Studying history provides insight not only into the world of the past, but into the present world that emerged from the past. Students of history explore every aspect of human experience, from cultural and artistic creation to group interaction and international relations, from political organization to economic development, from the oppression of groups with relatively little power to the championing of justice and the bestowing of mercy. As we study these events in their historical context and examine how and why societies have changed over time, we gain greater insight into our own society and our own moment in history and become better equipped to sort through the complexity and make good decisions.
In addition to gaining a greater understanding of the human condition, the discipline of history helps develop skills that are becoming increasingly vital in an age when college graduates can expect to have as many as seven different careers. Rather than narrow training for one specific job, the study of history develops skills in learning and communicating: information-gathering and research, rigorous questioning of sources, sharp analytical reasoning, effective oral and written communication. Students of history prepare for any number of jobs by developing these core skills necessary to any successful career.