Why Major In History?
The following is excerpted from an article published by Vanderbilt University, ranked among the top 50 universities by Forbes.
...as one of the core disciplines of the liberal arts, history provides a classic mode of learning. By studying the past, including primary evidence in seminars and honors research, undergraduate majors learn to think with rigor, to write with clarity and precision, to organize and assess evidence, to analyze problems and interpret complex events.
...historical knowledge is important. And historical ignorance is dangerous. In individuals, amnesia is devastating; if we don't know where we've come from, we can't know who we are or where we should be headed. In societies, ignorance or willful distortion of the past is closely linked to wars and catastrophic miscalculations.
Will a history major get you a good job? Possibly, but not by itself. The same is true for most liberal arts majors. Their goal is to teach you how to think and write and learn. Leaders in American business and professional life, leaders in government and foundations and nonprofit institutions, are intensifying their plea for the campuses to teach their graduates to read efficiently, write clearly, reason logically, and analyze problems against a background of broad social information. They in turn will then train you in particular skills or methods--law, accounting, sales, military, foreign service, production, journalism, music marketing. In our contemporary global economy, individuals may need to learn a half-dozen different jobs in their lifetime, we are told. The world economy increasingly will reward generalist skills of literacy and numeracy over training in particular job categories.
The history major is thus designed for generalists. Majors who want to earn history PhDs, always a small minority, will get their special training in postgraduate programs.
American Historical Association - List of Careers for History Majors