Skip to comments.Why Students Should Still Pick a History Major
Posted on 11/22/2019 6:32:21 AM PST by karpov
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the history field has seen a precipitous decline in the number of bachelors degrees awarded in American colleges. As Benjamin Schmidt, a historian at Northeastern University, reported in the American Historical Associations Perspectives, the number of history degrees awarded fell by 30 percentfrom 34,642 to 24,266 in just nine years from 2008 to 2017.
Historys steep decline is not an anomaly, but part and parcel of a broader crisis in the humanities. STEM has steamrolled these disciplines on college campuses: Computer science has more than doubled its students between 2013 and 2017. Moreover, critics have made punching bags out of history, humanities, and social sciences writ large.
However, from the perspective of a freshly minted history graduate like myself, history departments are uniquely inspiring homes for an undergraduate education.
Indeed, history as a discipline is constantly engaging with the public, critiquing itself, and evolving through contemporary debate. Just as important, majoring in history prepares students for fulfilling and financially rewarding careers.
I studied history and political science at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and am continuing my studies in history at the University of Cambridge. Had you told me five years ago that today I would be preparing for a career as a professional historian, I would have burst into laughter. It was only after the first session of my first class at MiamiThe History of the Graphic Novelthat I decided to lean into my interest in history as a major.
I then discovered a department full of passionate professors dedicated to teaching and presenting historical topics in innovative ways. During Food in History, a course co-taught by nearly a dozen Miami historians, Elena Albarrán explained the significance of tortillas in Latin American history and demonstrated how to make them from scratch.
(Excerpt) Read more at jamesgmartin.center ...
It used to be that non-commercial studies like history were funded within universities and used in government and other institutions that paid for services sometimes. Now, history is rarely funded and universities are money mills.
I have a BA in History. I enjoy the subject. But it’s not practical. Sure, you can spin it and say that reading, comprehending, analyzing diverse facts are all useful skills that can be applied in many fields. But those skills can be available to anyone. They are not unique to History. Better, I think, to pay for a degree in something with actual application to a career.
I fully support knowledge of history. I think that is important for everyone. But you don’t need a degree in the subject to know a fair amount about the subject.
Lastly, the History field has certainly been taken over by Leftists like Zinn and so many others. A degree in history is a good way to become indoctrinated. It’s better to study something else, something practical, and then educate yourself with good sources as a hobby.
I told my kids I’d pay for college as long as they didn’t study Liberal Arts. I think it’s best to do that stuff on your own, for free.
“Elena Albarrán explained the significance of tortillas in Latin American history and demonstrated how to make them from scratch.”
Well thats just beautiful. It”ll prep these kids for a career in the food service industry....in a mexican restaurant kitchen....sheesh
History is whatever the Left wants it to be. Just more indoctrination.
I was a history major before the commies took over academia. I really enjoyed it. I ended up in the computer business as a Unix admin.
Probably the most difficult area of learning history is finding a teacher who is capable of teaching the subject.
Reading books published over 30 years ago or more would give students their best chance.
History for me is a hobby. With the Internet there is so much out there, Academia today are just gatekeepers who want to indoctrinate.
To me that’s what made “The Shall Not Grow Old” so great. It was all just the words of the men who fought in the War.
And for WWII, “The World at War” is still the defnitive documentary.
As is the book that accompanied the series.
Post-secondary education has two purposes:
-Directly training students to perform tasks in specific jobs.
- Raise up Godly leaders (especially men) to go out into the world to defend The Church against its many enemies a promote Chris values.
I mostly agree with this. But I would also include philosophy. Of course it depends on who’s teaching and what/how they’re taught. But in general, I think these are the subjects best suited for developing the kind of critical thinking necessary for sustaining a constitutional republic like ours.
Learning History, is to learn there’s nothing new under the Sun, and to recognize patterns from the past in a modern context.
History may not repeat, but it sure does rhyme.
Why would anyone accept the recommendation of an author who has demonstrated his proclivity for making poor choices by majoring in history to major in history? I majored in history. I owned up to my mistake. He should too rather than trying to lead others into the same mistake.
I have a BA in History and still consider that and English the two most important majors.
Yes, most History and English departments are now run by lunatics but a thorough grounding in each is imperative for a rounded education.
I went to college to get an education, not to train for a job. If I wanted that I would have gone to a trade school.
I majored in history and ended up making a living at itas a history teacher. But oddly, my courses didn’t include “the history of the graphic novel” or “the history of the tortilla”.
My courses were like “the history of the Holy Roman Empire” or the “history of South Asia” that required an awful lot of reading. We used these things called “books”heavy, dusty things we got from a place called a “library”. And since everyone in the course had to read the same books, they were put on hold and you had to read them in the library.
“The History of the Graphic Novel” . . . “Food in History” . . . lovely. While I strongly approve of studying real history, I’m skeptical of the value of these frivolous courses and the politicized courses so often offered instead of teaching real facts.
My degree is in History.
I am a millennial with a History degree from a top 25 university and I agree.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.