Working Toward a Bachelor of Science in History : Tracing the Past, Knowing the Truth
In times when the heads of states, global leaders and all the front runners in private sector need to make decisions, it is imperative that they know their history. Today, more than ever, studying the history of mankind should be very exciting and interesting.
It was said that not all that we read from books and papers is true. It could be that only half of it really happened. And not all that has happened was documented to be written or to be told. So what do you do with half-baked history? What if the great stories we knew from our history were only half-truth? How sure are we that the stories about the ruins and debris of the ancient civilizations are real? Is the study of history only confined with humanities, social sciences and the arts?
The emergence of forensic science in archaeological expeditions and researches also brought light to the beginning of new approach in studying history.
Today, history is being studied scientifically, thus the degree of Bachelor of Science in History.
This degree deals more with the scientific study of human experience from the context of unique cultures, geography, politics and economics of every race, nation and states in the world. Universities now developed history programs that are wider in scope and approach which intend to train historians’ analytic skills needed in interpreting raw data or information.
A historian must learn precision in observing, reading, witnessing, documenting, interpreting and concluding event, artifact, situation or any source of information to conceptualize a logical argument on a given subject.
And just as the other degrees requiring inter-disciplinary knowledge, the Bachelor of Science in History covers electives in Mathematics, Statistics, Forensic Science and Information Technology, on top of all the theoretical, social and political studies needed to the course.
What Can you do with a History Degree?
History graduates are in-demand everywhere. They can also work alone and start their own businesses or consultancy firms should they defer from working for government offices, agencies, institutions or even in private companies. Here is a short list of possible occupation and opportunities for historians.
Museums, Archives and Libraries
The growing number of museums and archives around the world are looking for archivists, librarians, curators and museum technicians that have History degrees or related courses. According to the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), in USA alone, museums employ at least 400,000 people while museums also contribute around $21 billion to the US economy. The US Travel Association also cited that 23 percent of all domestic travel within US could be accounted for cultural and heritage tours and activities.
Historians can write books too. They can also write in any publication they want. Historic novels are selling. Historians can also edit manuscript of fellow writers with non-fiction content. Journals could also be available everywhere. Take for example, Richard Maynard. He is an acclaimed writer and producer of “Normal Life,” a 1996 Sundance film. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in History from Temple University. Maynard also wrote for Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas Weekly and Emmy Magazine.
A B.S. in History deals more with specialized laboratory activities and field work. It has more units for sciences and mathematics, making it a more specialized version of the Bachelor of Arts in History. Graduates with B.S. degree can also teach in colleges, schools or universities with specific concern on scientific methods and technologies in studying history.
Most of the private and non-government institutions or agencies are looking of historians who are also advocates of specific historical issue. Many advocates also pursue their careers as lawyers. A Bachelor of Science in History degree can be a foundation for law school or a doctorate in administration.
Research and Explorations
A graduate with a B.S. in History can do anything in research. One can be a cultural resources manager, filmmaker, writer, analyst and more. Historians working with employers usually get a salary of US$28 per hour or US$52,000 to $90,000 per year. Those who sell books usually gets more income depending on their sales and royalties.
Great Contemporary Historians
There are five-known modern historians in our time. Most of them won Pulitzer Prize for their works or body of works. They are as follows:
1. Barbara Tuchman who wrote, England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour.
2. Margaret Olwen MacMillan who wrote, Women of the Raj and Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War.
3. Doris Kerns Goodwin, a Pulitzer Prize winner who wrote, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.
4. Eugenia Y. Lean who wrote Public Passions: the Trial of Shi Jianqiao and the Rise of Popular Sympathy in Republican China
5. David McCullough, a known and notable young historian who made journeys to China and parts of Asia and wrote, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, and John Adams. He bagged the Pulitzer Prize twice.
Finally, the best schools to get degrees in History are the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), University of Oxford (United Kingdom), Princeton University (United States), University of Chicago (United States), Yale University (United States), London School of Economics and Political Science, Australian National University, Columbia University (United States), University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), and University of California – Berkeley (UCB).