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The Past Decides Our Future: Looking at Historians

By Parth Joshi (‘23)

History is an important part of the future. Although that may sound strange to most, to a history lover that rings true. Historians can make society a better place by researching the past. Crossroads South 8th grade history teacher Ms. Lindsay O’Mara clarified many things about history and why some people love it so much.

Ms. O’Mara became interested in history at an early age.

She said, “My grandfather was a World War II veteran and we would always talk about his travels and his experiences and things like that and different topics.”

She also loves periods of conflict, specifically World War II because of her grandfather.

In order to become a historian, there are certain education requirements that must be met. A candidate must study six years of history at any university or college in order to receive a bachelor’s and master’s degree in history. Rutgers University in New Jersey offers a program for both of those degrees.

The required courses at Rutgers include: Western Civilization, U.S History, Perspectives in History, Seminar Research, and World History. To get a master’s, the courses include: American History, World History, & History of Technology, Environment and Medicine/Health.

Ms. O’Mara said, “After [freshman year], there’s a little more variation and choice, so you can kind of decide which areas of history you like.”

As far as cost goes, the total tuition for a bachelor’s degree comes to $113,928 and the total tuition for a master’s degree is $44,212.

When the word historian comes to mind, it may sound like a simple and straight-forward job, but historians do a lot more than people realize. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, historians gather resources from any source of media, analyze and interpret this information, and write reports on the information.

Therefore, historians must be creative and open-minded in order to look at and analyze all perspectives on an event in order to truly get the best view on what happened. Additionally, they must be thorough and know how to get information from any possible source, so that they can get all of the different points of view on an event.

To do the best at their job, historians must be good writers and conveyors of emotions in order to write down what happened and their perspective on it. As far as work hours, the majority of historians usually have regular business hours but some may be independent and work on their own schedule.

The next prospect is salary and outlook. How much do historians make? What is the future for the career of historians? To start with salary, beginner historians typically make $29,270 out of college. As they receive seniority, they will eventually reach the median salary, $61,140. The unemployment rate for historians is 3.7%, which is the national average. Now looking towards the future, historians have a promising outlook. The projected number of new jobs is 200, with the projected growth rate being 6%.

Although it may seem useless to focus on the past, historians are the backbone of society. They need to be creative, intelligent, hard-working people because the work that they do may end up making the world a better place for the people of tomorrow.

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