What Kind of Jobs Can I Get with a History Degree?

Most people are unaware that there are many interesting jobs available for recent graduates with a history degree. A history degree empowers the graduate to select among many contrasting careers.

History Degrees

Studying the past is one of the best ways to understand the present and prepare for the future. History is a broad subject that encompasses aspects such as law, politics, economics and international relations. History students not only study national and world history, but also focus on certain time periods or cultures. The humanities, such as art and music, are also common courses studied. Graduates with a solid liberal arts education are prepared to work in numerous fields.

Education

The most well-recognized jobs with a history degree are in the field of education. Graduates with a history degree typically go on to teach history classes in elementary and secondary schools and higher educational institutions. History teachers must be certified to teach social studies by their State’s Board of Education. Social studies teachers must be familiar with subjects like geography, sociology, economics and anthropology. Middle and high school history teachers aren’t confined to social studies, but can teach more in-depth classes, such as world history or colonial American history (please see: How Can I Specialize a History Degree?).

Research

Museums and historical organizations have a continual need for educators to oversee public outreach programs. For example, the National Park Service operates over 350 sites around the country that include parks, monuments and cultural centers. Graduates with a history degree and a passion for archaeology will enjoy working at historic sites. Historians who work in museums may eventually work as exhibit specialists designing and managing exhibits, or as museum curators overseeing collections. Additionally, historians interested in research also work for private think tanks and historical preservation societies.

Communication

Careers with a history degree aren’t limited to schools or museums. Many historians go on to work as writers, editors and journalists. This is because writing and research go hand in hand with history related careers. For example, historians may work for a syndicated magazine, government agency or educational institution that publishes textbooks. Historians with a passion for broadcasting can work as journalists. Still, some historians work with editing and producing documentaries. This is true because cable TV companies and film studios recognize the market value of historical productions.

Information Managers

Information and data management is central to the field of history. As computers and technology revolutionize how we store and access information, historians can work as archivists, librarians and records managers. Archivists preserve every possible kind of historical information. Archivists work for government agencies, educational institutions, religious organizations and even businesses. Archivists can specialize in certain fields, such as motion pictures or media broadcasts. Finally, librarians work for schools, museums, public libraries and historical societies. Keep in mind that librarians must have a Master of Library Science degree (MLS).

Legal Advocates

Practicing law requires a degree in law and a passing score on the state bar exam. However, historians can work as legal advocates and assist lawyers. For example, historians can provide important litigation documentation for cases concerning civil rights, property ownership disagreements and even contested wills. Historians can also work for think tanks, lobbyists and the government as they conduct valuable research concerning the historical development of laws.

Historians can choose from exclusive careers that are both rewarding and beneficial for the community. For additional information, the American Historical Association provides an excellent overview of jobs for individuals with a history degree.