Why Study History?

In high schools around the country, there is a drive to either eliminate or minimize the number of history courses required for graduation in response to standardized testing priorities. At the college-level, institutions are under pressure to prioritize courses that are tightly focused on preparing students for their future occupations. Those policymakers who embrace such parochial views often do not understand either the importance of learning history by itself or the transferable skills gained by students who take such classes.

The American Historical Association has published a list of possible careers for those who choose to take a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in history. For those who desire a career in the history field, the organization offers another list of possibilities.

For a list of skills honed by practicing the historian’s craft, see this website.

In short, history is no different from any other subject in which one can major in college. It offers both skills-building opportunities that can transfer to a wide variety of occupations, and it allows for careers within its boundaries as well.


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