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Is history of art worth it? And can history land you with a couple of good history related jobs?


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Paul’s Answer

Hi Angel,

I hope all is well! These are two great questions, and they are ones that I found myself asking when I was a freshman in college. While I was a History major and not an Art History major, I believe the answer is the same.

When I was younger I always enjoyed history in school and that loved never left me as I got older. When the time came for me to declare a major in college, I made the decision to pursue a degree in history, despite urging from my father and others to pursue a degree in business. I had the ability to take a few business courses during my freshman year and I actually did pretty well in them, but they never gave me the mental stimulation and pleasure that my history courses did. So, I figured that if I was going to be spending enough money to buy a house, I had better really enjoy what I was studying, and made the decision to pursue a Bachelors Degree in History.

Historically, there was this notion that History majors would either become a lawyer or a teacher, and while many history majors do in fact become lawyers and teachers, the career possibilities are endless. This is in great part because when you study history, you'll be incredibly well read and you'll most likely be able to write better than most of your peers. Not to mention, you'll be able to hold interesting conversations with future employers and co-workers. I currently work for one of the largest technology companies in the world, and the majority of people I work with have an educational background in the liberal arts. None of us are tech geniuses, but we can all communicate clearly and effectively with our customers because of our backgrounds. Of course we have to know what we're talking about when it comes to the technology, but none of us could develop an App or code.

Ultimately, "worth" is going to be different for everyone, but I can assure you that you won't be putting yourself at a disadvantage by studying Art History. If you wanted to pursue a career in medicine or engineering, I would advise studying something else, but besides these few exceptions, there's nothing you can't do. And if you decide you want to be a doctor, you can always go back to school! At the end of the day, if you follow your heart and work hard, there's nothing you can't achieve in this world. Was studying history worth it for me? Absolutely!

I hope this helps. Please let me know if there's anything else I can help answer for you. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your country, and I hope all of your loved ones are alright.


Best Regards,

Paul


Thank you so much! Now my conscience won't be nagging me about my future anymore. I love history, I'm even doing Greek and Roman history for my A/Ls. I think I'll take your advice and continue with my plan for history.Since I'm not from America will it be hard if I do history? Does it consist of a lot of American history? And any affordable good colleges? Preferably around San Francisco or some affordable college with a good price for boarding? Thank you for your thoughts and prayers, all of my loved ones are okay,we're being very cautious since we're Catholics. The country's in quite a situation at the moment, it's my last year of school and has being closed for a while since it's a proper catholic school. So going through all my options rn. I really do appreciate your advice! Thank you, Angel W.

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Paul’s Answer

Hi Angel,

I'm glad to hear that all of your loved ones are safe! I too went to a Catholic high school and found that having the aspect of faith and community really ingrained in the school culture helped shape the man I have become today. When I was applying to colleges, I primarily looked at Catholic colleges and ended up enrolling at Fairfield University which is a Jesuit University. There are about 30 Jesuit Universities in the U.S., and the University of San Francisco is one of them. Tuition at USF is $42,000/ year, but they are very generous with financial aid, and being an international student, I think you would have a great chance to receive tuition help. Depending on your household income, the financial aid can greatly offset the total cost. Is there a particular reason that you feel drawn to the San Francisco area? If there isn't, I would recommend expanding your search beyond the Bay Area because it's now the most expensive place to live in the country. 


As far as the curriculum is concerned, there will definitely be classes about American History, but don't let that scare you. I hate to say it, but you probably know more about US history than the average American. I took courses that ranged from the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to Ancient Roman history, with everything in between. Based on your messages, you have a great grasp on the English language, so if there was any language barrier it would be minimal. If anything, I feel that your unique perspective would be welcomed with open arms by any professor. 


 I'll have some time this evening to take a look at a few college rankings to get a better sense of financial aid that is offered. If you have some free time, I would recommend taking a look at Jesuit Universities in the U.S. and see if any appealing to you. There is a great importance on diversity at these schools, and being a very intelligent Catholic from Sri Lanka will actually give you a leg up when it comes to admissions. You're very uniquely situated to take a big bite out of all the college experience has to offer! I'll circle back with you after I do a little more digging. 


Best,

Paul


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