Why Study History?

Why Study History?

The study of History at CSULB involves not only learning about the past, but also learning marketable and transferrable skills like thinking critically, writing effectively, and developing the ability to undertake research in a wide variety of sources and media.

Studying university-level history is not boring!  History is more than memorizing names and dates.  It’s learning about people, and why things happened the way they did.  Where else can you learn about cosmonauts?  Medieval pirates?  The politics of brewing beer or harvesting olives?  The Watts Tower?  The struggles of freed slaves for equality and security?

Historians answer the “Why?” questions.  We are problem solvers and communicators.  We think globally.  We consider carefully all dimensions of our research questions.  We like digging in archives and examining how people lived in the past.  We like riddles, puzzles, and most of all, learning about the world in which we live.

In a recent Psychology Today article, educational psychologist Catherin Brooks writes about why she majored in History, even though she knew she wanted to be a psychologist.  Check out the American Historical Association’s Why Study History? site, which offers even more suggestions for why a degree in history might be right for you.

But don’t take our words for it.  Here is what our alumni say about the value of their History degrees from CSULB.  And remember, 60% of our graduates choose to work in a field unrelated to their undergraduate degrees – the skills they gained as History majors helped them secure these jobs!

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Many of us have had to have that conversation: “A History Degree? What are you going to do with that?”

Again, we turn to our accomplished alumni for answers.   They are teachers, educators, and school administrators.  They enter business, where they succeed as IT professionals, human resource managers, entrepreneurs, and operations managers.  They are hospital administrators, family therapists, nurses, and health educators.  They work in government and for non-profits and private companies.

95% of our recent graduates (2008-) report that they are either working and/or enrolled in graduate or professional schools.

History is the kind of degree that helps you develop those real world skills employers and graduate and professional schools desire today. 

See where we are and what we do.

Our majors are successful.  In a recent Payscale Salary Report (2013-14), CSULB graduates ranked seventh nationwide among highest earners with History B.A. degrees.  And a report on lifetime earnings from Georgetown University’s Center on the Education and the Workforce found that graduates with a History B.A. had higher lifetime average annual salaries than graduates with B.S. degrees in Computer Science!

Now that you know what you can do with a History degree, join us!  Make an appointment to see an advisor.