History alumnus John Milloy has written an article for the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance’s Educated Solutions publication where he discusses the benefits of a history degree in the search for employment. The full article, “Can an Arts and Social Sciences Degree Really Lead to a Good Job?“, can be found online on page 12 of the OUSA publication with a short excerpt available below.


Should arts and social science students abandon all hope and quickly transfer to business, computer science, or engineering? Or should they be confident about finding a good job in the  current world of work?

Hearing that question reminds me of a mid-1980s comic that chronicled the comings and goings of an eccentric family. The father asks his son what he has decided to choose as his major in university. When the boy responds, “history,” Dad asks whether it will be easy to get a good job with a history degree. “No,” the young student responds, “but it will help me become a great Trivial Pursuit player.”

As a young history undergraduate at the time, I got a good laugh from that particular strip which seemed to populate every history professor’s bulletin board at my university. Back then I didn’t necessarily disagree with the sentiment behind the comic. Although I loved history, I didn’t really believe it would lead anywhere in terms of employment. I decided, however, to be a rebel and pursue an arts degree anyway.

I was wrong. Arts and social sciences degrees are great preparation for the world of work. And they are becoming even more relevant in the current knowledge economy.

About John Milloy:

John Milloy is a former MPP and Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities for Ontario. He is currently serving as the Director of the Centre for Public Ethics and assistant professor
of public ethics at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, and the inaugural practitioner in residence in Wilfrid Laurier University’s Political Science department. He is also a lecturer in the University of
Waterloo’s Master of Public Service Program.