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Pros and cons of getting a history degree

students in library
(© Nejron Photo –

Pursuing history while in college might seem glamorous, but as with any other arts stream, it’s going to be a lot of theoretical research and analysis. Which you might like or not, but you would definitely like the job satisfaction if you’ve always preferred history.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of getting a history degree.

Pros of getting a history degree

Critical thinking skill

History is everything but boring. It’s a subject that focuses on case studies. Because someone was killed, hundreds more had to die. History makes you a critical thinker. It allows you to think about the researches that were done and judge in your own perspective if that’s accurate. Do you believe Dante’s Inferno is just an imaginary portrayal of hell or is it the mental chaos he had? Whatever your analysis is, it would be easy to purchase dissertations if you don’t have time after doing all the hard work.

At the college level, history is nothing about the constant mugging of textbooks. You get to dissect others’ works and establish your own. History has its own way to teach students about researching, analysis, and interpretation. Which are critical thinking skills.

Argument skills

A graduate-level history class involves reading one or multiple books each week to brutally dissect the author’s work and argue about it. If done right, it could be very engaging and enlightening. Arguing about history isn’t only limited by textbooks. Typical graduate students also argue about their theories and research papers that they have already submitted or are yet to submit. It’s like a debate competition without having a judge looking over them.

Ancient architecture

If you love history in general. You would just drool over it in college. As you’d be able to learn more by focusing on practical approaches and site visitations, it’s going to be a life-changing experience for you.

Not only as a whole, but universities also offer a plethora of history fields that give students the opportunity to pursue the one they prefer.

Job advantage

A professional historian is rare. But if you commit to your career and land a job as a historian. You can build your professional career around what you love. A historian is nothing less than a scientist. The only difference is that a historian looks at things after they’ve happened, and a scientist, before.

The job profile also lets you be a teacher or professor at a renowned college or university, providing you with the opportunity to research, analyze, and publish.

Being a historian has its own perks. As the components of your research have been there for hundreds of years, it’s unlikely that they’ll be going anywhere soon. You can take your time to analyze the situation before submitting a report.

Salary and job security

Being a professor or a historian means you have a secured job. Without something exceptional happening to you, it’s unlikely that you would ever be in need to switch your job. You would think the salary would be pretty low, but you’d be wrong to assume that. Full professors can even earn a whooping 100k, depending on the subject and university they are teaching on.

Cons of getting a history degree

Not everything is dreamy about being a history graduate.

Career limitations

When you pursue history, there are not many things that you can do before getting into a Ph.D. program. Even after pursuing a Ph.D., not many options, except being a historian or professor, remains available to you.

You would be wrong to assume if you think that there is a lot of job availability in those positions. You would have to compete with hundreds of other applicants to land the job. Unlike technical jobs, history professionals are expected to submit several thoroughly researched dissertations to even apply.

Education costs

If you are able to secure a scholarship after the BA program, you might be able to minimize the fees, but if you don’t, it’s going to be very strenuous for your pockets.

You could obviously secure a job as an assistant professor, but that does nothing on the resume. Being a successful historian means pursuing at least a Ph.D., which would mean spending thousands of dollars on your education, and being in debt.

The bottom line

It’s evident from the above discussion that being a history professional is not a road paved with flowers. As it has its pros, cons aren’t far behind. If you are confident that you are persuasive, patient enough to cross the river of time indefinitely, and is able to make websites for homework help work, history is for you. But if you aren’t, consider other fields for your own sake.

Story by Naomi Whittaker

augusta free press
augusta free press