How will future and prospective employers regard a History degree from UEA?
The best and most accurate answer to that question lies in understanding what has happened in the recent past.
During the past decade History graduates from UEA have gone into a wide range of occupations.
- More than 20% have become corporate managers, and professionals of various kinds (e.g. business, public service, teaching);
- more than 25% have become administrative and clerical workers in various sectors;
- nearly 20% have gone into sales
- nearly 10% into personal service occupations.
- Others have gone into postgraduate degrees and further training.
This is a remarkably wide occupational profile. It reflects the breadth of the skill base that many students acquire during the course of their degree, and it reflects that a UEA History degree develops skills that are widely transferable and valued in the workplace. These generic skills are wide ranging:
- literacy and oral communication
- clarity of thought and analysis
- presentation skills in group contexts
- the ability to work with new and complex subjects
- the ability to research and present data in a variety of forms
- the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
Furthermore, evidence-based historical analysis requires accuracy in research, and precision in written communication; the nature of historical study here encourages its undergraduates to communicate clearly and concisely. This is partly achieved through the requirement for students to make presentations on individual subjects as part of the assessment regime in many modules: and partly by providing specific and helpful feedback on work submitted during the course.
Experience in independent research is another skill acquired as part of a UEA history degree. Students are given a number of research topics each term, backed up with an indicative reading list, and then are required to produce an essay, presentation, or dissertation by a stated deadline. Our academic staff are available to offer further advice and guidance through this process, but the responsibility for the work is ultimately yours. This discipline and support develops the ability and confidence to undertake self-directed, independent, research into a particular subject with minimal supervision: a skill greatly valued by many employers.
The chronological range and thematic variety of history as a discipline is much broader than in most other disciplines, which in turn develop a variety of other skills: flexibility and adaptability; the ability to absorb new knowledge quickly; and the ability to handle complexity. Document analysis—another integral part of a UEA history degree—requires the rapid, effective, assimilation of disparate chunks of information. All of these skills are transferable and readily applicable to many careers: hence the wide ranging and ‘generalist' careers of UEA History graduates.