The Graduate

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Divinity was the first course to be offered at St Andrews, and to this day students are still permitted to wear black gowns in honour of the (rumoured) founder of St. Mary’s college – Batman.

However, business has arguably declined since then – exorcisms are at an all time low, Satan’s last public appearance received mostly negative reviews and there hasn’t been a hymn in the Top Ten for years. Meanwhile, Mark Wahlberg has more Facebook friends than Jesus, atheism is a major religion and the iPad 2 is outselling Pope-soap-on-a-rope. In a world like this, what can you, a fresh-faced, bushy-tailed post-grad do with a degree in Divinity?

The ostensible answer to this question is for you to join the Ministry (and a few do just that), but statistically speaking this isn’t likely to be your first choice: you may not be religious or you may not look good in black. You could have a go at establishing your own religion based around you; historically this tactic worked well for both Steve Jobs and L. Ron Hubbard. But perhaps you are lacking in the necessary creativity or charisma (you are a Divinity student, after all). Do you have any other options?

You could always do another degree in something else with firmer career prospects, or drop out entirely and join a travelling circus freak show. But this might not be an option if your parents don’t believe in second chances or you have no grotesque body parts to exhibit. You could join an industry that doesn’t require a specific degree, such as modelling, but that would be a bit of a waste of your four years (unless you model clerical collars). You could even go full circle and start teaching Divinity, but this might involve doing a PhD in something extremely difficult.

What you need is transferrable skills. Sadly not all the things you’ve learned will be useful in the big bad world: exorcising demons, for one, has little place in modern financial markets, and visions of the Christ during meetings often prove detrimental to productivity. However, being able to turn a phrase (out loud or on paper) and the ability to sniff out nonsense from fifty yards will serve you well in the worlds of marketing and media. In addition, a wide knowledge of different religions is likely to come in handy during pub quizzes, an interest in ancient architecture can make you seem worldly during dinner parties and memorising different religious holidays will maximise the time you get off work.

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