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What is History Really?

By Alain

In theory what is it?

To teach students to think like historians.

What is it used for?

Any writing, critical thinking, analysis, research in any field, be it law, business, history, education…

What does the major actually entail - work-wise?

I wrote an 85-page thesis researched primarily at Boston University and Cornell University, defended it, took written comprehensive exams, and took oral comprehensive exams. I was required to study abroad and demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English.

History at ENC involves a lot of reading, and writing critical reviews, you need to craft well-written papers and analyses. You need to be able to contribute to discussion beyond the "fluff" of interpretation, but realise the value of varied perspectives.

The best part about where I went to school is that I could get into Boston on the T, so I basically had all the world at my fingertips and was serious about academics.

What kind of jobs do you get with it?

Pretty much anything or nothing. Lawyer, coach, President & CEO, teacher, re-enactor, editor of a journal… It depends on your ability to market the skills you've acquired; plus I'd imagine that colleges with a poor history major focus more on the stereotypical "facts and dates" than they do on critical thinking, but that's just a guess.

What are the fellow students like (personalitywise) in it?

Either very concerned with nonstandard interpretations of history and the world, or very cutthroat about others' opinions. Either way, history students tend to be (really need to be) capable of thought; otherwise they shouldn't pick a major that teaches them how to think and should opt for one that will just tell you what to think.

Common Misconceptions

Most people think 2 things: 1) A history major is useless—it's not useless, but you do need to overcome that misconception to market what can really be a VERY useful degree; 2) History is all about "facts and dates"—it's largely about reading, writing, researching, and analyzing to synthesize concepts and ideas USING those building blocks instead of focusing on them.
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Schools that offer Bachelors for history

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History/Histories (art history/etc.) Major unemployment rate

_History/Histories (art history/etc.)All Majors
Unemployed%6%8
Minimum Wage%3%4
All Others%91%87
More: Unemployment for all Majors *** not counting stay at home parents *** not counting those currently in grad school

Are things going well in History/Histories (art history/etc.)?

Going Well%89
Not Going Well%11
More: All Majors Satisfaction ??? This is a social "life satisfaction" question. Overall, would people who graduated with a degree in History/Histories (art history/etc.) say that their life is going well? It could be interpreted in terms of stress, salary, long hours, future prospects, etc. *** not counting those currently in grad school

Graduates who stayed in History/Histories (art history/etc.)

Still in Field%42
Got out%58
More: All Majors Still in field ??? A high "got out" percentage can be interpreted a couple of ways -- for instance, perhaps the major is a great stepping stone to becoming a totally different career -- like a doctor. Or perhaps the jobs one gets with the major just aren't that great. *** not counting those currently in grad school
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I could not afford the tuitionI could not afford the tuition of a higher-tier school nor could I afford the cost of room and board. The decision was simple. I commuted to NEIU. I spent long hours studying and preparingRead reviewHistory/Histories Northeastern Illinois University Reviews
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I graduated from Centre in the early 1980's.I graduated from Centre in the early 1980's. I came from a small town in Ky.. a real green horn depsite coming from a family with two parents who were both well educated professionals. CentreRead reviewHistory/Histories Centre College Reviews
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