Why Study History?

History (1896) by Frederick Dielman

Students and their parents alike often express the sentiment that history is fascinating, but sometimes raise questions about its practicality as a college major. The thing is, all sorts of studies demonstrate that history majors thrive in their careers, and employers often express a need for the skills that studying history instills. A history major isn’t just fascinating; it’s a path to success. History majors develop skills in critical reading, effective research, analytical thinking, and clear, persuasive communication. Such skills are the essential foundation for jobs directly connected with the field, like teaching, research, and working in public history venues such as museums, archives, and libraries. These skills are also invaluable to careers in law, business, government, foreign service, management, publishing, journalism, social media, and many other areas. The ability to identify and access salient information, evaluate it critically, and use it to engage in constructive debate is essential for navigating a complex, dynamic, and global world.

"Why liberal arts and the humanities are as important as engineering."
Wadhwa, Vivek. The Washington Post, June 12, 2018

"Over Time, Humanities Grads Close the Pay Gap With Professional Peers."
Carlson, Scott. The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 7, 2018

"In 2013 the Association of American Colleges & Universities issued the results of a survey of 318 employers with 25 or more employees showing that nearly all of them thought that the ability to “think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems”—the precise objectives of any liberal arts education—was more important than a job candidate's specific major."

"STEM Education Is Vital--but Not at the Expense of the Humanities." Scientific American, October 1, 2016

"That 'Useless' Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech's Hottest Ticket."
Anders, George. Forbes, July 29, 2015

"The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students."
Strauss, Valerie. The Washington Post, December 20, 2017

"Liberal Arts in the Data Age."
Olejarz, JM. Harvard Business Review, July-August 2017

"History Is Not a Useless Major: Fighting Myths with Data."
Sturtevant, Paul B. Perspectives on History, April 2017

"Why STEM Majors Need the Humanities."
Koblitz, Neal. The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 6, 2017

"Meet the parents who won't let their children study literature. Forcing college kids to ignore the liberal arts won't help them in a competitive economy."
Pearlstein, Steven. The Washington Post, September 2, 2016

"Employers considering new college graduates for job openings are looking for strong team players who can solve problems and possess strong communication skills... three-quarters or more said they seek candidates who demonstrate strong teamwork (78 percent), problem-solving (77.3 percent), and written communication skills (75.0 percent)."

"Employers Seek Teamwork, Problem-Solving Skills on Resumes" National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), February 16, 2017

Why America's Business Majors Are in Desperate Need of a Liberal-Arts Education
Appelbaum, Yoni. The Atlantic, June 28, 2016

"History isn't a 'useless' major. It teaches critical thinking, something America needs plenty more of."
Grossman, James. Los Angeles Tiimes, May 30, 2016

"Digital Companies Need More Liberal Arts Majors."
Perrault, Tom. Harvard Business Review, January 2016

"The Myth of the Unemployed Humanities Major."
Peden, Wilson. Association of American Colleges and Universities, November 11, 2015

"To Understand Science, Study History."
Dubcovsky, Alejandra. The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 24, 2014