Although history is a subject viewed by some as non-vocational, history graduates go into a very wide range of careers. This indicates that employers widely respect history graduates as having a valuable combination of skills.
Studying history improves the depth and range of your personal transferable skills and allows you to develop:
- critical reasoning and analytical skills, including the capacity for solving problems and thinking creatively, often through extensive reading;
- intellectual rigour and independence, including the ability to conduct research using different types of tools, such as information and communications technology, and sources;
- the ability to construct an argument by selecting and ordering relevant evidence and then to communicate findings in a structured, clear and persuasive manner, both orally and in writing;
- additional communication skills, such as negotiating, questioning and summarising;
- self-motivation and self-reliance with the ability to work without direct supervision and manage time and priorities effectively;
- the ability to discuss ideas in groups, accommodating different ideas and reaching agreement;
- the capacity to think objectively and approach problems and new situations with an open mind;
- an appreciation of the different factors that influence the activities of groups and individuals in society.
Consider the skills developed on your course as well as through your other activities, such as paid work, volunteering, family responsibilities, sport, membership of societies, leadership roles, etc. Think about how these can be used as evidence of your skills and personal attributes. Then you can start to market and sell who you really are, identify what you may be lacking and consider how to improve your profile.
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: March 2011
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