History

History

What is History?

History is more than a catalog of events and actors; it is
an ongoing process of discovery and interpretation. All facets of
human experience have a historical dimension — the power struggles of
monarchs and presidents; the working lives of farmers, sailors and
seamstresses; the spiritual lives of slaves; the cultural assumptions
of colonizers; the intimate relationships of families, to name only a
few. Even the telling of history has a historical dimension, since
historians often disagree about exactly how things happened and why. The
variety of sources through which we understand history can encompass
the full range of human expression as well — written documents,
clothing, household items, artwork, advertisements, songs, buildings
and public monuments, among others. By studying primary materials and
divergent interpretations of history, students acquire and develop
analytical and expository skills: they learn to critique and interpret
sources, sift through and organize information, formulate persuasive
arguments, and express themselves with clarity and elegance. In
addition to graduate study, these skills are indispensable for work in
law, journalism, education, government, non-governmental organizations
and business. The study of history affords many additional benefits. It
expands and enriches our understanding of the diversity of human lives
over time across such boundaries as gender, culture, class, race,
region and religion. It helps us think about how and why the world weknow came to be and about our own places in it.

Working in History
Characteristics and Skills Necessary for Success

  • Curiosity about when, where, why, and how historical events took place
  • Interest in the differences in societies
  • Interest in relationship between past and present
  • Ability to read carefully
  • Ability to think critically and creatively
  • Skilled in presenting information clearly and succinctly
  • Good communication skills for orally and written

Click HERE for a table on Career Areas, Employers, and Strategies for Employment

Sample Job Titles

Anthropologist
Archeologist
Archivist
Foreign Service Officer 
Historian
History Professor
Journalist
Librarian
Lobbyist
Museum Curator
Political Scientist

 

Learning More About History

  • Visit the Career Services office and check out our Career Resource Library

    • Great Jobs for History Majors
  • Visit the SLU History Department website
  • Check out History course descriptions in the Catalog
  • Talk with a professor in History about the major. Click here for a list of possible questions to ask.
  • Perform an informational interview with a professional in the field. Click here for information on how to find a professional, contacting them, and a list of possible questions.
  • Get connected with SLU alum in the field through SAINTSLink, participate in Shadow-a-Saint or complete an Internship.

Additional Resources

Related Majors and Minors at SLU
Anthropology
African Studies
African-American Studies
Asian Studies
Canadian Studies
Caribbean & Latin American Studies
Estudios Hispanicos (Spanish)
European Studies
Francophone Studies
German Studies
Government
Global Studies
Japanese Studies
Latin American Studies
Multi-Language
Native American Studies

Sociology