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Articles on History:
   Major in History
   A future in History

Major in History

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“The supreme goal of God in history from beginning to end is the manifestation of his great glory… It should become our own goal… Love becomes the chief means by which we join God in the open display of his glory, and accomplish his goal in history.” ~John Piper

History is inescapable. Every country, business, family, relationship, trend and invention have a unique history. As we seek to make sense of the world around us, we cannot help asking questions like: How did we get here? Where did we go wrong? How can we avoid repeating our mistakes? Where do we go from here? The answers to these questions can be found through an honest evaluation of history. From the truthful analysis of history, change and growth are possible. A history major focuses on evidence and theories of past events. To study history as a major is to delve into a deeper understanding of specific time periods, cultures and social issues. It is a broad, interdisciplinary major that sharpens skills in logic, writing, communication, reasoning and research, effectively preparing students for careers in a wide range of occupations in everything from business to government to education to communications.

If you are intrigued by the stories of history and enjoy understanding various interpretations of the past, then majoring in history may be the next step for you. In addition to an interest in earlier times, a history major should possess other important traits. Communication skills are extremely important in this major, since you will write many papers, interact in group discussions and give oral presentations. Because of the amount of research required, it is helpful to be a strong reader and to tune into the right details.

As a history major you will take classes that are commonly arranged by regions of the world such as American History, European History, Nonwestern History or History of Latin America. Depending upon your program, you are sometimes encouraged to choose an area of concentration—a specialization that interests you. At the least, you will likely be asked to write a senior thesis on a topic of your choice. This allows deeper exploration of a specific topic. Often you will be able to choose various electives. These courses might include:

  • 20th Century Russian History
  • History of Modern China
  • The Holocaust
  • Ancient Rome

Unlike some majors, a history major does not directly lead to one specific career. Some students use this degree as a stepping stone into further education. Not everyone who majors in history will become an archaeologist, anthropologist, geographer or historian, though that may well be your goal. History graduates can be found working in a hugely diverse range of fields. Some common history-related careers include:

  • History teacher (*additional education license required)
  • Librarian or archivist
  • Editorial assistant
  • Research analyst
  • Journalist/Writer
  • Curator for museum or historic site

Only those with a true understanding for where we’ve been can effectively shape the future. If you desire to guide others to a better future in any number of career settings, then consider a major in history as a way to glorify God with the passions and gifts He has given you.