For its majors, the history department offers a broad program of courses designed to discipline and develop the mind. When combined with appropriate courses in other fields, this program prepares history majors for careers in law, government service, management and administration, library science, education and journalism. A departmental honors program offers special opportunities for independent work to advanced students.
One of the most common questions asked by students and parents alike is “what can one do with a history degree?” The answer to this question is not as simple as one would think. Most people see a B.A. in History as a path to a career in teaching, be it in primary or secondary schools or, in some cases, in a college or university. While these are common destinations for history majors (Le Moyne College History graduates can be found teaching in schools throughout Central New York and across the state), they are far from being the only ones. Like the other core disciplines in a liberal arts curriculum, the study of history prepares students to be good writers, critical thinkers, analysts of data, and knowledgeable global citizens. These are skills that are essential in today’s world and make anyone a very marketable job candidate.
The curriculum for History majors at Le Moyne College teaches all students research skills, the ability to analyze critically source material, communicate their findings both through in-class discussions and in the writing of research papers, and, unlike any other major at the college, gives students a global and historic perspective, a skill that has become increasingly important in our ever globalizing world. Additionally, the History major gives students thirty credits of free electives that allow students to pursue minors, additional foreign language study, or other courses of interest to help students to prepare themselves for life after graduation. So what career paths are available to History majors?
Historians in Museums, Archives and Historic Preservation
- For many people their interest with history developed from childhood trips to museums or historic sites. The development of these exhibits and sites is largely done by individuals trained as historians. Additionally, for-profit businesses and public sector agencies require historians to collect, assemble, and preserve archival documents for reference and research. Thus employment at places as diverse as the National Park Service, Ford Motor Company, and the New York State Archives require trained historians.
- Le Moyne College offers an excellent internship opportunity for History majors interested in historic preservation and archival work at the Le Moyne College Archives housed in the Noreen Falcone Library on campus.
Historians in Government and Politics
- What do Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, George W. Bush, Justices Antonin Scalia and Elena Kagan, Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, W.E.B. DuBois have in common? They all were History majors in college.
- The study of History in college opens many doors for individuals interested in careers in government service or politics, be it local, state, or federal. Some opportunities include work for the U.S. State Department, FBI, CIA, and as a Congressional staffer.
Historians in the Business World
- Would it surprise you that numerous CEOs at Fortune 500 companies were history majors in college? Among these companies are IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Morgan Stanley, and Omnimedia.
- The skills that many businesses seek in their employees such as the ability to research and evaluate data, to communicate their findings in both writing and orally, to possess a global mindset, and to understand the big picture are all required of History majors.
Historians in Publishing
- Writing skills stressed in our History curriculum can help graduates land jobs in the publishing field as editors and writers for both scholarly journals and documentary projects.
Historians Helping Others
- Another option for History majors is spend one to two years providing much needed services to others through the Peace Corps, Teach for America, and the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, among others. Participation in these programs provides the participants with much needed experience and skills that usually result in numerous job and graduate school opportunities.
For a more detailed description of careers for students of history see the American Historical Association’s publication: www.historians.org/pubs/careers/index.htm
Graduate Programs and Law Schools attended by recent History majors
University of California, Santa Barbara
University of Colorado
University of Delaware
Loyola University of Chicago
West Virginia University
University of Rochester
Oswego State University
University of Pittsburgh (archival studies)
Middle Tennessee State University (public history)
Syracuse University Law School
University at Buffalo Law School
University at Albany Law School