Many of the
students in WMU history program are preparing to be secondary teachers.
The university began as a normal school in 1903 for the purpose of training
teachers and it continues to be one of the best places in Michigan to
prepare for this career. There are other choices. There are teaching
opportunities above the secondary level, in junior colleges, colleges
and universities. Our faculty is actively engaged in research and graduate
education and can prepare you for graduate school and help place you
at other institutions around the country. We also have a strong program
in public history at the undergraduate and graduate levels, to prepare
people to work in museums, archives and public programs.
All three of these options are offered as formal programs of study, but there are still more possibilities. Students interested in careers in law, journalism, creative or scientific writing, or librarianship can prepare at the undergraduate level by majoring in history. Scratch the surface of a history major and you find someone who likes to read and write. One of the goals of the history program is to nurture interest in self-education, since the 21st century will require growth and change from all of us, not least from our secondary teachers.
Government agencies and private businesses alike are turning to their past in order to develop better policies for the future. Many federal departments and state and local governments are now mature enough to have historical data banks on which to draw, to analyze the impact of past programs and policies as a basis for new legislation. Business executives are increasingly aware of the need to organize their archives and corporate records, and to take more initiative in public relations by developing museums and related outreach activities.
For history majors at Western Michigan University, these developments translate into an unprecedented variety of opportunities to practice history professionally. The field needs outstanding, committed teachers at every level. Public and private sector jobs in research and interpretation are almost bewildering in their diversity.
Examples of Job Titles for History Majors:
*Please note that some of the listed positions require education beyond a bachelors degree.
Examples of Employers of History Majors: