Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

My goal of obtaining a leadership position in my career field is what motivates me to pursue a graduate degree. I am a history major; the subject is my passion, and I strongly wish to find a job in that area, particularly in public history. Public history concerns things such as historic preservation, museums, archives, etc. History is a critical yet overlooked subject in the United States. Author Pearl S. Buck once said that “If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.” I hold this quote to be true. In order to chart a better future for ourselves and our children, we need to fully understand the historical context that has brought us to our present condition. I need a master’s degree in history so that I can find a career that will help me present this context to the public.
I need a graduate degree for more practical reasons as well. The bachelor’s degree is the new high school diploma; in order to even be considered for many positions I must have an advanced degree. This is particularly true in my home state of West Virginia, where history jobs are few and far between. Most jobs that do exist are as museum docents or archivists and pay very little. In order to become a director, curator, collections manager, or some other high-ranking position that I desire, I will need advanced levels of education to be able to compete in the job market.
It is my sincere wish that I can make a difference in the field of history. I firmly believe that I am qualified for a top-level history job in the state. Not only do I want to preserve West Virginia’s wonderful history, I also want to teach it to our citizens and use it to draw in tourists so that the outside world can learn to appreciate our beautiful state. To accomplish my goals I need to obtain a level of accreditation higher than what undergraduate programs can offer me. That is why I have chosen to continue my education with graduate school.

Steven from West Virginia
Marshall University