A Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History prepares students for entering career positions in business, governmental and community service fields and for entry into graduate programs in the social sciences and law. A Bachelor of Science in Education with a major in Social Studies - History emphasis - certifies a student to enter professional teaching at the secondary school level. A minor in History is available for students majoring in other disciplines. The American Studies and Latin American Studies minors are available to History majors and students majoring in other disciplines.
What Can I do With a Major in History?
I love history, but Mom and Dad say I need to major in something that will get me a job. What do I tell them?
History is about the search for truth. But hey, you have to eat. The good news is that history majors do make money. According to The College Majors Handbook, salaries for history majors earn above average salaries. This is because as a history major you develop a set of skills that serve you well in almost any profession, including:
- Effective Writing Skills: The ability to effectively communicate through the written word is vital in any profession, and few majors better prepare you for this than history.
- Critical Thinking and Analysis: Historians make sense out of conflicting evidence and come up with creative interpretations and solutions.
- Research: Historians find information, analyze past practices, and assemble it in a fashion that others can understand.
- Creativity: Historians learn to think about a problem in many different ways and come up with original solutions. Historians think outside the box!
- Curiosity: Historians keep learning. They look for the reasons behind complex issues and understand that everything is part of a larger whole.
So what do history majors actually do with all these impressive skills?
- Historians teach. A major in history can lead to a teaching career in the public schools, private academies, and even college. Teaching is a wonderful career, plus you have summers off!
- Historians educate the public. The National Park Service, state historic agencies, and museums hire thousands of historians every year to talk to the public, prepare exhibits, manage archives, and do research.
- Historians work in television and the movies. History documentaries and films are very popular. The History Channel alone employs dozens of historians, as does PBS, the Discovery Channel, A&E, etc. Historians also produce educational films for classrooms and historic sites.
- Historians write. The training you receive as a history major will serve you well as a proof reader, technical writer, copy editor, journalist, or virtually any job in publishing.
- Historians become lawyers. A major in history is excellent preparation for law school. Both professions gather and analyze evidence, develop theories, and present their arguments to the public.
- Historians become politicians. Knowledge of the past and the ability to analyze evidence are also excellent preparation for a political career whether as an administrator, policy expert, or elected official. Quite a few Governors, Senators, Representatives, and Presidents of the United States got their 4-year degree in History, including John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush.
- Historians tell business majors what to do. Historians know how to think. The rigorous analytical training that you receive as a history major will prepare you to succeed in any field whatsoever. History majors who enter the business world typically rise fast and far. This includes CEOs such as Howard Springer (Sony) and Carly Fiorina (Hewlett Packard).
- Historians do Everything. Within ten years of graduation, a majority of college graduates are working in careers that are not directly related to their majors! That's right, most people don't end up working in their majors at all. Business majors become poets, art majors run Fortune 500 companies, and history majors show up on your ballot. The important thing is to study what you love. If you love history, join us!
- Historians go to graduate school and/or law school. Several MSSU History graduates have gone on to law school over the years, and many go on to pursue graduate degrees in History at the Master's and Doctoral level.