Monday, February 28, 2011

Blog LXXVII (77): Honors to the Blog, Part IV

I know people are reading the blog, the little ticker on the right side of the screen tells me so, but every once in a while people actually write about this blog, which makes me feel good. Recently the website:, which is about leaving academia, had an exchange in which the webmaster of the site, quoted a letter to him that had several nice things to say about "In the Service of Clio." Here is a section from that post, which quotes the letter:

"One my favourite blogs is 'In the Service of Clio' ( Nick Sarantakes, a diplomatic historian at the U.S. Naval College, discusses the historical profession and career management. He essentially walks potential students through the process: applications, grad school, career planning and publishing. He features different experiences through guest posts from those within and without the tenured system. There was a lengthy series discussing adjuncts. He has also looked at alternative career options for historians and recently presented at AHA on 'Careers in History: The Variety of the Profession.'

"As a recent history grad, who has just applied for a master of strategic studies, this blog not only deals with the painful reality of academic life but also discusses the
discipline’s problems and encourages students to look outside academia. One of my favourite posts
( is a string of emails in his department discussing whether a student should pursue a Ph.D in international affairs.

I agree with one professor’s statement, 'In the current market, I would not recommend seeking a Ph.D. at any but the best programs because the top five or so programs already produce enough Ph.D.s to fill all the available openings each year. True, you could go to work for the government, if you have marketable skills (foreign languages are crucial), but then why get a Ph.D.? Under no circumstances does it make sense to fund the program yourself, with work or loans or whatever–that is almost a certain road to poverty.” I couldn’t put it better: if there’s full funding and career prospects, grad school might make sense; if not, don’t waste your life.'"

While this is directed at PhD’s the same goes for a Master’s degree. If you love the subject, then go for it. But realize that it is a personal journey, not a career investment. If you like, you could take 50,000 dollars and tour Europe, and then find a job in a few years. Resume-wise, it wouldn’t make that much of a difference. I am being ironic, but not too far off base.
Short answer, the money and time won’t pay a big enough return in your career. Do it to learn, but just remember that you will be in the same position career-option wise with a BA as you would be with a MA or PhD. Lots of school, but no skills in a specific industry.

Sorry to be such a negative voice.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Blog LXXVI (76): Help on the Job Hunt

I have listed a number of web sites in previous entries to this blog on where people can go to look for jobs. I realized that will this information might be helpful, the fact that it was spread out over several entries was not helpful. So, I have included web sites that the history Ph.D. should consult if they are considering a job outside of a traditional history department. These web sites include jobs in related fields like historic preservation and public history as well as other fields like journalism. Hope this helps:

American Association of Museums Job Headquarters Section

The National Council on Public History

PreserveNet Job Board Facebook Page

The Association of Documentary Editing Job Listings

The Society of American Archivisits Online Career Center (federal government)

The Special Libraries Association Career Center

Association of Research Libraries Career Resources

Editor & Publisher

Sigma Delta Chi: The Society of Professional Journalists

The Association for Alternative Newsweeklies

National Education Writers Association

The Association of Health Care Journalists

National Association of Science Writers

National Conference of Editorial Writers

North American Agricultural Journalists

Society of American Business Editors and Writers

Society of Environmental Journalists

The Religion Newswriters Association

The Poytner Institute

Associated Press



The Tribune Company

The Washington Post Company

The Historical Research Associates, Incorporated

The History Factory

State and Local Government Jobs

The American Association for State and Local History

H-Net Public History Jobs

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Orgainzations other than Colleges

American Library Association Jobs

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Museum Jobs

American Association of Museums

Global Academic Jobs

European Academic Jobs (Britain and Commenwealth)

Korean Academic Jobs

Times Higher Education Supplement

Canadian Association of University Teachers Bulletin

Australian University Jobs

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blog LXXV (75): An AHA Video

The AHA did record our session, and apparently all the others. They posted them on Below are the links to Session 3. Before you click on them, you should know that we had problems with the microphone--our feed was going into another session and vice-versa. The video sounds adequate to me, but you might not feel that way. It also appears that there was no real camera work, so it pretty much stays as a wide shot of the six of us. I am sitting at the end of the table; opposite from the podium. The AHA has a YouTube channel and they broke up the recording into five parts. Enjoy.

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

part 5