On Campus: The Middle Eastern Medieval historian

moorhead_ramsdell.jpgMichael Ramsdell Jr. of Brainerd figures he’s in the safest place to be during an economic meltdown — school.

The Minnesota State University Moorhead senior is studying to be a history professor. He’ll go to grad school next, “then a job or a doctorate depending on how bad the economy is.”

The world has played right into Ramsdell’s plans. He learned how to speak Arabic and he wants to specialize in Middle Eastern Medieval history. “It’s the highest demand area for history,” he says. “There’s maybe 5,000 job openings a year in European studies, but in Middle Eastern history, there’s 15,000 to 20,000. It’s expanding thanks to the war on terror.”

If he doesn’t become a professor, he figures there’ll be a job with the government, especially for a guy who can speak Arabic.

In the meantime, he can shut out the economy at school. “I just tell myself that I’m going to go and get my doctorate. The worst that can happen to me is I get my doctorate. As long as you stay in school, nothing bad is going to happen. You might be poor and living out of a dumpster and living on the street, but at least you’re not that bad off. You could be living in China,” he said.

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