What can you do with a History degree?
History is the queen of the Humanities. Like the queen in chess, history is the most versatile, the most powerful, and the most valuable of the humanities disciplines which, together with the Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Fine Arts make up the building blocks of the Liberal Arts.
Any liberal (meaning broad) education equips one for more than just technical skills one needs to perform a particular job. But history, done well, has an interdisciplinary edge to it which incorporates not only the best practices of our discipline but those of others as well, from the observational quality of the Sociologist or Anthropologist to the communication skills of the gifted writer. Throw in a language, and you have a powerful combination of skills with which to make a career.
The ability to gather information, subject it to rigorous analysis, place it in broader contexts, turn that information into knowledge, and to effectively communicate that knowledge to others through writing are the kinds of skills which employers consistently say they most desire in their employees and so frequently fail to find. A history degree therefore gives you a leg up on the competition in this critical area.
There will be some of you who will use your history degrees to actually become historians, but the vast majority of you will use your degrees as launching pads to careers which you might not even be able to conceive right now. Have you ever thought of taking the LSAT or even MCAT? How about the Foreign Service exam? Many of our majors go on to teaching programs. But why stop there? With the skills you have, you can certainly find a job with a company or a firm, but you can also start one of your own.
So as you begin your studies at UAA just remember that a history degree is not just training for a job, it is education for a career. And just what that career might be is as varied as your own imagination.