What I did with my classics degree

So you have got your classics degree and armed with this superior form of education you venture into the world of work. The question then arises as to what jobs you are fit for and what professions will have you. In the past it would have been easy. Being educated meant being educated in the classics. You would have gone into public service or banking or just about any industry that required educated people. These days it is not so clear. I remember when my education seems to be veering towards the classics mentioning this to a practically minded aunt. After few moments of puzzlement and asking me what use this would be, her face lightened up and she said “of course you can become a teacher and teach the classics”. As if the people learnt classics to teach other people classics and thus create a sort of self-perpetuating circle.

I don’t keep in touch with my fellow classicists from University but I know that they were headed for careers in accounting or local government. There were many other options if you were willing to take a second degree such as law. I know that it is not so easy now with more competition for fewer jobs but there are many opportunities still available.

As for myself after a spell in public service I became a computer programmer then a specialist in computer software performance. It’s not so easy nowadays to get into the computing world without a degree in Computer Science but once you are in then your classics degree is no hindrance and your mind is fully equipped to handle the concepts behind computer programming. Mind you I never met another classicist in computing and very few without a specific degree in Computer Science.

And of course computers were used by the ancients (well I suppose pebbles are a simple form of computer )

καὶ πρῶτον μὲν λόγισαι φαύλως, μὴ ψήφοις ἀλλ᾽ ἀπὸ χειρός,
τὸν φόρον ἡμῖν ἀπὸ τῶν πόλεων συλλήβδην τὸν προσιόντα:

Now first do a simple calculation, not with a computer but on your fingers, of the total amount of tribute coming in from the cities.

Aristophanes Wasps 656

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One Response to What I did with my classics degree

  1. æren (И~N) says:

    I used mine for starting a master in medieval studies. And then dived into the Indo-European studies, as planned way earlier 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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