According to statistics by the National Universities Commission (NUC), just 2 million students are enrolled in Nigerian universities as of 2020. With the anticipation of increased enrollment in the coming years, it’s evident that employers seek only the most qualified and educated candidates. While getting a degree is neither obligatory nor a surefire way to succeed, the fact remains that degree holders often have greater opportunities at employment.

While having a first class degree is an impressive addition to your cv, employers are often more interested in an employee’s ability to get work done efficiently and effectively. Everyone wants to bag a first-class degree but due to academic, social, health, or financial factors, many end up with a second class upper, lower or even a third class. Life isn’t over for you if you fall under this category because exams are not a true test of one’s knowledge.

Many graduates seek employment once they're done with their first-degree programme while others enrol for their postgraduate programme. Some have the misconstrued notion that they need a postgraduate degree to get a good-paying job in Nigeria. But this isn't true as there are many employment opportunities for first-degree holders. Picking the right course for you, having a good grade, and specializing in a certain area would improve your employment prospects. But remember that self-development is just as important.

"I can’t change history, I don’t want to change history. I can only change the future. I’m working on that."

Boris Becker - Former World No.1 Tennis Player

an ancient book
Knowledge of the past helps to shape the future. Photo Credit: Unsplash.

In Nigeria, certain university courses are revered and favoured over others by parents, as well as, the labour market. With this mindset, you might wonder what the future holds for you if you study History. This article seeks to answer why you should put in for a History degree and serve as a guide for History lovers. While the History Department remains present in most Nigerian universities, they tend to differ in courses. Veritas University, for instance, teaches History and International Relations while the University of Port-Harcourt teaches the only History. That’s why researching your preferred university’s course codes and outlines are essential before seeking admission.

Visiting your departmental adviser can prove productive as s/he would probably have answers to questions you’ve got about the department. Sometimes, they give helpful tips on tuition fees, degree funding, employment prospects, distance learning, and scholarships. Talking about History courses in Ibadan, there are several tertiary institutions within the city that offer quality B.A. and M.A. History degrees. This article seeks to discuss the available History classes you can enrol in and the benefits of taking art history courses.

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Benefits of Studying for a University History Course

You might be seeking validation by asking the question “why do we study History?”. While there is no specific answer to this, there are highly transferrable and professional skills you will gain from studying a brain-tasking course such as this. At the undergraduate level, you will learn to think critically and analytically, research and evaluate evidence, form arguments clearly and creatively, and improve oral and written communication.

A historian analyses the complex and diverse nature of human motivation, thereby seeking to understand people’s experiences and ideologies. Professions such as policy-making, journalism, and law value this analytic process of investigation. In addition to these skills, attaining history education at the undergraduate level requires taking elective language courses. This way, you would add more languages to your language repertoire which in turn would make your services more marketable. At the University of Ibadan, for instance, you would take elective courses at the Department of European Studies. Some of the sub-departments in this department include French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.

You might have wondered how politicians and activists engage in debates and arguments, quoting dates and events clearly and persuasively. This skill requires fact-finding, objective thinking, open-mindedness, and powerful oratory skills.

 

"Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no concept of humanity." 

Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss Novelist and Poet.

history
You are your only limitation, not your degree. Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Career Paths

Having a History B.A. degree can get you a job in the following sectors:

  • Civil Service
  • Finance
  • Publishing
  • Law
  • Government Agency
  • Public Relations
  • Journalism
  • Lecturing
  • Archive
  • Politics (Analyst)

Many prospective historians pursue a history degree because they have a passion for it. This makes it easier for a history lover to succeed where others fail. It's important to give it your best shot while studying at the university because a good grade has numerous advantages. A study shows that 70% of historians end up lecturing which compels them to a life of writing papers and books. It's not mandatory you take up a lecturing job as a History graduate, you can always diversify if you wish to.

Do you reside outside of Ibadan? Read our explicit guides about finding history education in

Benefits of Studying in Ibadan

If you need to reside in a city with a low cost of living and one with affordable accommodation, Ibadan is for you. Irrespective of your lifestyle and pocket, you’re bound to enjoy this ancient city. Being West Africa’s largest city with a 3,080km landmass, you would find lots of tourist centres to visit. Driving through Ibadan, you will notice the mix of sophisticated and traditional ambience, places that remind you of the ancient and modern.

Attending classes and writing exams isn’t all you should focus on as a mix of academics and entertainment would prove more productive. Here are some fascinating places you should visit during your stay in Ibadan. The first on our list is the Ibadan National Museum which is home to relics and cultural artifacts. The Museum has four galleries namely the Yoruba Gallery, Unity Gallery, Pottery Gallery, and the Masquerade Gallery. Your sight-seeing escapade would be incomplete if you fail to visit Cocoa House, Africa’s first 26-storey building. For a more eventful experience, the Ibadan Golf Club and University of Ibadan Zoo would make your day.

Ibadan is held in high esteem for having Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan. For prospective historians who are inquisitive about how to study history, the Kenneth Dike Library has the answer you need. All you need do is search and read.

 

"I believe that we must maintain pride in the knowledge that the actions we take, based on our own decisions and choices as individuals, link directly to the magnificent challenge of transforming human history."

Daisaku Ikeda.

books
History is fun. Photo Credit: Unsplash.

Degree Options in Ibadan

History & International Relations Department University of Ibadan (B.A./M.A./PhD)

As discussed earlier, the premier university remains the first and the best. Gaining admission here requires that the student be worthy in character and learning. Thus, academic excellence and flawless character are held in high esteem here. To gain admission into the History department, you must have five ordinary level credits including English, History or Government. Postgraduate admission is more complex and demanding in comparison to undergraduate admission. Some popular alumni include the following:

Wole Soyinka (1986 Literature Nobel Prize winner)

Adiele Afigbo (first Nigerian Historian to get a doctoral degree in History)

Emeka Anyaoku (Ex Secretary-General of Commonwealth)

Chukwuemeka Ike (Renowned Author)

Chinua Achebe (author of Things Fall Apart)

Having a degree at the University of Ibadan would be a great addition to your curriculum vitae. Below are some Ibadan schools that offer art history courses and history lessons.

University of Ibadan Distance Learning Centre (History and Diplomatic Studies)

From the name, you can deduce that students learn remotely as against sitting in a lecture room with their lecturers. At UI DLC, you will offer online history courses and prepare for exams from the comfort of your home. It favours students who intend hustling simultaneously with reading. So you can either opt for the University of Ibadan full-time programme or choose the DLC alternative. If you’re an adult who’s interested in having a slow-paced, effective education, you should consider this.

Dominican University – B.A. History

Besides the conventional courses History majors and minors enroll for, the department of History has programmes for middle and secondary school teachers. Being an interdisciplinary course, it features the study of economics, arts, social change, literature, law, and politics, with an aim to improve students’ objective analysis and perspective. At the secondary school level, you’ll simply memorize dates, names, and the sequential occurrence of events. At the university level, however, history teaches you interpretation and meaning, cause and effect, and how these have shaped the past, present, and their possible effect on the future.

Ajayi Crowther University – History and International Studies

The department seeks to produce responsible and enlightened citizens having schooled them and improved their analytical and intellectual capacity. The department of History and International Studies is keen on nation building, and the role historians play in improving international relations. The first-degree programme serves as a solid foundation upon which history graduates can build their diverse careers, both nationally and in the diaspora.

Learning has never been this easy, yet productive. History courses in Ibadan are highly affordable so what’s your excuse? Give it a shot while you can irrespective of your age and popular beliefs; follow your passion. Happy learning!

 

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