At the most fundamental level, history majors are
taught to ask broad questions, search for specific answers, and craft
narratives to make those answers clear and compelling to readers and
listeners. In formulating the right questions and hunting for
answers—pursuing leads into places both predictable and surprising—a
history major finds, reads, and critiques a tremendous amount of
History majors must learn to recognize reliable
sources, to move beyond established sources for elusive information, and
to gather evidence systematically, comprehensively, and carefully.
Reading this way is good training for handling dense information in any
job, and is also a way to hear many and differing voices on a particular
question. It encourages students to consider multiple perspectives,
opinions, approaches, and arguments, and to weigh and challenge what
Historical research requires an apt use of primary
sources, secondary sources, and an array of technology- and web-based
resources—building a skill set that makes history graduates valuable
assets to a variety of organizations.
Few disciplines come close to demanding the kind of writing and effective argumentation that a History degree requires.