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punani
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Hi guys

So, here's the thing. I can't decide between doing a degree in History or Engineering? I really enjoy History, it was my best subject at school and the only subject I really enjoyed but when I first went to University I opted for Law because of the better job prospects, salaries etc.

I absolutely hated it and dropped out in 3rd year, this was 11 years ago. Anyway I've done alright since then, have a good job, house, car etc, etc but always had that nagging feeling that I wanted to finish what I started at Uni.

I'm interested in engineering, I wouldn't exactly call it a passion but I have the right skill sets to do well in it, good at maths and physics, good communication skills, attention to detail etc etc and the career prospects and salaries are great but I wouldn't exactly be looking forward to going to uni and then subsequently work every day.

To cut to the chase what I'm asking is this.

1) Have any of you guys opted for history over a degree with seemingly better prospects or have any of you gone the other way and chosen a subject that you thought would be better for your future than something you had an inherent interest in?

2) If so, do you think you made the right decision?

I know that you can use a History degree for lot's of different career paths but I would like to use it in some sort of historical capacity and the salaries for these kinds of jobs will be less than what I'm on just now.

This week I have to decide between doing an HNC in Electrical Engineering or starting part-time on St Andrew's evening degree programme doing mainly history modules and then looking to apply to university for a 2013 start?

What do you think?

Thanks for your help.
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punani
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WhiteEars
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1. Become a historian
2. Become a history teacher in a school.
3. Become a history teacher in an international school.


Or...

GO BACK AND FINISH THE LAW DEGREE.

If all the above don't sound very nice, then go for engineering.
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LOUDLOUD
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Teaching :s
many history grads actually convert to law :s
engineering has much more prospect tbh
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returnmigrant
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Good 'what do you do with a History degree' page at Uni of Kent : http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/history.htm

Or, thoughts and advice from Uni of Bristol : http://www.bristol.ac.uk/history/ug-...hyhistory.html
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blahblahblah1
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Teach it?
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MagicNMedicine
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George Osborne did history and is now Chancellor of the Exchequer.
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Chow mein
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History is not a bad degree to have, I have a friend doing a history degree currently interning for a big consultancy firm, in terms of jobs where you actually use your degree, no there isn't really anything besides the obvious.
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Jack93o
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become a historian and immerse yourself into the wonderful world of our past
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Productoflabour
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(Original post by punani)
Hi guys

So, here's the thing. I can't decide between doing a degree in History or Engineering? I really enjoy History, it was my best subject at school and the only subject I really enjoyed but when I first went to University I opted for Law because of the better job prospects, salaries etc.

I absolutely hated it and dropped out in 3rd year, this was 11 years ago. Anyway I've done alright since then, have a good job, house, car etc, etc but always had that nagging feeling that I wanted to finish what I started at Uni.

I'm interested in engineering, I wouldn't exactly call it a passion but I have the right skill sets to do well in it, good at maths and physics, good communication skills, attention to detail etc etc and the career prospects and salaries are great but I wouldn't exactly be looking forward to going to uni and then subsequently work every day.

To cut to the chase what I'm asking is this.

1) Have any of you guys opted for history over a degree with seemingly better prospects or have any of you gone the other way and chosen a subject that you thought would be better for your future than something you had an inherent interest in?

2) If so, do you think you made the right decision?

I know that you can use a History degree for lot's of different career paths but I would like to use it in some sort of historical capacity and the salaries for these kinds of jobs will be less than what I'm on just now.

This week I have to decide between doing an HNC in Electrical Engineering or starting part-time on St Andrew's evening degree programme doing mainly history modules and then looking to apply to university for a 2013 start?

What do you think?

Thanks for your help.
May I asked what you enjoyed about History and what you liked/disliked about your Law degree as my understanding is that a Law degree is quite historical? Unless I'm mistaken?
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punani
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Yeah, I was worried teaching was going to come up.

Thanks for all your replies, it's looking like I'm leaning towards engineering and keeping history as a hobby.

Maybe I could do the history of engineering somewhere?
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Mishmashmoo
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I know someone who did a history degree and went pretty far in this business world. In terms of specifics there are only the things listed above but your job prospects don't have to be directly relevant to your degree.

I'd say most people don't use what they learn in uni on the job, it's just a badge to show you're intellectual/intelligent/have a particular skill set. In the case of history a good memory, good writing skills and analytic skills are generally seen as traits gained from this degree. There are many more.
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punani
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(Original post by Productoflabour)
May I asked what you enjoyed about History and what you liked/disliked about your Law degree as my understanding is that a Law degree is quite historical? Unless I'm mistaken?
I really liked ancient/medieval history the best. The Vikings, Egyptians. The rise and fall of civilisations basically. There is just something fascinating about being able to see the birth and death of whole civilisations and to gain an understanding about what they and we all have in common. What can we learn from our past to benefit our future.

A Law degree for me was basically

Learn a bunch of statutes
Learn a bunch of case law
Regurgitate the above to answer set questions.

I realise that most degrees are going to involve a lot of rote learning but what you have to learn in a law degree is extremely boring.
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Productoflabour
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(Original post by punani)
I really liked ancient/medieval history the best. The Vikings, Egyptians. The rise and fall of civilisations basically. There is just something fascinating about being able to see the birth and death of whole civilisations and to gain an understanding about what they and we all have in common. What can we learn from our past to benefit our future.

A Law degree for me was basically

Learn a bunch of statutes
Learn a bunch of case law
Regurgitate the above to answer set questions.

I realise that most degrees are going to involve a lot of rote learning but what you have to learn in a law degree is extremely boring.
Okay, I'm finding it difficult to see the difference but your obviously passionate about your subject and I'm assuming you would be applying for a degree in Ancient History so I don't really see why you shouldn't. If your secure enough financially to take the hit then why not?

Your not going to have any money until you graduate. Could you get up every day and immerse yourself in something you don't have any passion for? It seems nonsensical, even if you spend 18 months/2 years/whatever trying to get into historical research and then do something else you have 11 years experience "in the real world" which you can then leverage over the competition for graduate jobs and you've spent 3 years doing something you've really enjoyed.
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JamesYoung
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
George Osborne did history and is now Chancellor of the Exchequer.
That's exactly why he's ****ing up the economy. :rolleyes:
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Eldedu
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Have you considered PPE? I love history too and it was also the subject in which I performed best at school, but I chose PPE because it combines greater employability with the same sort of skills you've developed in history. Just a suggestion...
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Dukeofwembley
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(Original post by MagicNMedicine)
George Osborne did history and is now Chancellor of the Exchequer.
wait i forget which university he went to

was it london south bank uni?

op do engineering

cmon engineering knowledge is actually useful

what engineering do you wanna do?

civil, electrical, chemical?
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punani
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(Original post by Dukeofwembley)
wait i forget which university he went to

was it london south bank uni?

op do engineering

cmon engineering knowledge is actually useful

what engineering do you wanna do?

civil, electrical, chemical?
Electrical and electronic, although I'm more into the electronic side of things. I realise that chemical seems to be where the big bucks are just now but it doesn't really look that interesting and when the oil runs out you're going to have to make deodorant and shower gel for a living.

Nothing new or interesting has happened in civil engineering for about 1000 years and mechanical was all about the industrial revolution.

It seems that the present and the future belongs to the electrical and electronic guys.

Having to do the HNC then a 5 year Meng is a long hard slog though for something that you aren't 100% sure of. But on the other hand is it worth doing a really interesting enjoyable degree just to end up chasing a place on the same ubiquitous graduate schemes every other student is after?

I'm thinking engineering, even if it does make me a sell out.
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punani
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(Original post by Productoflabour)
Okay, I'm finding it difficult to see the difference but your obviously passionate about your subject and I'm assuming you would be applying for a degree in Ancient History so I don't really see why you shouldn't. If your secure enough financially to take the hit then why not?

Your not going to have any money until you graduate. Could you get up every day and immerse yourself in something you don't have any passion for? It seems nonsensical, even if you spend 18 months/2 years/whatever trying to get into historical research and then do something else you have 11 years experience "in the real world" which you can then leverage over the competition for graduate jobs and you've spent 3 years doing something you've really enjoyed.
Yeah it's this kind of reasoning that keeps creeping into my subconscious that makes me think I've got to do history. But the problem is that it's fine being skint when you're young, but by the time I graduate from a history degree I'll be 35?

To get into a position to actually use your history degree I'll need to do a phd probably, so we're talking another 3 years living on beans, then after all that you walk into some job that you enjoy but with really crappy pay, you're 38, poor and thinking WTF have I done? This is my recurring nightmare when I think I'm going to go down the history route.

I don't want to be poor and happy. There's no romance in it no matter what BS people try to feed you. Ideally, sure everyone would love to have a job that they really enjoy and they make a lot of money from but this just doesn't seem possible for most of us.

Engineering is kind of a balance for me, it's interesting enough, challenging enough, rewarding enough. It will be a harder degree than history, I don't buy into the whole horses for courses theory, some degrees are intrinsically harder than others, history is not a hard degree, engineering is. Sure if you want to succeed you have to put the work in no matter what subject you choose, I don't doubt that, but it seems that the degrees that are known to be more challenging have the better prospects in the long run.

Thanks for all the replies in this thread, I think it's made it clear in my head what I want.
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punani
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(Original post by Eldedu)
Have you considered PPE? I love history too and it was also the subject in which I performed best at school, but I chose PPE because it combines greater employability with the same sort of skills you've developed in history. Just a suggestion...
I read a book called "Think" once by "Somebody Blackburn". It was the most boring thing I've ever read. I kept reading it, hoping it would get better but it just didn't. It did however put me off philosophy for life.

Politics, I can see how that could be interesting but economics in my opinion is utter BS. I don't understand why it's as respected as it is to be honest.

I don't think too many universities offer PPE anyway, although I could be wrong on that.

What are you thinking of doing when you graduate. Prime Minister perhaps?
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