Careers in History
Historians work in all kinds of professions, often applying their skills to areas quite far from the field of history. Our recent graduates include archivists and oral historians, lawyers, business entrepreneurs, high school and middle school teachers, social workers, and journalists; others work in the arts or for a variety of non-profit organizations. A few students each year decide to continue their historical studies at the MA or PhD level.
The American Historical Association lists five primary skills that history students acquire:
- Communication, in a variety of media and to a variety of audiences
- Collaboration, especially with people who might not share your worldview
- Quantitative Literacy: a basic ability to understand and communicate information presented in quantitative form, i.e., understanding that numbers tell a story the same way words, images, and artifacts do
- Intellectual Self-Confidence: the ability to work beyond subject matter expertise, to be nimble and imaginative in projects and plans
- Digital Literacy: a basic familiarity with digital tools and platforms
More information about careers for history students and how to prepare for them can be found at the American Historical Association’s section on careers for history majors.
What Can You Do With A Undergraduate Degree in History?
Many, many things. As a liberal arts major, of course, the world is your oyster and you can consider a multitude of careers. Among the jobs you can consider are: advertising executive, analyst, archivist, broadcaster, campaign worker, consultant, congressional aide, editor, foreign service officer, foundation staffer, information specialist, intelligence agent, journalist, legal assistant, lobbyist, personnel manager, public relations staffer, researcher, teacher … the list can be almost endless.
More specifically, though, with your degree in history you can be an educator, researcher, communicator or editor, information manager, advocate, or even a businessperson.