Degree Doctor ... What can you do with a History of Art degree?
Release Date: 11 May 2006
A DEGREE in art history promises to equip you for a career in the hushed spaces of art galleries and museums, but what if you want to take off the white cotton gloves and make a big noise in the world of business?
You might need to do a little bit of extra homework to prove your worth, says Sarah Evans, a Director at Discovery Recruitment and Training, a graduate recruitment consultancy.
"It doesn't really matter what degree you have done," she says. "You have to be able to provide a link between your skillset and what you want to go into."
Like historians, art historians are prized for their ability to analyse information and communicate an argument backed up by facts and figures as well as the quality of their written work. While it's not a natural vocational degree, Evans says, jobs in marketing, sales and public relations provide a good skills fit.
"Essentially, art history graduates can do anything," Evans says. "But the degree itself won't be a door opener."
An employer might need convincing if you decide you would like to become an accountant, she says. "They might look at your A levels for proof of numeracy which your degree does not show.
"Ask yourself, how can you demonstrate your numeracy?" A short course to prove your commitment and improve your skills level might be the answer. Evans recommends taking a graduate course run by the Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC).
Whatever their career choice, Evans says, graduates must sit down and consider how best they can sell themselves into their dream job. Work experience and talking to employers at careers fairs are crucial to get an inside understanding of any job.
Complacency is not an option.
Art historians must put their research skills to good use if they want to join the rat race.
Published: The Times 11/5/ 2006