Donald Trump’s presidency is saving the history degree

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tags: education, Trump



In March 2016, the National Center for Education Statistics found that the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in history was in dramatic decline, falling as much as 9.1% from a year earlier in 2014. The explosive growth of lucrative, forward-leaping Silicon Valley in the last decade seems to have rendered the history major, a curriculum focused on immutable events of decades ago, all the less relevant.

Then came Trump—whose November election brought upon frantic Google searches such as “How did this happen?

Trump’s win has broken through an apathy barrier of sorts. People who’d become disengaged with politics suddenly started paying attention again. It has spilled over into education: search data reveals a surge of interest in studying history in the latter half of 2016 (with a peak and crash-dip in late December, likely due to that being the deadline for US college applications).

The UK’s historic Brexit decision and the return of nationalism around the world has also helped. At Yale, history was recently revealed as the top declared major for the class of 2019, reclaiming a spot it hasn’t occupied in two decades.

History professors, enthused by the greater student interest in current events, are taking advantage of their sudden revival in relevance, pitching the major to new students as the most practical one of the modern age.






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