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Why Study History?


The study of history at SUNY Oneonta prepares graduates for careers in a variety of professional fields. It does so through:

- Classes that foster critical thinking, research and communication skills
- Internships
- Career workshops
- Graduate school workshops
- Student research and teaching assistantships

History is an exciting field that teaches students to think critically about the forces that shape people's lives in the present, the near past and the distant past. It enables one to understand current upheavals in the Middle East, central Africa, the Koreas or the Balkans by learning about their national or regional histories before the 21st century and what factors contributed to particular problems today. History students learn to evaluate conflicting accounts of events, conduct research, gather material from different sources, and develop their own ideas and draw their own conclusions. Training in history gives students transferable skills, making the history degree a good preparation for many professions and careers:

        • Critical thinking skills: the ability to reasonably judge a given situation appeals to employers because they know you can make effective decisions, evaluate data and information reliably, and contribute to an intellectually demanding work environment
        • Communication skills: effective communication is the ability to successfully and precisely communicate ideas in text or through verbal exchange - valuable assets in ALL work environments
        • Research skills: vital to any job, history majors have a unique ability to understand past practices and policies and to trace the roots of any issue, to find new information which bears on that issue, and to incorporate that information into one's analysis of an issue
        • Interdisciplinary skills: interdisciplinary thinking and training provides individuals with the ability to think about a problem from multiple angles, analyze via multiple tools, and to provide solutions which draw from different traditions of thought
        • The history curriculum is extensive and versatile, enabling students to employ the discipline for many different purposes. The curriculum allows students to focus on the history of Japan, France, Great Britain, Germany, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, South Africa, USA and many others. There is a major, a minor, and concentrations for closely related programs such as Secondary Social Studies.

          Majoring in history opens many professional opportunities for life after graduating from SUNY - Oneonta. Although teaching remains one of the more common career paths for history majors, one is not limited to pursuing careers in education when earning an undergraduate degree in history. Many exciting opportunities await the history major upon graduation because prospective employers value the skills students develop as undergraduate history majors. Careers for History Majors range from Law, Communications, Government, Public History and Historic Preservation, Business and Industry, Consultants and Analysts in Federal agencies (such as the Department of State, Department of Defense, and others), artists, ministers, military officers, lobbyists, archivists, doctors, musicians, city planners, architects, writers, newspaper editors, and endless other possibilities...





**Special Thanks to Professor Catherine Lavender, CUNY for some information contained on this page**