history-related field. Common career paths in history, include: -Federal/state agencies-Politics/law-Curatorial/archival management-EducationHand out/refer them to the Careers for You handout for more informationMight also print out/share some sample jobs/internships in history that are currently posted on KU Career Connections
  • Before we think about what fields you could pursue outside of History, let’s take a moment and brainstorm some of the skills you’ve developed as a History major. (Write them on the board if there’s room).Show the skills the History department thinks a KU History major will developThese are the transferable skills you have developed in school (and beyond) that can be applied to many different job settings. Every year the National Association of Colleges and Employers surveys a diverse range of employers about what are the top skills/qualities they look for in their new hires. Talk about how these skills overlap with the skills they brainstormed earlier.
  • Might also print out/share some sample jobs/internships related to these areas that are currently posted on KU Career Connections
  • 3. Pursue an advanced degreeIf you are considering graduateschool, ask yourself the following:Why are you thinking about graduate school? Not knowing what to do with your life or waiting out a weak job market are not good reasons to invest your time and money in graduate school. Graduate school is a good option if you are committed to learning more about history or another field and are certain an advanced degree will increase your marketability.What are your career goals? Your undergraduate history degree will help you land many jobs, but some careers in this field require an advanced degree. Examples of careers that require an advance degree include: teaching at the college level, becoming a librarian, anthropologist, archaeologist, ethnoscientist, lawyer, and museum director.What kinds of programs are you considering? Finding the right academic fit is very important when choosing a graduate program. Use your research skills to learn about the reputation of the programs you are considering, the research interests and background of the faculty (and how those interests match your own).
  • Get experience (Engagement) – internships, related part-time jobs, volunteering, student clubs and organizationsComplete coursework outside of your major relevant to your job target – minors, certificates, double-majorBe flexible about your geographic preference(s)Be willing to take an entry-level position in your field as a stepping stoneEffectively communicate your value to each employer/position you apply forConsider obtaining an advanced degree if it’s necessary to reach your career goal
  • Thank you – questions?

What Can I Do with a History Degree? Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Careers for History Buffs (beyond academia)
    University Career Center
    110 Burge Union
    785-864-3624
    KUCareerHawk.com
  • 2. Getting Started
    Write down one career-related concern or question you have
  • 3. Today’s Agenda
    Career planning process overview
    Possible career paths
    Strategies for increasing your career success
    UCC resources
    June 25, 2010
    Slide 3
  • 4. Career Planning Process
    Good career decisions
    involve…
    Assessing your personal strengths, interests, personality, values, and talents
    Exploring career options & the “world of work”
    Engaging in hands-on experiences that enhance career development
    Slide 4
    Assessment
    Exploration
    Engagement
    June 25, 2010
  • 5. Possible Career Paths
    June 25, 2010
    Slide 5
    In general, there are 3 basic career
    options for History majors:
    Practice History directly
    • Federal/state agencies – Smithsonian, Library of Congress, National Archives and Records, National Park Service, archives, museums, historic sites
    • 6. Politics/law – Elected officials, national political party headquarters, political campaigns, public interest/advocacy groups
    • 7. Curatorial/Archival Management – Museums, historical homes, historical societies, libraries, special collections, research institutes
    • 8. Education – Zoological parks, wildlife refuges, arboretums, camps, national and state parks
  • Possible Career Paths
    Apply skills gained through your major to a field outside of History
    June 25, 2010
    Slide 6
    Skills developed by a KU History
    major:
    • The ability to analyze complex questions
    • 9. A detective's eye for finding information (ie, research!)
    • 10. The power of writing and thinking clearly
    Source: www.history.ku.edu
    Top 5 skills/qualities employers are
    looking for in their new hires:
    • Communication skills
    • 11. Strong work ethic
    • 12. Teamwork skills
    • 13. Interpersonal skills
    • 14. Problem-solving skills (tied for 5th)
    • 15. Analytical skills (tied for 5th)
    Source: National Association of Colleges & Employers
  • 16. Possible Career Paths
    Apply skills gained through your major to a field outside of History
    June 25, 2010
    Slide 7
    When trying to identify a job target outside of History, it’s important to first think about the skill(s) you WANT to use. (What attracted you to history in the first place?)
    • Writing– Consider: public relations, advertising, journalism, editing, or web positions
    • 17. Researching– Consider: market research, non-profit policy research, legislative research, legislative aide, or insurance positions
    • 18. Analyzing complex problems – Consider: human services agencies, public service agencies (Housing and Urban Development, Social Security Administration, State Department, etc.), non-profit organizations
  • Possible Career Paths
    June 25, 2010
    Slide 8
    Pursue an advanced degree
    If you are considering graduate school, ask yourself the following:
    • Why are you thinking about graduate school?
    • 19. What are your career goals? How will graduate school help you reach these goals?
    • 20. What kinds of programs are you considering?
    For more information, check out www.h-net.org/~hstmajor, a moderated discussion forum by and for undergraduate history majors featuring discussions on graduate school and other related topics.
  • 21. Strategies for Career Success
    June 25, 2010
    Slide 9
    • Get experience! (KUCareerHawk.com/internships)
    • 22. Complete relevant coursework outside of your major
    • 23. Be flexible about your geographic preference(s)
    • 24. Be willing to take an entry-level position in your field as a stepping stone
    • 25. Effectively communicate (and translate) your value to each employer and position for which you apply
    • 26. Consider obtaining an advanced degree if it’s necessary to reach your career goal
  • UCC Resources
    Individual appointments
    • Resume and cover letter assistance
    • 27. Mock interviews
    • 28. Career assessments
    Online resources
    • KU Career Connections - job and internship postings
    • 29. Career and Major Exploration pages – career and industry information
    June 25, 2010
    Slide 10
    • Print resources
    • 30. Career resource library with 500+ books
    • 31. Networking events
    • 32. Public Service & Non-Profit Career Fair
    Oct. 20, 3:30-6:30pm
    KS Union Ballroom
  • 33. Thank You!
    University Career Center
    110 Burge Union
    785-864-3624
    KUCareerHawk.com
    M-F: 8am-5pm
    Open Year-Round