The University continues to be open and transparent in its communication related to the bias incidents. Click here to learn more about the University’s Bias Incident Response Team.


Myths About Majoring in History

There are some common myths about history majors:

  • History Majors Are Underemployed
  • A History Major Does Not Prepare You for Gainful Employment
  • History Majors Are Underpaid.

Read this article to gain an accurate understanding. "History Is Not a Useless Major: Fighting Myths with Data," by Paul B. Sturtevant, April 2017, published in the AHA's Perspectives Magazine.

The author writes that:
“Most history majors do not expect to become historians. Instead, they find meaningful careers in a wide range of fields. A history degree provides a broad skillset that has ensured that history majors are employed in almost every walk of life, with some notable trends . . . History majors seem particularly well-­prepared for certain careers. Nearly one in five goes into education—just over half as K-12th grade teachers. Another 15% enter management positions in business, and 11% go into the legal professions (most becoming lawyers). The “fast food worker” myth is definitely not backed up by the data; only 1.7% of history majors work in food preparation, compared to 5% of the overall population.

Nearly half of the history majors went on to graduate school—a much higher percentage than the national average (37%) . . . This might be because law, management, and education require advanced study. It could also mean that students interested in careers that require graduate training see a history major as a valuable springboard. Likely it is a combination of the two.

. . . The vast majority of history majors, of course, do not become professional historians; only 4.5% of history majors become educators at a postsecondary level (college professors). The number who become museum professionals—0.5 percent—is a very small slice of the overall pie as well.” However, most use their history background and training in a wide variety of careers that offer great flexibility and satisfying lifestyles.