History is the collective memory of the human species, and it is a method of investigating fragmentary pieces of evidence in order to construct a narrative that makes sense of a “messy crime scene.”
Historians are detectives, and alumni of our department have gone on to successful careers in the law or serving their broader communities:
- insurance claims investigators
- teaching future voters in secondary and middle schools
- the National Park Service
- historical societies
History, like any other discipline, demands commitment, but it provides rich rewards as well. Through history, we gain perspective on why we do the things we do, and we acquire the transferable skills that have led some of our majors to achieve employment with charitable foundations and professional organizations as administrators. Some have even gone on to become professors, training their own undergraduates in the discipline.
What Skills Do You Need to Be a Historian?
- the ability to gather evidence, sometimes in documents written in a foreign language
- the ability to corroborate evidence by looking at other documents and artifacts
- the ability to arrive at general, reasoned conclusions from the evidence
- the ability to write up your conclusions
Examples of Jobs for a History Major
History and Spanish
Director of Community Engagement for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Site Manager for Charles Pinckney National Historical Site
Do You Want to Be a Historian?
Are you thinking about pursuing a career in the rewarding field of history? Our department offers bachelor’s degrees in general history, public history, and social studies teaching, as well as a master of arts in history. Or if you’re looking to compliment another major, consider our minors in history, African-American studies, or ancient studies.
Explore Our Programs
View the past issues of the Ball State History Alumni Newsletter below: