Master’s in History or Second Undergrad Degree in Computer Science?


Doug writes:
I graduated college three years ago with a Bachelor of Arts in history. I
have worked in insurance sales ever since. But I feel while I can I need to
go back to school. My degree is not worth that much it seems unless I
plan to continue my education. I’m debating to either go back to school
and get a master’s in history and then try and get a PhD or go back
and get a computer-science degree. I have talked this over with my last
school and it would just take 42 hours for me to get a second undergraduate
degree in computers.
Which do you think is the best option to get a good career? And which
has a better job market? I can’t seem to find anything on the need for
history professors. My friend who graduated with a computer-science
degree started out making $30 an hour. Any suggestions? At this
point it don’t matter what I really want to do I want to do which is the
best in guarantee to make a living.


The Career Doctor responds:
Yours I think is the classic example of someone who majors in the
liberal arts (which is a great major area) but with no career planning … so you end up in a totally unplanned career with little
or no future.
I know you may feel a bit depressed over your current situation
but please do not despair… and more importantly please do not
make a major career decision solely based on money or future
earning potential. You may also need to think both short-term and
long-term.
What you need to do is decide which of these two career paths
(or perhaps one you have not even considered at this point) would
make you the most happy the most fulfilled.
The best sources of information? Industry studies and informational interviews.
I can tell you in terms of the college professors that there are quite
a few of us who are baby boomers (or older) and I would expect
over the next 10 years there will be a fairly large number
retiring creating a pretty big need.
So you just need to do some career reflections. Do you want to
work with technology or be immersed in history and impacting young
people’s minds and lives? Or can you envision some other career?
Take the time to do this work now before you jump back into more
education.