Friday, January 4, 2013

What's a History Degree Worth?

Well, I did it! After three years of homework, papers, and exams, I finally graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in History from Boise State University a couple weeks ago. It feels good to finally be done with my degree. After all, I probably did more reading and writing in my history classes than I did the whole rest of my life! However, now that I have my degree, the question remains: what do I do now?

Throughout my coursework, I have had many people offer me their opinions on what I should do with my history degree. Some automatically assume I want to teach history, while others have no clue whatsoever what jobs are out there for history majors. They want to know exactly what positions history majors can fill in a depressed economy. 

In my last couple of semesters, I have gotten to do some career exploration and here are some of the career fields that I've found for history majors:
  • Research - history majors are some of the most adept at research, no matter if it's legal, corporate, historical, or personal research. History majors must be good at research to do well in their coursework and that could open up a lot of doors in terms of potential careers.

  • Writing or Editing –I don’t know of any other college degree, other than English or journalism, which requires students to be such good writers than history. History majors are usually famous for their aptitude and skill with the written word. It is difficult to pass classes without being a good, if not great, writer. Therefore, history majors are ideal candidates for writing or editorial careers.

  • Education – history majors often serve as teachers at the secondary or postsecondary level. Those serving at the secondary level, however, spend the majority of their coursework in education classes in the last two years. History majors pursuing education careers must have a passion for teaching in order to survive the unrewarding, often underfunded life in a school.

  • Museum Curators – history majors have the option of sharing their passion with the public by working at museums leading tours, setting up displays, working with archives and historical documents, and answering questions from visitors.

  • Librarians – grads with history degrees are usually adept at finding information and this is an excellent skill to have working in a library to help others find information or categorizing historical documents and books, magazines, and articles.
With a little creativity, I’m confident I can find a career path out there using the skills I honed as a history major!

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