One of the reasons I started this series was to inspire those students who love history but are hesitant to major in history because they (or their parents) “don’t know what they are going to do with such a major.” I hope I can expand these students’ thinking about the kinds of “transferable skills” a history major provides.
My focus so far has been largely on jobs that history majors can do that do not necessarily involve studying or teaching the past. Most of the history majors that I teach do not become college history professors. And the longer I teach at this small liberal arts college where I have close contact with students inside and outside the classroom, I realize that it is a real disservice to our students to presume that history faculty are in the business of cloning themselves.
Yet every now and then we do get bright majors who want to be history professors and have the potential to pull it off. With this in mind, I appreciate a post at “History Mike” entitled “Advice on How to Become a History Professor.” (HT) Here are Mike’s suggestions about how to enter the world of academia as a history prof. I strongly encourage you to go to the post and read Mike’s thoughts about each one of these suggestions:
Avoid being a timid student
Vary your educational experiences
Work hard every day
Choose useful areas of specialization
Work with a variety of professors
Seek assistantships and fellowships
Develop an academic network
Say “yes” to every opportunity to teach
Help others along the way
Involve yourself in the field
Thanks, Mike. This is great advice.