Students who study history are well-respected by prospective employers, particularly those in education or law. Employers appreciate the time history students take to develop their analytical skills that many. If you are looking for a career that directly correlates with history, you will need to take several required courses. The advanced knowledge you obtain during your studies will help you land a job in your preferred industry. Fortunately, there are many job areas that you can discover with a history degree that boasts a straightforward career path.
Entry Requirements for a History Degree
To become accepted in an undergraduate program for history, you may need to meet certain prerequisites. These prerequisites include history courses that are relative to the overall degree plan.
History Degree Modules
Many courses and modules are not available to students in their first year of school because they require a comprehensive understanding of history and its wide range of. For example, some modules may be available that require extensive knowledge of medieval and modern history. Check with your counselor for class availability and to see if you qualify to enroll.
When going to college to earn a history degree, you can expect to encounter an in-depth form of historical education during your third and fourth year of study. The first two years are generally aimed at general studies. Depending on your degree program, though, you may be required to study certain historical aspects during the first two years as well. Almost any type of history degree program is going to be rigorous at times, and they are only recommended for those who have a passion for history.
As mentioned before, students will study niche topics of history during their last two years of study. Some of these niche topics include:
- Medicinal History
- Religious History
- History of Warfare
- Scientific History
- History of Advertisement and Consumerism
It is important to note that just because a certain course is listed on your university’s website does not guarantee the chance that you will take it. Course modules are available on a first come first serve basis and space is oftentimes limited. These modular classes are also taught by professors who specialize in these areas and only do classroom work every few years. However, your degree plan is more than likely to include one module on how students should develop their analytical skills when studying history. This course will teach you how to research sources that are untouched by bias, how to think critically, and how to integrate the work of other professional historians into your methods of research.
Different Types of History Degrees
Before you dive in and start any history degree course that comes your way, you’ll want to take some time to think about a specific area or time of history that is most interesting to you. There are many courses that are provided by your university that can help expand your horizons when it comes to history, but you want to ensure you are taking courses that actually contribute to the earning of your degree. More importantly, that you are learning information and skills that can be used in the line of work you are pursuing. Examples of areas of specialization that you may want to choose from include:
- Ancient history
- Modern history
- Art History
Different Teaching Methods Used in History Courses
Lectures provided by professors are some of the most common methods used to teach students in history courses. You can also expect to participate in group discussions that are led by postgraduate students. These discussions are also known as seminars and are held regularly on a frequent basis. Professors are also available each week to give one-on-one time with their students, which is of immense help if there are certain areas you are struggling in.
What Is the History Degree Workload Like?
Your workload for your history degree is completely dependent on your ability to diligently finish your work in a timely manner. Procrastination can cause your work to pile up and may cause you to get behind in your studies. Students who are studying history are oftentimes expected to study alone and complete research by themselves for their course assignments. You can expect four to fifteen contact hours per week with your professors; this applies if you are taking on-campus courses and you are pursuing your degree on a full-time basis. Finally, your workload is also dependent on what year you are currently in for your program. For example, seniors can expect a heavier workload than freshmen.
Some People Say a History Degree is Worthless: Is This True?
It is common for friends and family to discourage you from getting a history degree. They may claim this type of credential is useless since the job market is so small. However, this is not entirely the case. It is up to you to determine if the degree is worthless or not. You will have to make the right connections after you graduate to find the job you want. You may not find the job that you want right away after graduating, but this is why being diligent and persistent are key to getting the most out of your degree. Some students will continue to work in retail and service industry jobs even after they complete their degree.
Your degree is what you make of it. Keep pushing to find the history job you want, even if it means working other jobs to get you by financially. And don’t view having to work at a different job as being useless. You can gain valuable experience no matter the job you have. You may even find that a certain job leads to putting your history degree to use in a way that you hadn’t thought of before.
Skills That Will Help Your History Career
There are numerous skills that you will become distinguished in while earning your history degree. These skills include:
- Critical thinking
- Viewing historic events from different perspectives
- Writing Skills
- Working with Deadlines
- Constructing Debates
- Making Presentations
- Research Skills
Degrees That Are Similar to History
Is taking history classes not your thing? Here are some related subjects that you should consider:
- International Relations
Statistics of What History Graduates Do After University
A survey conducted in the UK asked graduates what their job experiences were like six months after they obtained their degrees. The 2015 survey provides us with valuable data that can be compared to the prior year’s survey.
20% of history graduates found themselves continuing their education; this is a significant increase when compared to 12.1% in 2014. This is an indicator that many jobs that deal with history require students to further their education to obtain those positions. You will definitely want to consider this when you choose a degree program. For example, does the school you are earning your bachelor’s degree through having a master’s and doctoral program you can transition into once you have finished your undergraduate studies.
The survey also indicated that 19.1% of history graduates found themselves employed in retail and service industry positions while they were seeking history-related jobs. 14.6% found themselves working in secretarial positions while 14.2% began working in a business and human resources position. 11.8% found their selves working in a marketing position, which tends to be a hot career choice for those with a history degree.
Are you interested in earning an online history degree? Check out this How Much Money Will I Make With a History Degree article to learn about the benefits of majoring in history.