“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are,” said Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, and if there’s anyone who put those words into action, it was him. He published more than 25 books about a range of subjects. One of those subjects was history. If you’ve ever thought about majoring in history, there’s a lot you can do with it and where you are.
Writing and Editing
Many history majors find themselves working as writers and editors, whether as independent authors at publishing companies or within the news and media. It’s their job to ensure that all the information in a story is accurate, but they’re also the first to feel the heat if something is inaccurate.
Film and Video
Of course, sometimes their work receives more publicity in the field of film and video. Beyond supplying their expertise for written projects and documentaries, history majors are in the contact lists of many film directors. Apollo 13 still receives accolades for its incredible accuracy. Do you know the historians who worked on it? Probably not. But they contributed an amazing amount of authenticity to the movie and helped endear it not only to the viewers, but also to the people that lived through it.
If you prefer to work more behind the scenes, you could always work as a researcher. Many history majors work as public historians and researchers for public museums and historical organizations. They obtain the researching, writing, and presentation skills they need for these positions at universities, and even find online master’s in history degrees. Through them, they also learn how events tie together and work on understanding how all the little details make the big picture.
Some of them even take this expertise a step further and go into academia. There’s probably a strong chance that the first history majors you ever met in your life taught in public schools, either at the secondary or post-secondary educational level. It’s a nice mix of all the professions above, but with the joy of sharing your passion with students. Not only do you get the chance to present information in entertaining ways, as an instructor/professor, you’ll also handle local interviews with local media and help writers and editors for magazines, documentaries and movies.
So really, the question isn’t what can you do with a history major, but rather what will you do when you have it and wherever you happen to be?
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