Whenever I told someone that I was majoring in history, their next question would almost always be a variant of "Oh, so are you going to be a teacher?"

No, I’m not going to be a teacher, and I never planned on becoming one. Teaching, for various reasons, just doesn’t appeal to me. But whenever I got asked that question I always wondered why people automatically assumed I would go into teaching based on my choice of major. Now that I’ve graduated and have entered into the process of trying to find a job, I’m being faced with the answer: outside of teaching, there are very few jobs available for someone with a history major on P.E.I.

I’m not saying that's a bad thing. P.E.I. is a small province after all, and it stands to reason that there would be fewer jobs available for some majors than in a larger province like Ontario. But the more I look at what kinds of jobs are being offered, the more I’m starting to realize that there seems to be an overall lack of jobs for anyone who graduated with an arts degree in this province over the last few years. Growing up, I used to assume that I would be able to get a government position if whatever I chose to do after university didn’t work out. But between the federal government slashing the budgets of most of its programs and the provincial government laying off people left, right and centre in order to cut costs, a government position of any kind seems less and less likely.

So where does all of this leave me? Jobless, at least for the moment.

I'm more than willing to work outside of my field - in fact, I’ll probably have to do that if I want to be employed some time soon. But to me, it seems like the skills that I acquired at university - the ability to express myself clearly in writing, to research a topic and present an effective argument about it, to not collapse under pressure - aren’t the skills that employers on P.E.I. are currently looking for. That can make job hunting very discouraging at times. And with school pretty much done for the summer, I have even more competition for the jobs that are available.