As the world becomes more technology-driven, the importance of a college education continues to be emphasized. More and more students are pursuing degrees in various fields, but questions have arisen regarding the usefulness of certain degree programs. One major that is often subject to scrutiny is history. Some people believe that studying history is not a practical choice and that a degree in this field will not lead to a successful career. However, this viewpoint ignores the many benefits and advantages of a history degree. In this post, we will explore the value of a history degree, debunk common myths, highlight transferable skills, and suggest alternatives for those interested in history but looking for more practical career outcomes.
History Degree: What You Can Do With It
One of the main concerns regarding a history degree is the limited career opportunities it supposedly offers. However, this is not the case.
Graduates with history degrees have a variety of career options to choose from, including:
- Cultural Resource Managers
- Museum Curators
- Policy Analysts
- Teachers and Professors
- Writers and Editors
Moreover, history graduates have transferable skills that are highly valued in a variety of fields, including:
- Analytical thinking
- Clear communication
- Critical reasoning
- Research and analysis
- Strong writing
While it is true that some careers may require additional education or training, a history degree provides a strong foundation for success in various fields. Graduates with history degrees also have the potential to earn high salaries, depending on their chosen career path.
Common Misconceptions About History Degrees
Despite the value that a history degree can provide, there are various misconceptions that exist regarding this major. Here are some of the most common:
- History degrees are only for those who want to become historians. This is far from the truth. While history degrees can lead to a career in academia or research, they also provide skills that are applicable to a range of fields.
- History degrees do not lead to high-paying careers. While it is true that not all careers associated with history degrees will lead to high salaries, there are several careers that can lead to substantial pay, including some listed above.
- History degrees do not provide practical or marketable skills. This viewpoint is misguided, as many skills learned through studying history are transferable to other fields. Historical research and analysis, critical thinking, and clear communication skills are highly valued in many industries.
- History degrees only focus on memorizing dates and facts. While history degrees do include learning about historical events, they also focus on critical interpretation of sources, understanding historical context, and analyzing trends over time.
- History degrees only provide information about the past and do not relate to present-day issues. A history degree can provide valuable insight into current affairs. Studying past events and their causes can lead to a deeper understanding of the present.
Benefits of Pursuing a History Degree
Studying history can provide numerous advantages and benefits, both in terms of personal and professional growth. Some of these benefits include:
- Broad worldview: Studying history allows individuals to gain a deep understanding of different cultures and societies. This can lead to a greater appreciation and respect for diverse perspectives.
- Research skills: History majors develop strong research skills, which can be useful in many fields beyond academia. Employers value individuals who can locate and analyze information.
- Clear communication: A history degree emphasizes strong writing skills and clear communication, which is critical in many fields.
- Critical thinking: By analyzing primary and secondary sources, history students develop strong critical thinking skills. They learn to evaluate arguments objectively, identify biases, and consider multiple perspectives.
- Problem-solving: History students are trained to solve complex problems by analyzing data, considering historical context, and developing logical arguments based on evidence.
- Career versatility: As previously mentioned, history students have a wide range of career paths to choose from. The skills learned through studying history are applicable to many careers, including law, journalism, education, and more.
- Personal enrichment: Studying history provides individuals with a deeper understanding of the world and its past. This can lead to greater personal growth and enrichment.
Alternatives to Pursuing a History Degree
While history degrees offer many valuable skills and career paths, some students may prefer to pursue a degree with more practical applications. Here are some alternatives for those interested in history:
- Political Science: A degree in political science provides students with an understanding of domestic and international politics, as well as law, government and public policy.
- American Studies: This major provides students with an in-depth study of American culture, literature, history, and politics, as well as their intersection with society.
- Anthropology: Anthropology involves the study of humans and their societies, cultures, and development. It offers insights into how societies function and can lead to careers in nonprofits, social justice organizations, and international aid organizations.
- Philosophy: Philosophy involves the study of fundamental questions surrounding existence, values, and reason. It can prepare students for careers in law, or provide a foundation for further study in humanities or social sciences. To know more about philosophy, you may read an interesting article is philosophy hard.
- Archaeology: This major involves the scientific study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of artifacts and other physical remains. It offers insights into how past societies worked and how people have interacted with the environment over time.
Ultimately, individuals should choose a degree based on their interests and goals, regardless of perceived practicality.
– Despite popular belief, history degrees can lead to successful careers in fields such as education, law, and government.
– A recent study has shown that history majors perform better than other majors in critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills.
– While a history degree may not have as direct of a career path as some other majors, the skills and knowledge gained can be applied in a variety of fields.
– It’s important to choose a major based on personal interests and passions, rather than solely on perceived practicality or difficulty.
– If you’re struggling with the decision of whether to pursue a history degree or not, it may be helpful to compare it to other majors, such as chemistry. Check out this article on “Is Chemistry Hard” for a different perspective on choosing a major.
Is studying history a waste of time and money?
No. History degrees provide students with valuable research, analytical, and writing skills that transfer well to many professions.
What kind of jobs can I get with a history degree?
There are many career paths available, including teaching, law, research, writing, journalism, museums, archives, and government.
How much money can I make with a history degree?
Salary for jobs with a history degree can vary widely depending on the specific job and location, but many graduates earn competitive salaries.
Is it possible to apply a history degree to other fields?
Definitely. The skills and knowledge gained through studying history can be applied to a variety of fields, including marketing, management, and public relations.
What is the job outlook for history majors?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in education and related fields are expected to grow in the coming years.
Is a degree in history hard to obtain?
As with any degree, there will be challenges, but the difficulty will depend on the individual student and the program they choose.
How long does it take to earn a history degree?
This varies depending on the program level and number of credit hours required, but a bachelor’s degree typically takes four years to complete.
Should I choose a practical major over a major I am passionate about?
This is a personal decision that depends on your priorities and goals. It’s important to pursue a degree in a field you are passionate about, but also consider potential career outcomes.
Is chemistry harder than studying history?
Both subjects can be challenging, but the difficulty depends on the individual student and their strengths and interests. Check out this article on “Is Chemistry Hard” for more information.
Can I pursue a history degree online?
Yes, many universities offer online programs for history degrees. However, it’s important to carefully research and choose a reputable program.
Rachel always knew that she had a passion for history. Growing up, she loved reading about historical events and figures, and often found herself lost in thought about the past. After graduating high school, she decided to pursue a history degree at her local university.
As she got into her studies, Rachel began to doubt her choice. She had friends in business and engineering who were already getting internships and job offers, while she was struggling to make sense of complicated texts and theories. She began to wonder if she had made the wrong choice, if she was just wasting her time and money on a degree that would lead to nowhere.
But despite her doubts, Rachel persevered. She spent extra time in the library and sought out the advice of her professors and academic advisers. Slowly but surely, her skills in research, writing, and critical thinking improved. She began to see how the knowledge and methods she was learning could be applied in a variety of different fields.
In her senior year, Rachel applied for a summer internship at a local non-profit. The organization was researching the impact of a historical event on the community, and Rachel’s research skills and familiarity with historical context made her an ideal candidate. She was offered the internship, and spent the summer working on a project that combined her academic skills with her passion for community involvement.
When she graduated, Rachel was unsure of what to do next. But after hearing about a job opening at a museum, she decided to give it a shot. To her amazement, her history degree was exactly what the museum was looking for – someone with a deep understanding of the past and the ability to communicate that understanding to others.
Now, Rachel works full time at the museum as a historian and education specialist. She spends her days researching and teaching about the impact of history on the present, and inspiring future generations to learn and engage with the past. Looking back, Rachel is grateful that she didn’t give up on her passion for history – she knows that her degree has opened doors and opportunities that she never would have found otherwise.
History degrees offer numerous advantages and can lead to a variety of career paths. Despite common misconceptions, history degrees provide skills that are in high demand, such as analytical thinking, strong communication skills, and research abilities. Students who are interested in history but concerned about career prospects should explore the many paths available to them, including academia, museum work, law, and journalism.
For those who prefer a more practical focus, there are several options available in related fields, such as political science, American studies, and philosophy. Ultimately, choosing a degree program should be based on interests and passions, rather than perceived practicality or marketability.
While there may be debate about the usefulness of certain degrees, it is important to remember the value of studying the past and understanding how it impacts the present and future. As the saying goes, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
An example of the debate surrounding the practicality of a degree pertaining to history or art history is “Is an Art History Degree Worthless?” which can be further explored in this article.