What do you do with a BA in History?

Today I found myself in a very familiar situation. Someone’s brother/sister/friend/self is thinking of going to law school.

“No!” Evan yelled, as the patrons of Inversion coffee looked up slightly to see what the commotion was, especially that one cute girl who was like totally checking him out. “Don’t do that!”

“Why not?”

“Because the legal economy is shit. It isn’t a guaranteed job. Unless you know exactly what you want to do, or are going to a very top law school, you’re risking throwing away lots of time and money.”

“Well what’s a good job for someone with a degree in History.”

I don’t know.

Twitter had some ideas, though.

Well, right now I’m doing it backwards.

First is supposed to come the attempt at fulfilling the dream career. Work for the Thresher forever? Opinion journalism? Comedy writing?

Then, if that fails, go for the pragmatic moneymaking operation with the lifelong goal of a steady, if possibly rewarding, career. Law school!

Of course, I did it backwards. So here I am, a member of the Texas bar (once they get my check) trying to freelance write and fulfill my eudaimonic purpose.

But first I have to face the same problem I always have: Getting my butt in the chair and freakin’ writing. (Not to mention all the half-written blog entires)

So what is the plan C after the plan A after the plan B? I guess Twitter has the answer: History teacher.

4 responses to “What do you do with a BA in History?

  1. Clearly, with a history degree, you can give Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 5 minutes of advice and get paid millions!

    Then you could take several years off – at least if you live according to MY means and, say, don’t have a half million dollar line of credit at Tiffany’s.

  2. When I was in Colorado this summer there were guys with BAs in English selling poetry in the street–they had typewriters and would write you a poem for $5. Kind of like the patronage system for people with really short attention spans.

    Do that, but Evan-style.

  3. At the risk of sounding obnoxious and obvious, I think the job market thinks less of your major and more of your demonstrated skills. I have a BA in English but spent years doing freelance writing and video production, so now have a pretty cushy job as a creative professional since I bring so much real experience to the office. Kids with Master’s degrees are applying to the position junior to mine and are unqualified because they have no demonstrable skills. So I think the key would be to focus on leveraging a skill set. Worst case scenario would therefore be a take whatever reasonable job comes along and build the skill set nights and weekends, in my opinion.

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