I’m considering going to graduate school for history but I’m not really sure which schools would be best (I live in the southeast, but I’d be willing to go north) or if it would even be worth it. I’ll graduate with a BS in Economics next spring. Any advice?
For what it’s worth, I’m in a similar boat, only I’m considering PhD studies in theology. From what I understand, the job market in academia is extremely rough right now and with Washington’s insane policies, I don’t expect things to pick up anytime soon. The bad job market in the academy is especially bad for folks with the kind of degrees that we’re interested in pursuing (last I heard, anyway). The difference between you and me is that you have a marketable undergrad degree, whereas I majored in political science (and I can’t see myself working for the government, so that narrows my prospects substantially – that’s what I get for becoming an Austro-libertarian after graduation). So my advice would be to carefully research the job market before you spend 5-6 years in school for a degree that may not pay off.
The job market is very, very difficult. Go into it with your eyes open.
Don’t think about trying to find a libertarian program or adviser. Just get into the best program you can, and do the best work you can. You can revise the received view of your area of history later in your career.
I agree with Tom’s advice here and in the linked essay entirely, with one caveat: you should shoot for as many publications as you can. I had three peer-reviewed articles in grad school and one more on the way, and I had a few classmates who had more than one each. It can be done; just keep your nose to the grindstone.