Department Chair

  • James C. Harrison
    Professor of History
    Kiernan Hall 228

What can I do with a major/minor in History?


What Can I Do With a Major In History?
            This is a most common question asked by parent and student alike who are uncertain about employment possibilities after graduation. This concern is particularly pertinent because the most visible product of a history major is the secondary school teacher but not everyone wishes to teach. Not all history, however, leads to the classroom. In fact, only a small percentage of history majors actually go on to be teachers. History majors graduating from Siena have become artists, priests, small business owners, military officers, lobbyists, insurance agents, bankers, politicians, lawyers, archivists, librarians, researchers, environmentalists, writers, newspaper editors, social workers, activists, police officers, salespeople, teachers, and stock brokers. That such diverse occupations are available is due to the broad preparation of the history student to think, write, criticize and analyze. These are skills that virtually any job requiring a college degree demands.
As in any area of useful learning, history must provide practical skills that can be used in all aspects of life, not just a profession. The developed skills of a history major include writing, critical analysis, research, interdisciplinary thinking, curiosity, and a world view. See the Siena History Department web site for more information.


“After History, What?”
            Several times during each semester the History Department sponsors panels that explore potential occupations for history majors. Open to all students, it offers an opportunity to hear professionals describe their jobs and what preparation is necessary. The end of each session provides an opportunity to ask questions. All history students are encouraged to attend these panel discussions. Students may make suggestions for future panels or speakers to Dr. Wendy Pojmann .
See also “Careers in History”