Historians talk fondly of job opportunities in government

tags: American Historical Association, jobs, federal history




WASHINGTON – Seminars on landing tenure-track jobs are common at annual gatherings of academic associations. And the recent meeting of the American Historical Association was no exception, with offerings on interviewing skills and more. But one of the most well-attended sessions here Friday centered on finding a position not in academe but somewhere else: government.

“Finding and Loving a Government Job: Part Deux,” was a follow-up to an unexpectedly popular session of the same name at AHA’s 2012 conference. Presented then as part of a workshop on the “Malleable Ph.D.,” which addressed alternative academic careers in light of the weak academic job market, AHA asked a number of historians with established careers in government to talk about the pros and cons of work in the public sector.

At the recent follow-up session -- with the job market still weak, according to new figures from the AHA -- panelists from the State and Defense Departments and Congress expressed few regrets at leaving the ivory tower. They encouraged graduate students and recent Ph.D.s to explore similar paths....



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