Why History? (5: Money)

Probably one of the stranger reasons to study history. The title does not refer to earning money, though history does, despite what some may say, offer opportunity for that.

No, I mean in a different way.

You should study history if you have money.

That is, if you are in a financial position where you can study whatever you want – some specific demographics I’m thinking about – you should study history. And many people in that position do. You should study it for all the reasons that I have previous outlined but also because it is easily accessible to the laymen, to a decent degree anyway, much more than other subjects. Some use this as a reason to cast aspersions down on history and its apparent ease; I see it as an advantage and the packed classrooms you see throughout Undergrad years is proof of history’s enduring popularity.

If you have money, and when I say that it is directed at the legions of mature students who choose to continue higher education or take part for the first time, those for whom third level study is not so much about getting qualifications for a job although many have this aspiration) but those who are choosing to simply try and better themselves, you could do worse then go for history. And they do. History, at least in my old alma mater attracted a hell of a lot of mature students, and many of those who did so almost out of sense of pastime. And they were just as dedicated as the younger members of the student body, more so in many respects.

I know it is an odd reason, but I felt I had to in some acknowledge this attraction that history has, evidence of its immense popularity among people. You may not take it up during traditional college years, but so many do so later. Because it provides a connection to our past, because of the lessons it teaches, because of the stories it tells, and because, if you’re good at it, why not?

And if you have the means to do it, do it. I suppose what I am trying to say in a roundabout way is, history is an easy subject to follow on a non-academic basis, and an easy subject to get into academically at any point, as opposed to other disciplines. I make the point about money because third level education is never cheap and it is a factor, unfortunately so.

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