Why study history?
Because every succeeding generation has new questions to ask of the past, history is constantly being rewritten, which makes it an exciting, sometimes dramatic discipline. Perhaps of equal importance, studying history allows students to develop skills constantly in demand in the workplace. In fact, a recent survey
found that employers rank writing, research, critical-thinking, and perspective-taking as the most vital skills they hope to see in new hires. These are precisely the skills one develops in the sustained study of history. History majors not only take numerous courses requiring them to develop as writers, they also produce a capstone paper inviting them to locate, evaluate, and make sense of evidence. Learning history is thus not only vital to understanding the past and the present, but it also invites students to develop valuable workplace skills.
You may want to take a look at a recent study of "How Liberal-Arts Majors Fare over the Long Haul"
in the January 22, 2014 issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education
. This study reports that liberal-arts majors have around the same earning potential over the course of their careers as those who choose professional and pre-professional degrees.
Internships are essential for History majors to gain experience in potential career fields and to acquire on-the-job skills. There are a number of resources at UIC for exploring careers. LAS Internship Program at UIC
will help students search for appropriate internships for their career goals. The LAS Resources for Career Development
page offers advice on how to match the skills you gain from your LAS major to specific careers. Also see UIC Office of Career Services
for internship opportunities (and job fairs). The UIC Career Services organizes workshops on resumes, effective interviewing, and cover letters. Check out the site to learn more about resources at UIC for you to explore career possibilities.
Other resources outside UIC: Careers for Students of History
(American Historical Association) Careers in Public History idealist.org
History Associates Incorporated