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Studying the past has a future

The fear of mugging dates and battles should not keep any student from pursuing History Honours. By studying History students learn to reason and question and also build an analytical frame of mind. Alka Saikia writes.

education Updated: May 29, 2009 13:37 IST

The fear of mugging dates and battles should not keep any student from pursuing History Honours. By studying History students learn to reason and question and also build an analytical frame of mind. An interest in reading with a basic idea about history along with an analytical aptitude would be helpful for students who wish to take up this course.

Higher cut off for non-arts background

Students from all three streams at the plus two level could opt for this course; however there is a higher cut-off for students with a commerce or science background which is decided by each individual college. Students from the humanities background who have studied history earlier are familiar with some of the papers offered in this course.

Global's the flavour

The newly designed History Honours course has a plethora of papers to offer to students where they study nine papers over a span of three years. They not only do four papers on Indian history but also the history of Europe and China and Japan. Most colleges also offer a choice in the second year of opting for American or Russian history or African and Latin American history or the history of South-East Asia. There are also papers on early civilizations and history of transitions towards modern Europe. These years give an opportunity to students to explore the history of various countries and opt for more specialized papers at the post-graduate level.

Career options

Gone are the days when history was thought to be for those who scored less marks at the plus two level. Today, there is a wide range of career options to choose from apart from school and college teaching.

Students could also work with museums, specialised libraries like Nehru Memorial library in Delhi, heritage management, and documentation and archiving. They can also become archaeologists, art historians or work in the field of historical or cultural tourism, or venture into law or journalism and work with the print or electronic media.

Many non-governmental organisations dealing with conflict and social issues also require students who have an understanding of history.