Monday, August 07, 2006

In defense of...

If only potential employers would look past their perceptions of art history graduates.

I am not sure what they think -- whether it's an easy picture-gazing degree, or whether we're lazy well-off spoilt kids or WHAT. But having already done biology and psychology, I'd say art history required the most wide-reaching thought and breadth of knowledge of all.

We have to understand the sociology, politics, economics, religion, philosophy, of every era, and the thought or belief of every artist or patron behind the paintings, objects and architecture we look at.
We have to know the names and be able to identify the dates of everything and everyone.
Not to mention the techniques and technology used in the creation of every item or building.

Our eye must be just as sharp and our writing just as critical as any scientist's. You can't make a mistake with items that are as attached to a nation's heritage as any legal manuscript, and governed by so many international guidelines.

I am quite sure that I have not exaggerated. Who else has anything to add?

7 comments:

tooners said...

My gaaawwwd girl! All I can say is PHEW! That's some serious knowledge!

tooners said...

With respect to the history of the hula hoop... gosh, I always loved them. I had no idea that they were first made out of stiff grass... very interesting.

My sis has one that weighs tons and she uses it for weight loss. It gave me bruises! ;)

Rebecca said...

Do you put all that in your cover letters?

Adam said...

Trouble is that most employers are beginning to realise how useless degrees are these days. Why take on a degree student, when they can acquire an experienced individual to do the same job, then pay them either an identical salary or a slightly increased one?

Truth is, degrees just don't hold the same weight as they once did. I've many friends both here and abroad who have done their degrees and find it relatively impossible to gain work in their chosen profession afterwards.

I'm afraid it's an entrepreneur's world today. You seem to have the imagination and certainly the intellectual capabilities -- it's just having that disparate idea to take you where you feel you should be.

Olivia said...

Tooners - I wonder if you can date yourself by telling someone you owned a hula hoop as a kid.
I had a candy-striped one, which for some reason I kept behind the sideboard in the dining room.

I'm totally amazed - I thought they came from Hawai'i, had no idea the Greeks used them, and that the connection was made so recently.

Adam - hey, a comment! Thanks.
I know, degrees are useless except for more specific things, which is why if I were to get a PhD like some people want me to, I'd be more useless than I am now.

And I was telling my mother the other day that the good students are the ones who succeed in school, not in life - it's the kids who have to compensate who make it.
I was a good student, a good girl...I kind of wish I had been pushed in other directions. All I can do now is learn late.

Olivia said...

OK, so WHO gets the jobs in those "chosen professions" then???

lunaliar said...

The only solution I can think of is leaving London, moving to the states and then getting a position in antiquity appraisal.