If you are thinking about pursuing a degree in history, there are several secondary education options that you will want to take advantage of. By preparing yourself properly during your secondary school years, this will go a long way in helping you determine the specific area of the history industry that you want to go into. And with a better determination of the occupation you are seeking, you can devote more of your time to gaining experience and knowledge that will help you land the perfect career. Here is an overview of your best secondary education options for history.

What is a secondary education?

Secondary education (for the most part) focuses on the last four years of general studies (usually four years of high school) as well as your college years. Because of this, you should devote as much time as possible during high school to taking history courses; this will better prepare you for your history studies once you are admitted to college. And while some history courses can seem a bit monotonous, you should never enter into them with the thought of them being boring. If you don’t enjoy the teacher teaching the course, you can always speak with your high school counselor about possibly switching to another history class with a teacher that resonates better with you. As you enter into college, you will be able to pick your courses and teachers; this is why it is so pertinent to research colleges that are well known for employing professors who intrigue their students.

Preparing for secondary education in history

Majoring in history will likely lead to a very enjoyable and well-paying career. The educational path, however, can be long and you should make sure you are thoroughly prepared. To ensure you get the most out of your secondary educational studies in history, you first need to ask yourself if you are ready to:

  • Participate in group discussions
  • Create your own ideas from history-related content, including films, books, magazines, articles, online publishings, and more
  • Learn a new language
  • Read and take in a lot of information
  • Spend at least one semester away from your campus conducting research

Skills that are needed to help propel you on your path to becoming a history major are reading, writing, and curiosity. Yes, you read that right. Curiosity goes a long way in studying history because it sparks creative thinking, which is essential in being able to connect the dots between events that occurred thousands of years ago with those that are occurring today. The purpose of a historian is to draw a big picture of the past so that present-age people can view it according to facts and learn from it.

The most important question you should be asking yourself before you pursue secondary education options in history is whether or not you enjoy conducting research. Research is the largest part of history as you are required to study lots of content, drawing your own conclusions to any questions being asked. Because of this, you should take as many research courses as you can during your high school years. Even if you do not plan on using your history degree to become a historian, your research capabilities will set you apart from the crowd when you apply for whatever history-related job it is you are wanting to secure.

Choosing the Best Secondary Education Option

You will likely start applying for college secondary education options while you are still in high school. You should put much thought into which college you will enroll in. Not all colleges are the same when it comes to history majors, and you need to make sure you choose one that is known for helping its history students excel in life. To ensure you pick the best one for you, you first need to determine which field of history you want to study. Then you can pinpoint which colleges offer the studies you are looking for. Remember, some colleges focus on traditional history while others have a focus primarily on cultural history. Your preference between these two types of history will help you choose which college is best. You will also need to take a look at each schools’ library and the access it provides to academic journals and archives. Make sure you choose a college that allows you access to up-to-date multimedia resources, including films, movies, videos, images/photos, etc. You will need access to these resources to finish your studies. Lastly, you will want to speak with a counselor from your prospect colleges and learn about any internships available for history majors. The more experience you can gain through internships, the better prepared you will be to secure employment once you graduate. You may even be able to transition straight from an internship into a full-time position.

College Options for History Majors

You can always go to a community college to acquire your general course studies for a degree in history. In fact, it is highly suggested that you do because it will help you save money on tuition expenses. Still yet, though, to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in history you will probably need to attend an actual university once your undergraduate studies have been completed. Here is a list of the top 10 colleges for those pursuing a degree in history:

  • Vanderbilt University
  • Columbia University
  • University of Chicago
  • Carleton College
  • Brown University
  • Ponoma College
  • Stanford University
  • Princeton University
  • Yale University
  • Harvard University

Top Careers for History Majors and Expected Salary Levels

There are so many career paths for you to follow with a degree in history. Below is a list of six common careers for history majors and the salary you can expect to earn:

  1. Historian writer: $42k a year
  2. Historian researcher: $42k a year
  3. Historian educator: $67k a year
  4. Archivist: $47k a year
  5. Attorney: $116k a year
  6. Librarian: $57k a year


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