For many people, history classes are seen as no more than requirements on the road to a degree in chemistry, biology, business, marketing, etc. The idea that history is an outdated course of study that will lead to limited career options has spread, but the truth is that studying history is a wonderful way to prepare for a successful future. For those students who are interested in history-and especially for those who aren't-it's crucial to take a minute to consider why history is an important subject, and what you can learn from it. Below are a few reasons why it's critical that today's generations continue to learn about the past.
Understanding Where People Come from is Key in Understanding Who They Are
History has shaped cultures, attitudes, and social structures; it's molded the world and its citizens. For this reason, it's essential to understand history in order to comprehend why people are the way that they are. This is insight that is valuable to professionals going into virtually any field, as it can help shape human interaction in a way that is strategic, culturally sensitive, and ultimately positive.
Learning About History can Change How You Think
Through history classes, you can experience a shift in the way you think. Called a paradigm shift, this means that you look at things from a new angle, as you understand the world in a new way. Many college courses can cause this, and it's important to developing minds to be able to consider problems from different angles. Ultimately, this shift can improve your ability to assess and understand situations, to make educated decisions, and to learn how to weigh the consequences associated with each choice before you. While a history degree will by no means provide you with a roadmap for life, it will teach you where to go for information when you need it.
Learning from the Past Prevents Future Mistakes
The idea that history repeats itself is rooted in truth. From wars to fashion to political trends, historians are often able to make predictions about the future based upon the past. By having a firm grasp on what happened in the past, today's generation can better prepare for a brighter future by making the right decisions-instead of repeating old mistakes. Again, this is something that can benefit anyone, not just professional historians. For instance, a business owner can study the experiences of others and make better choices when it comes to marketing, expanding, and manufacturing. A doctor can study the work of other doctors and use their experiences to rule out diagnoses, pinpoint previously unseen symptoms, and save their patients. From a personal perspective, individuals can look to the successes and failures of others to avoid making professional, relationship, and other key mistakes.
History Degrees can Lead to Well-paying Careers
The idea that a degree in history can't lead to a lucrative career is a bit of a myth. In fact, students who graduate with degrees in history can become lawyers, paralegals, legislative staff members, foundation leaders, business owners, nonprofit leaders, and members of think tanks. Additionally, history degrees can lead to work as an educator, a museum curator, a leader in a historical organization, a writer, an editor, a journalist, a member of documentary production teams, or a producer of multimedia material. All of these jobs, depending on how long you work in the field and the state of the industry, can provide a comfortable lifestyle.
Past Experiences can Inspire Future Triumphs
Just as learning from the past can prevent future mistakes, it can spark success. For example, a scientist may be able to, with their current knowledge, identify where an experiment performed decades ago went wrong. They can use this knowledge to conduct the experiment again, this time without the mistake that caused it to go awry in the first place, leading to a more successful result. Furthermore, the work that previous generations have completed may inspire today's professionals to undertake projects that they previously wouldn't have considered. This means that history can shape not only who we are, but what we do with our futures.
History is a fascinating subject, and no matter how boring a required history class may seem, it can have a strong influence on your life, your perspective, and the decisions that you make in the future. The key to enjoying the study of history is to find classes that interest you-and to learn how to apply their ideas to larger themes. If you're interested in studying history, it's important for you to know that this degree can take you great places if you put your mind to it. From affording you a career as a lawyer to a better understanding of the world around you, studying history can change your life in many positive ways.