Career entry for humanities scholars: more opportunities through digitization and doctoral degrees

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It is traditionally difficult to start a career for spiritual scientists. But digitization in particular also offers new opportunities. And can a doctorate make it easier to find a job or does it even make it more difficult?

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Jennifer Dühnfort Jennifer-DuehnfortJennifer Dühnfort is an editor at MenschDanke GmbH.


Everything a matter of perspective

Children answer the question often asked by those around them, "What do you want to be when you grow up?", Mostly with naive wishes like locomotive drivers and pirates, which of course has little prospect for the future. As a student of the humanities you will come across this question again, albeit in a slightly different form. No party at which not a puzzled mechanical engineering student who, according to his own statement, does not know that you can study something like this, asks: “And what do you do with it when you are finished?”

As a person concerned, one tries to avoid this question because one can often not answer them without the ironic advice that if necessary taxi or rich marriages are alternatives, this situation should not have changed until the end of the studies. There seem to be a few who, after completing their studies, seriously consider the prospects of modern piracy, and the stereotype of the taxi driver with a university degree, or even doctorate, is particularly widespread among mind scientists.

A science in itself

Nevertheless, one fifth of all students choose a humanities subject or maybe that's why? To find out, I looked around a bit and stumbled over Fabian Kuhn. Fabian studies history and cultural studies at the University of Karlsruhe and then at the HU in Berlin.

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He is currently writing his dissertation and has asked himself the same question that a majority of the students seem to be asking themselves: What will happen after graduation? Fabian explicitly explained to me where exactly it will go afterwards for students of the humanities.

The danger of getting stuck in college

A scholarship usually has a rule study period of 10 semesters. There is hardly anyone who is crushed by work and there is enough time for student activities. Stays abroad, internships and parties, which will never be experienced again, shape the student's life tolerably. If one shows the right balance and attitude, can be from the study the most beautiful years of life.

The risk of sticking is therefore not to be underestimated and semester numbers of over 20 are not exceptional cases. Many of them are oriented in their cozy university biotope, in search of a future perspective and themselves. Ernst is only afterwards. Suddenly one holds his master, the diploma or examination in the hand and in front of a large black hole opens.

More abstract than other professional images

Social sciences are much more abstract than other disciplines. Anyone who studies medicine, marketing or mechanical engineering has, by definition, a concrete career field in mind and, accordingly, theCourses of studies are designed accordingly. The percentage of students of German studies, history, and philosophy who have no clear idea of ​​their professional future during their studies is certainly high.

The spongy profession, however, carries both evil and opportunity at the same time. A study of the humanities gives a greater general knowledge than a study of economics or natural sciences, and personal inclinations and interests are encouraged and satisfied to a greater degree. The motives for the selection of students are, therefore, unambiguous. In contrast, salary expectations, career chances, and thus the longing for professional and financial security, are in the background.

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Digitization and its opportunities

The ambiguous job assignments - few employers are looking for a Germanist or a philosopher - have the advantage of being universally applicable. A law student is usually a lawyer, as well as biologists, physicists and dentists. As a humanities scholar, the occupational fields are still set. Many find themselves in journalism after graduation or work in public relations and PR. Publishers, agencies, theaters and other cultural institutions are often the workplace for Germanists, historians and political scientists. Self-employment among humanities scholars is widespread, especially in the field of editorial, editing and translation work.

In the meantime, however, fields for which scientists originally did not plan to open themselves open up for spiritual scientists. Industry and the economy are now increasingly coming back to graduates of the humanities, since the skills, which are trained in the course of studies, which are above all demanding writing and public speaking and presentation, are not sufficient in disciplines such as economics, computer science and business administration. Especially in the commercial sector, in terms of advertising and marketing, the number of spiritual scientists is increasing.

Many paths lead to success

In the end, the different paths to professional activity lead to the fact that, in principle, spiritual scientists offer themselves good prospects for the future, although admittedly they need something longer than graduates from other disciplines in order to find the adequate space for them. On average, credit for graduates of arts subjects is lower than those of other disciplines, but perhaps the money is not the measure of all things.

For those who have no idea of ​​the future of their profession at the end of their studies, the opportunity to delay this decision-making process can be delayed. But that should be well thought. What is initially perceived by a person as a kind of stance, to take the foot off the gas, to breathe through, to clean up the trunk and to plan the further journey, soon develops into a tunnel, at whose end not the breath of a light beam is. The fat years are definitely over.

Why a doctorate?

Why should you consider a promotion at all? Perhaps this is the reason why the title of the doctoral lecturer does not only contain a huge amount of knowledge and diligence, he is also simply a coveted companion in naming. And obviously he presupposes a long-term study.

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But if you do not aim for a clear definition of the term in your studies and become a dentist or physicist, what can you do with all the other doctoral degrees in today's professional world? So does the title hold what it promises?

Is a promotion really going on?

Depending on the discipline and location, the average length of a humanities graduation is between five and ten years. Who, for purely strategic reasons, in the hope that at some point an apple from the tree of knowledge flies on the head, the way of promotion, should avoid this martyrdom. Five years of study have nothing in common with five years of work on a dissertation.

The most striking difference is that you have neither time nor money. As a student, parents or children feel responsible for a relatively worry-free life, and personal stress is kept within reasonable limits during a workload of 20 semester weeks. The doctoral work usually finances the parents only if they are called Rockefeller, and therefore you have to take care of the funding yourself.

A promotion well superior

While it is customary in the scientific field to promote in one place, doctoral degrees in the humanities are extremely rare. You can, of course, try to get a scholarship, but this is not easy either. In the end, many people only have the opportunity to go to work and this costs a lot of time, which increases the duration of the doctoral program.

Sure, "Doctor" sounds very cool, but you shouldn't do this to yourself for reasons of prestige, because the complexity of a dissertation will overwhelm you if you don't tackle this project consistently.

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