Why major in History? 

This is why:

Picking a major is never easy. College majors have serious, long-term consequences and help prepare you for launching successful careers.

In my opinion, every one should major in History! 😉 History degrees prepare individuals for a whole variety of occupations. History majors have great jobs in a variety of sectors: jobs including medical doctors, geographers, college professors, librarians, teachers, store managers, museum curators, or independent business owners.

History degrees train people to thinkreadwrite, and see many perspectives. History classes, as a rule, are thinking, reading, and writing intensive. By studying the past, you’ll learn how unique and similar each place is and come out a much more open-minded and accepting person. You will learn the why and how questions are far more important than the who and what questions. 

History is probably the most interdisciplinary subject of all. Anything and everything can be examined in a History class. Regardless of what you enjoy, it fits in a History class. Courses examining the past look at poems, short stories, biology and chemistry, movies, sociological and psychological theories, as well as more traditional studies of “dead people.”

There are historians of medicine, psychology, food, sports, cars, fashion, as well as more traditional fields. 

Having a degree with “History” as your major signifies you are ready to work hard, think differently, and accept unknowns and differences. It also means you are able and willing to quickly learn and adapt and place events and issues in larger historical contexts. And that you communicate with crystal clear analysis and prose.

I can’t think of any reasons to not major in History! 

(Edit 4/16/15: See this excellent article, too.) 

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Categories: Thoughts and Perspectives

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6 replies

  1. Theatre History!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love history, but if I knew how things would turn out, I would not major in it. It’s difficult to find a job. I graduated with a focus on Public History, yet I don’t have the “experience” for museum jobs. Archival positions want library students (with an MLS), even though they say they’ll take a Master’s in History. And in Texas, if you’re certified as a school teacher, you better be able to coach something because if you can’t, you have “a fifty per cent chance” of getting hired. How do I know? I asked a principal why I did not get called for an interview even though I already work for the school district as a substitute teacher. He told me it’s because he’d rather hire a coach. (Yes, he really said that). I also have a friend with an MA who has years of archival experience which he got as a History student. He has been looking for a job, ANY job, for over a year and he is one of the smartest people I know. I am not trying to be purposefully negative, but I think there must be some dose of realism in how difficult finding a job really can be. Yes, most of us come out of a History program with great writing and research skills, and I LOVE how much better of a scholar I am. But it doesn’t pay the bills. At least, not for some of us. Not yet.

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  3. History of cats! In hindsight, I have no regrets about majoring in History. But if I had to do it all over again, I’m not sure I would pick it as my major.

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