Choosing Preservation: a major decision

Choosing HiP

“Historic preservation was something I knew I could be passionate about and love working with.

By Sarah Rosso, Historic Preservation major

Choosing a college major is hard enough, but how would you feel if when you finally made your decision no one supported you? My friends and family were wary of my decision and probably would have been more accepting if I had chosen a more typical, “reliable” major like business or nursing. Your college education has nothing to do with your family members opinions and it is the first step to adulthood independence. The only person you should worry about liking your field of study is you. I chose to be a historic preservation major after years of evolving interests in high school.

Historic preservation was something I knew I could be passionate about and love working with, but I really knew little about it. However, that’s a chance you have to take when going to college. No matter how much you research schools, programs, careers, etc. there is no way of knowing what will be the best fit for you, and that’s ok! After my first year of college I have grown and changed a lot personally, so it only makes sense that students change their majors so commonly- because people change. Once you start taking classes it will be clearer to see what you like best, and if you find that you are in the wrong major, changing isn’t hard.

When entering such a small field of study it is very difficult to find statistics on the job outlook which can be a little discouraging. However, having a specialized degree puts you at an advantage over others because you will have received a more tailored education to fit your plans for the future. Opportunities are out there if you just look. You can gain experience through internships both during the school year and summer. Where you choose to do your internship is very important because it helps you make connections and possibly secure a job right after graduation.

Since I don’t plan on living in the Cleveland area after I graduate, it would be smart for me to do a summer internship closer to home if that’s where I wanted to stay. There are opportunities for careers in historic preservation all over the country, especially the east coast. After graduating with my masters I plan on moving and finding a job with an architectural firm that specializes in preservation and restoration.

In conclusion I hope that this blog has encouraged your interest in historic preservation, from a personal point of view. It can be hard to pursue a career in a field that many people have never heard of but if you feel a connection to it, why not pursue it and see what happens?

About Bari Oyler Stith, Ph.D.

Director, Historic Preservation Program, Ursuline College

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