Can A History Major Study Ancient History?

Some of the most valuable historical lessons can be learned by studying ancient history, so students interested in historical topics should have no reservations about focusing a history degree on ancient time periods. Whether you study ancient Mesopotamia, Greece, China, Mongolia, Rome or all of the above, you will gain insights that make you a valuable addition to the staff of any organization. All you need to get started is a love of knowledge and an interest in the passions and incentives that motivate people. While ancient cultures may have differed completely from the modernism of today, ancient people were exactly the same as modern people in temperament and disposition.

Finding Work with a History Degree

One of the problems many students face as history majors is translating a degree into a viable full-time job. History is often regarded as an impractical college major because historians are essentially unemployable without advanced education and a doctoral degree. While it’s true that jobs with the title “historian” are scarce for job candidates without a postgraduate degree, a wide range of exciting, high-paying jobs are available for anyone with a bachelor’s degree in history. The catch is that job candidates with history degrees must work harder to sell their expertise to potential employers who may prefer to hire candidates with business or science degrees.

Specializing Your Degree

Undergraduates who study history in college have no shortage of fascinating specializations to choose from. Whether you are passionate about military history, political history, art history or the history of philosophy, your college most likely offers the courses relevant to your interest. Ancient history is the perfect option for students who want to understand why great historical figures made the decisions that they did. This type of qualitative analysis is an important lesson to take away from a liberal arts education. It teaches students to use their faculties of reason together with imagination and creativity. Qualitative analysis is the skill that makes students of history valuable to employers. It’s the ability to formulate a persuasive argument about a work of art or historical event. While quantitative analysis deals with technical subjects such as math, logic, and science, qualitative analysis deals with unquantifiable subjects such as literature, history and philosophy. It’s an important skill that translates directly to creative and analytical occupations as well as managerial positions.

Advanced Education

It’s not necessary to change the focus of your major to ancient history just to study it in college. History students can enroll in electives to find out how much they like learning about ancient civilizations, military conquests, human migrations, slave rebellions and other illuminating details about world history. If your plan is to go to graduate school after obtaining a bachelor’s degree, focusing on ancient history as an undergraduate could be a good decision. It will help you establish a specialization in your coursework so that you can jump right into your studies when you get to graduate school. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, historians with master’s degrees earn a median annual salary of $59,120.

History is a subject that inspires passion in students and encourages them to look deeper into texts to discover new meaning from details that may have been overlooked by earlier historians. If you have an interest in ancient history, you should study it in college while you work toward completing your history degree.

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