The discipline traditionally commences with the invention of writing more than 5,000 years ago. It is concerned with the development of human society through the interpretation of the record left by people in times past. History is organized into local, regional, national, international, and global disciplines. All are mutually complementary.
In addition, historians cover subject matter within their areas of study. These subjects usually include, but are not confined to, political, social, economic, religious, intellectual, and military history. Almost all the core courses will contain a mix of these subjects, and particular courses will contain other emphases as well to reflect the subject area and history.
The study of history usually provides both a narrative construction of people, events, and subjects, and an analysis of the major forces and individuals shaping historical development. Historians frequently ask questions such as when, how, and why events occurred as they did. The study of history provides insight into how our contemporary world was shaped, and the directions it is likely to take.
The study of history may lead to several career paths. It is a necessary prerequisite to pursue a career in archives and records management, professional careers that involve the preservation of historical materials. Those who study history may go on to careers in ‘public history’, that is, managing the disposition of historical structures, and developing them for public appreciation. Additionally, a history major is a good basis for studying law.
Because history provides a broad perspective, uses an array of recognized analytical tools, and is directly concerned with information about the nature of social and economic development, it is an excellent background for a wide array of administrative careers in both the public and private sectors.