Why study History at university?
During the application process to university, everyone I knew asked me what I was going to study. “History”, I replied. Almost every time I got the same question back: “Why?” I understand why I would be asked that; unlike other degree subjects, History doesn’t have an obvious link to a specific career for me to go into after graduating. But that’s not to say that studying it at university isn’t worthwhile.
The main reason that I applied to study History at degree level was that I love studying it, which has been proved here at university too. The stories of past people that are brought to life in my studies fascinate me; I’m not just studying a topic because I need to, but because I want to as well. There’s so many different areas of study on offer in the modules that I’m able to expand my interests beyond anything I was taught at school, meaning that my interest in history will hopefully keep growing throughout the three years of the course.
However, there was a future career element involved in my choice of which subject to study as well. Although History doesn’t have an obvious career path, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. Even though I’ve only been at university since September, I can already see that my critical reading, analysis, and writing style are changing and becoming sharper. All of these skills (and more) can be valuable for a range of jobs from law to publishing.
Although a degree in History isn’t specific, that’s the beauty of it. The breadth of topics allows me to not only enjoy studying it, but also gives me the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills that will be useful to my future career. The answer to the question ‘Why study History?’ is perhaps a lot more straightforward than it first seems.