The question comes to every student, usually from a well-meaning relative or perhaps a fellow student: Four years and tens of thousands of dollars buy us all an education second to none, but where does it lead? Many students have high aspirations — plans for graduate schools or professional schools. Others, such as engineers or accountants have a pretty good idea of where theyll end up, and specialized in pointing this out back in the twelfth grade.
In high school, getting that acceptance letter seemed like it was the first step in defining an entire career, but now the English and arts history majors of the world have to wonder what exactly their degrees can get them, and whether or not knowing what ekphrasis means really counts in the workforce.
The career counsellors at UTM advise these students not to worry. Its a common problem and simply knowing your options can go a long way.
According to the Career Centre staff, the problem for the nebulously defined humanities programs isnt a lack of options in the workforce. The options are endless and these students are aware of it. English majors, for example, usually assume that a degree in English inevitably leads them to become a struggling writer or an English teacher, but only a small percentage actually take this obvious route.
While the other artsy majors, such as Italian studies, art history and classics, present less direct approaches, they do exist, and a little work coupled with a few visits to the Career Centre will provide an answer. The Career Centre has an endless number of resources on career choices in the form of handbooks put together for each major and the careers by major section of the Career Centres website.
For senior students, the Career Centre also offers career advice from UTM alumni and can educate on the process of picking and finding a career.
Unfortunately, there is no one job more common than the next for any major. Language graduates have gone on to endless jobs, from teaching overseas, to journalism, to working for large publishing firms. The same applies to art history graduates, who can end up in the expected realms of museums and archives, but can also branch out as art therapists and preservationists.
The world is not a logical place and hoping to have a career laid out in advance is unrealistic. The Career Centre knows this and can help any student willing to find what they enjoy and plot out the direction they would like to go with it.
Lets face it, as students, were young and stupid. We dont like to deal with the real world until we absolutely have to. And the fact is that there are just too many possibilities to create a single plan to fit any specific program, much less a specific person. The world is scary, but by being here, youve done the hardest (and most expensive) part. The rest is out there. You just need to do a bit more work to find it. Good luck — see you in the job market.