5 Reasons You Should Study History In College
When the time comes to pick your college major, it may seem… irrelevant, to study something like history. But classics and ancient history may offer more benefits than what might appear at the surface.
1. Everything has a history
By studying history, you can study anything – for the simple reason that everything has a history: ideas, wars, numbers, races, windsurfing, coal miners, pencils, and motherhood. Learning the historical environment of something’s creation gives you a clearer insight into how things work the way they do, in an unbiased atmosphere.
2. The skill sets you will obtain
You may not graduate college and become the world’s next best historian – but studying history will give you unique skill sets that are highly desirable in the work force. Graduates know how to find information, how to organize many pieces of evidence, how to see the play of causes and interactions in events. Employers value their skills as writers. Employers know that history majors have honed their critical thinking skills.
3. Exposure to lectures
Lectures provide both information and analysis; and frequently they provide you with the essential theoretical and analytical framework for the major themes which are to be tackled in class or in essay work. In many instances lectures are also used to impart information not easily available – if at all. Lectures are also very useful in terms of developing skills: taking notes from a live lecture helps discriminate between important and less important details; distill the main ideas from an oral report and rapidly note them down.
History exposes you to the foundations and culture of a language. Many college history programs require that you supplement your studies with a language. Having the historical background of the language, as opposed to just the linguistics, will make you much more successful in understanding how a language came to be.
Dissertations are an exercise in setting a task and solving a problem; in formulating questions and providing convincing answers based on sound evidence. While you will be significantly guided by your supervisor, you are expected to work alone for the most part; to show initiative and follow references and lines of enquiry, as well as to produce a substantial, coherent and well-argued piece.