Frequently students assume that a degree in History is useful only for teaching. It is important that you know the many ways in which a History degree can be an excellent preparation for many other careers – careers running the gamut from business to law.
Essential Career Skills and the Study of History
A critical part of the Liberal Arts tradition, History has been important in higher education for hundreds of years. While its nature and methodology have changed over the centuries, its essential nature remains the same. The study of History provides important training in critical thinking, analysis, research and writing – skills that remain essential in today’s job market.
Given the speed with which technologies and concepts change, more and more organizations are interested in generalists who are open to training for the specific tasks they will do. Equally important, individuals trained in basic thinking, research and writing skills will be in a good position to change with the times.
The study of History is an excellent preparation for careers in business, communications, public affairs as well as teaching. The skills that the study of History inculcates include:
Careers Related to History
Certainly a large number of students who major in History/Social Studies go into teaching in public and independent middle and high schools. But many students who enjoy History do not have that interest, and it is important to realize that many, perhaps most, History majors do not enter the teaching profession. They use the skills acquired and knowledge gained for other occupations:
Making Yourself Marketable
Take the time to plan your undergraduate education. Make time to talk to your academic advisor in the History department. We are anxious to help you plan your future. Think about complementing your History major with minors or certificate programs in other academic areas.
In this age of computers and the Internet, it is important that you develop skills beyond word-processing. Explore databases and spreadsheets as well as homepage development. Some of these can be done within the department.
Take advantage of your years as an undergraduate to develop skills outside the classroom. CSU offers internships in a wide variety of fields. The History department also has an internship program involving opportunities both on and off campus. But do not forget to participate in the many extracurricular activities that exist. These often become important to potential employers – they demonstrate interest and commitment, ability to take responsibility, and to follow through on tasks. Working on one of the campus papers or one of the many service clubs or History’s Phi Alpha Theta honorary society are just a few examples from the many that could be cited.
What is important is to see your education as a complete package. Identify a goal and work toward it.