Apparently most of the top manager-y people studied history, so it can't be all bad!
A lot of politicians have history degrees, apparently. History (of any type) is very well respected because it's a core 'academic' subject, with a long history (if you can say this!) as a university course. It proves that you can think and write clearly, analyse different texts/speeches, put events and actions into perspective and research effectively. Also, it shows a willingness to broaden your mind about different cultures, and perspectives on life. (Btw, I don't actually study history at university, but I was very tempted!)
hitory is well respected degree. i was going to do it but changed my mind in the last minute.
why is history such a respected degree? i mean some doesn't work with it but has read it anyway and that is seen as an advance for someone that hasn't. i'm asking partly cause i would like to read history but my parents think that i shouldn't.
Heres the intro of a very good article I downloaded that helped persuade me to study Economic and social History.
Preview of Article for Journal of History in Higher Education
What’s the Use of History?
The Career Destinations of History Graduates
Dave Nicholls, Professor of History, Manchester Metropolitan University
The British state has been concerned to ensure, at least since the time of the Education
Act of 1870, that the education system meets the needs of the economy. In the case of
higher education, this concern became particularly acute in the wake of the recession
of the early 1980s and led to a concerted effort to bring about a paradigmatic shift in
pedagogic practice. The following decade saw the articulation of a new language in
higher education which hummed with buzzwords like ‘enterprise’, ‘capability’,
‘transferable skills’, ‘graduateness’, and with concepts such as ‘stakeholding’.
It culminated in many months of heated debate on standards and quality in learning and
teaching, at the heart of which was the elaboration of subject benchmarks that were
intended to encapsulate the kinds of knowledge and skills essential to the several
disciplines taught in universities. While the subject benchmark groups naturally
stressed the skills that were peculiar to their disciplines, they had perforce as well to
respond to the government’s agenda.
Accordingly, they included other, more
‘generic’, skills alongside the subject specific ones: skills that students would acquire
in the course of their education and which would be of use to them in their future
careers. In the case of history, the skills so identified were self-discipline, selfdirection,
independence of mind and initiative, ability to work with others, ability to
assemble, manage and use evidence and information, analytical and problem solving
capabilities, good oral and writing skills, intellectual integrity and maturity, empathy
and imaginative insight.
By its very nature the benchmarking exercise was a ‘craft-controlled’ one,
inevitably focussing upon the skills which the guardians of the discipline regard as
inherent to it and expect students to have upon graduation. An altogether different
way of approaching the question of graduateness is to look at career destinations and
to try to identify the skills associated with those careers. History graduates, of course,
may be predisposed by many factors towards particular careers and they certainly
acquire many intellectual qualities and capabilities during the course of their
Nevertheless, it might reasonably be inferred that their education has
played no small part in preparing them for these jobs (particularly where there are
statistically significant clusters) and in making them sufficiently adaptable to adjust to
them. It is also worth examining career destinations for other reasons. The
government has recently made ‘employability’ a performance indicator for higher
education, a defining moment in that ongoing process of change in higher education
alluded to earlier.
While one might bridle at this rather crude economistic approach
to employment statistics – not least because, as we shall see, there are serious
reservations about the reliability of first destinations as a guide to graduates’ later,
more permanent employment – it does underline the responsibility of university
history departments to satisfy the quite legitimate interest of their present and
prospective students in knowing where a history qualification might ultimately take
What follows is intended to answer that need. Beyond that, it will be shown that
historians have been remarkably successful in reaching the top of their chosen careers
and often in unexpected sectors of the economy, thus opening the way for some
conclusions about the employment skills of historians as evidenced by their career