If you’re thinking about studying for a degree you have to think carefully about what subject you want to study, since you will end up spending three or four years of your life cooped up in a library reading, or sat in front of a computer screen typing. Plus, it isn’t cheap to go to university when you have tuition fees to pay as well as rent and other essentials. You don’t want to find yourself on a course that you hate and which bores you tears, as you won’t get the most out of your time at university and may come away with poor grades.
You therefore need to find a subject which interests you and which you want to learn about in greater depth. You should also consider what kinds of careers you might want to do when you’ve graduated and whether your degree course will help. History may not seem like to an obvious choice, as it isn’t like studying for a Social Work degree where you know you’re going to end up as a social worker. However, studying History can enable you to develop skills that are invaluable in the workplace.
Studying for a History degree requires you to be able to read vast amounts of material and comprehend what is being said; it requires you to assess different historical interpretations and weigh up how valuable different sources are; plus you learn to argue a particular viewpoint in a considered way. When you study for a History degree you have to be organised when it comes to planning your essays as well as how you manage your time and you have to be able to communicate effectively in your essays and in seminars.
Clearly, employers are going to value someone who is articulate and can argue their case. There are plenty of job opportunities open to History students and so you could enter the civil service or get yourself on to a graduate scheme. You may decide to continue with your education so that you end up working towards a master’s degree that will enable you to specialise in a particular area. If you want to base your career around your History degree you may decide to become an academic, work in a museum, or teach History to high school students.
In the end, History is an important subject as you can’t fully understand what is going on in the present without acknowledging what happened in the past. Deciding to study for a History degree is definitely not a waste of time and could help you pursue a career that you want.