History Major: What You Need To Know

Hey guys! Welcome back. I have been meaning to write this post for some time now, but never did it. There is a lot that goes into it and I needed to figure out exactly how I wanted to do it in a way that made sense, wasn’t super boring, but was also helpful. This is something that has been requested a lot, so I decided to just sit down and do it. This is everything you need to know about being a history major. I am going to tell you my experience, what I have gained, my future plans, and everything one could do with a history degree. If you have any questions please let me know.

I never thought I would be a History Major. I was an Education Major, and English Major, and considered several others. I just never found anything that really worked for me. Then I started taking History classes and found that I really enjoyed them. I loved learning about History beyond dates and timelines. I really liked being able to have conversations about what happened and really, truly learning about it. That is ultimately why I decided to become a History Major. I loved what I was learning and what I doing and finally felt like I belonged.

That’s not to say it isn’t difficult. It is a lot of work. It has to be completely accurate too. You can’t interpret it however you want. You have to use facts to back it up. That means approximately 75% of writing a paper or working on a project is research. It is extremely time-consuming, but I have learned that if you really enjoy learning about History, you will actually enjoy the research process.

As a History Major, there are several things you can do. The higher your degree, the more options you have. I am going to list all the jobs you can get with a History Degree. Some of them do take quite a bit of schooling, but it’s worth it.

Educate. With my degree, I plan to one day teach college-level History. I will have to go to school a bit longer, but I really feel compelled to do this. You can use your degree to teach at any age level, but to teach children you do need certain certifications. So just keep that in mind if you choose to go down that road.

Museum/Historical Organizations. Museums are Historically based, so why would they not hire people with History degrees? Working at one of these places could even enhance your knowledge of History even further.

Historic Preservation. This is especially important in today’s society where people are being offended by Historical Artifacts. If it is something you are passionate about, you might consider going down this path.

Writers/Editors. That’s right. You can still write even if you don’t have a degree in that area. Because guess what? As a History Major, you write. A lot. You write Research Papers and all kinds of things really.

Journalists. There are journalists who come out of History Departments because you know how to research. It’s one of the biggest things you learn. You know what is reliable and what isn’t. You learn who to tell if you can use something or not.

Documentary Editors. You know all those boring videos you had to watch in high school? Yeah. Someone had to make those. That person could be you! If there are things you are passionate about, make a documentary about it. Why not?

Archivists/Librarians. These people help other people research. So you know how to research and find that you really love it. You can help other people do it! Working in a library or finding things to put in libraries is a great way to go.

Records Managers. These are the people that keep up with all of those old records. The people who are able to tell us how many people were in Europe in 1500. This is a neat way to travel back in time and get to know individuals as well.

Information Managers. I don’t really know what this is. My best guess is something you could do with this is write for professional websites. It doesn’t necessarily even have to be History related. Just someone who needs information kept up to date.

Lawyers and Paralegals. There is no Pre-Law School. So if you want to be a lawyer or work in that area, starting your undergraduate degree as a History Major is a great way to go. You will learn how to make arguments.

Litigation Support. Again, I don’t know what this is. I couldn’t find anything that I could summarize enough to put into three lines. So let us know in the comments if you know what this is because it sounds fascinating.

Foundations/Nonprofit Organizations. Places like this hire History Majors to keep up with things and keep things organized. History Majors tend to excel at writing and communicating, so foundations hire them to keep things running smoothly.

Historians In Corporations. Again, this is because of those soft skills History Majors come with. It’s important to take every opportunity to learn time management and communication because a lot of companies are looking for that.

Those are the things I found that you can do with a History Degree. If you know of anymore, please let us know in the comments. The next thing I want to do is share the skills I have learned as a History Major.

Appreciation of cultures/attitudes from different societies. Not every country in the world is like ours. They may not have the same values or do things the way, but that does not make them any less than us.

Open-mindedness. We are able to have an open mind about new ideas and we can adapt to changes more easily. We know that nothing is one way forever. The world is constantly changing, and we have to change with it or get lost.

Analyzing Opinions. Learning others’ opinions helps us form our own. As a History Major we have the ability to analyze other opinions and know if what we think aligns with that opinion.

Developing a valid argument. With those opinions, we are able to take facts from research and use them to create a strong argument. This is useful to all jobs, especially when it comes time to ask for a raise or a promotion.

Self-Directed Learning. Companies are always looking to hire people who are willing to go above and beyond. History majors do the bulk of their learning through research which is very self-directed.

Time Management. History Majors have a lot of work to do. There are a ton of projects and papers and you have to be able to manage your time efficiently or you will get overloaded. Companies are always looking for people who are able to do this.

Managing Resources. Research is a long process and you have to keep up with all of your resources. You have to know what is good and what is bad. You have to keep up with what you used and what you haven’t used yet.

Public Speaking. There are presentations and class participation when it comes to being a History Major. It comes with the territory. This is not a bad skill to have when applying for jobs because most people list this as one of their weaknesses.

Strong writing skills. This goes without saying, due to all the papers and projects. But it is an important one. Knowing how to write well is an excellent skill to have because it means you can communicate through written word.

Research. Being able to research well allows people who are hiring to see that you can do a number of other things. It shows that you know how to analyze and develop ideas. It shows that you know what works and what doesn’t.

Problem-solving/decision-making. Being a History Major means knowing that not everything works. Not everything is useful or relevant. It means you have to know what to do when you have an issue. People like that.

Organization. You have to be organized as a History Major. You have to be able to keep everything in order. You have to know how to plan and stay focused and on track. Companies like people who are organized and like structure.

Attention to detail. If you are more of a big picture person, being a History Major will knock that out of you. You have to be able to focus on small scale ideas and issues and be able to recognize and address a variety of needs.

Being able to work alone or in groups. This is extremely important to companies. They are looking for people who can do what needs to be accomplished no matter if it means doing it yourself or asking for the help of others.

I hope this helps you see how valuable a History Degree is. Being a History Major can teach you so much and allows your to develop real world skills that will come in handy later in life. Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope this is helpful. Please like it if it is. If you have any questions or would like to add anything please let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to follow before you leave if you have not already and I hope to see you next time!


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