The study of history provides skills and knowledge that prepare graduates for either further study or a rewarding career in a number of possible capacities and settings. The study of history is not a study of dry and dusty facts from the past. Rather, study of the past reveals the path and the challenges our predecessors traveled before they arrived at the present. The study of history also enables us to anticipate how the past and the present shape us in the ways that determine the future.
Students of history learn valuable skills in research, analysis, critical thinking and how to follow the trends and human needs that can be traced along a trajectory throughout human history. Students learn about the philosophical, economic, political and scientific events, achievements and movements of the past and how they have shaped and enabled the present. They also learn numerous theories of history and the tools and methodologies used to study history.
Graduates of history programs are able to pursue careers in education, as curators or managers in museums, in historic preservation of sites and artifacts, in management of archives and specialized resources. Graduates become journalists, writers, filmmakers, archivists, and interpreters of history. Historians are also valuable in businesses and in government and the non-profit sector. A history major is also widely considered good preparation for those who study law, congressional staffers, policy advisors, lobbyists, and diplomats or Foreign Service officers.
Graduates with history majors also develop strong skills in critical and analytical thinking, research, oral and written communication and problem-solving. The study of human responses to various perennial challenges of human existence and of the formation and management of societies is a fascinating area of study.