What Is a History Degree?

Studying the past is important for the future. There is much to be learnt from history. History is knowledge, and it is this knowledge that enables humankind to avoid repeating past mistakes. History teaches us what not to do today and in the future. It also teaches us what we should do, as we see through history how humankind has evolved and matured.

Contrary to the common thought that a history degree does not matter, a degree in history gives students the upper hand in many vocations. A history degree shows potential employers that students have the wherewithal to master a highly academic subject requiring the self-motivation and discipline to develop and make use of extensive research and analytical skills.

Entire disciplines have been created because of history. For example, without history and the study of the Ancient Egyptians, engineering would not have become the discipline it is today. Rarely do people discount the importance of engineering in modern civilization; without history, however, engineering might not have ever been pursued.

In fact, many modern careers have a basis in some form of history; therefore, the importance of a history degree should not be discarded. Students with a passion for learning and a natural curiosity are strong candidates for a history degree. Studying for a history degree gives students the opportunity to research and learn from the past, ensuring they help create a stronger future.

Job Opportunities

A history degree opens the door to many careers. Graduating students have the option of becoming an academic librarian, archivist or museum/gallery conservator to name a few career choices.

Academic librarians are an important part of any learning process. Academic librarians often work within the university or research environment, ensuring the informational tools are up-to-date and applicable to the learning and/or research conducted. The academic librarian is responsible for both paper and electronic catalogues of all library materials, and is often called upon to assist in gathering information for academic or research-based lectures. Academic librarians earn salaries ranging from £19,000, to begin with, all the way up to £55,000 plus with extensive experience.

An archivist locates, manages and maintains historical documents. In some cases, the archivist might work at a local museum, managing a small number of historical documentation for preservation. In other cases, archivists are relied upon my entire nations to ensure all historical documentation is preserved for adequate records. The archivist protects memories, if you will, of societies and the people who live within them. Graduates with a history degree just beginning their career as an archivist can expect to earn salaries ranging from £21,000 to £30,000, depending upon who they work for. Once the archivist has been working for 10 to 15 years, salaries increase to a range of £30,000 to £55,000.

Many history degree graduates have a love of museums and galleries and naturally work toward becoming museum/gallery conservators. Museum/gallery conservators are tasked with restoring and preserving historical artefacts. This work includes understanding the type of environment in which a museum or gallery collection must be displayed, as well as – in some cases – understanding and employing advanced scientific methods to care for said artefacts. This career choice may require additional training, and salaries average £20,895 for beginners up to £36,971 for senior management positions.

History Curriculum

History curriculum is primarily comprised of learning and research. Students are expected to learn world history from as far back as it is recorded all the way up to modern times. In nearly all cases, students will be required to write a dissertation to receive their history degree.

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