The good thing about a history degree is that it prepares or a wide range of jobs. To get a job with a history degree, you need to have completed a bachelor’s or an advanced degree. When you graduate as a historian, it means you have completed rigorous academic studies that give you a strong foundation in the field. A history student studies history not only to learn about the past but also to preserve it and understand how it relates to the present and future.
You must also have solid research and writing skills to take on many of the professional paths available for history graduates. Apart from becoming a history professor, a gallery curator, or an activist, you can also join many other careers that require critical thinking and analysis skills, such as law and politics.
Best Jobs for History Majors
For history students to get a well-paying job, it helps to get an advanced degree, which is easy to do since there are many history degree programs available. An undergraduate degree can lead to entry jobs, like research assistants and high school teachers, but the salary for these positions is average. To land a more lucrative position, it is worth pursuing an advanced degree.
A park ranger is an exciting job for someone with an undergraduate history degree, but the pay is roughly $14 per hour. Park rangers have a rich knowledge regarding nature and the history of the park, and part of their job is to create outdoor guides based on an area’s history. The work also includes overseeing visitor centers within historical sites and offering guided tours in historic buildings or spaces. In this role, you may also be in charge of preparing materials to educate visitors on the site’s history. Some of the best places to work are within government settings. Government employers like the National Parks Service offer jobs in national, state, and county parks, some with attractive salary packages.
Archaeologists make a median salary of $61,220 a year. They mostly work in museums, researching and reconstructing records of human life and cultural history based on human remains, architectural features or structures, and artifacts recovered underwater or underground discoveries.
Becoming a writer with a history degree is another lucrative career path to follow. A writer makes about $56,000 a year while an editor earns around $47,800 annually. Since a history degree requires a lot of research and writing to communicate facts and share information, you develop excellent writing and editing skills. With a history degree, you can become an author who writes about historical events, locations, or figures. Your skills are also a good match for speech writing or creating content for magazines, newspapers, and different digital publications. If you do not want to write, then you can edit other people’s work and make good money.
If you have leadership skills or enjoy explaining and helping others understand different history concepts, teaching university students is a great option. A history professor earns about $76,000 annually. If you are not a history major with an advanced degree, then you can only be a high school teacher in a private or public school. It doesn’t pay as well because it’s an entry job, but a history lecturer in either a private or public university earns an excellent salary.
As a history professor, your main work is to give lectures and sometimes meet small groups of students. You are also responsible for advising students on how to pursue their academic goals. Professors also continue to carry on research and publish their findings as part of their careers. To become a university lecturer, you must have at least a master’s degree.
For those who love history and would like to continue building and mastering the skills you gained when studying for a history degree, you will find working as a historian exciting. The average salary of a historian is $74,000. As a historian, you research, write, and represent various historical matters after studying them in-depth, exploring and learning more from artifacts and texts, suggesting preservation methods, and writing books or reports on various topics. A historian’s career also involves a lot of traveling. You can work for the government, private employers, or non-profit organizations. A historian works out in the field and brings information to the office for analysis and often publication. For example, you can explore historical sites and then write books about what you’ve found and how it relates to or changes what was already known. To excel in your career, you must have a niche to become an expert. Some popular niches include geographical areas, specific eras, or historical topics.
Most historians choose to write fiction and non-fiction content, but a history degree can also help you pursue a career in journalism. If you have always wanted to work as a journalist or a reporter, majoring in history is a good place to start. The experience you get analyzing and synthesizing cause and effect throughout history comes in very handy when reporting on modern issues. You can research and investigate various news topics and develop excellent content. Whether it’s a full-time or part-time job as a journalist, correspondent, or reporter, a history degree can help you excel.
A bachelor’s degree or any other equivalent also prepares you for a law career. History graduates are armed with excellent information and skills in researching, gathering, and analyzing information. The average salary of a lawyer is $52,300 annually. As a lawyer, you draft legal papers and collect evidence. Some students work as paralegals straight out of college. Paralegals are an entry-level opportunity without great pay, but a great opportunity to advance your education on your way to becoming a lawyer.
The researching and analyzing skills you gain as a history major makes it easy for history graduates to work as librarians. You can quickly help people find books, publications, and answer their questions and create educational programs or guides on how to make use of resources and tools available in the library. The average salary of a librarian is $56,200. Librarians work in schools and colleges or public organizations, and the role has entry level and advanced positions that require a master’s degree in Library Science.
Alternatives Jobs for A Major in History
While studying for your history major, you earn numerous skills that make it easy to land a job that requires skills such as writing and researching. You could end up in alternative jobs that are not directly related to your degree. For example, if you are good at researching and analyzing historical trends, you can work in a company or organization as their researcher.
After deciding to major in history, you gain a new perspective on the world so you can quickly identify relationships and life patterns that other people may not be able to recognize. You can also easily tell the difference between fiction and fact after years of studying history. Reliable knowledge regarding the past gives you an idea of how things change and how the present will shape in the future. This skill is one that many organizations can use. Face any hiring manager with confidence, and sell your attributes alongside your knowledge of history.
For example, working as a government administrator or politician requires an extensive understanding of different events and policies. Some of the things you may be responsible for are carrying out intensive research, developing written and verbal reports, and putting together intelligently argued points to persuade the government or the public. Examples of jobs that you can take up in the government with a history degree include intelligence officer, lobbying researcher, urban planning expert, legislative aide, public planning analyst, or a political campaign organizer.
Being a history major helps you understand cultural diversity and the history that has shaped social, political, religious, and economic events, which makes you suitable for international relations jobs. International organizations like International Monetary Funds or IMF, Doctors without Borders, the United Nations, and Amnesty International, among many others, are looking for qualified historians to help advance their missions.
Another area where you can find alternative jobs after graduating with a history major is in the tourism industry. Send resumes for open positions like heritage site director, tour guide, or National Park manager. These positions give you a chance to share your historical knowledge with people and advise organizations and municipalities on developing tourism.
Filmmaking is also an excellent option for some history majors if they enjoy telling and crafting exciting stories. History is often stranger than fiction, and you can prove it happened by representing facts and credible sources. Use this information to create documentaries about historical events or work with other filmmakers to create blockbusters by giving them interesting and captivating storylines that viewers haven’t seen.
Common Career Paths for History Majors
Majoring in history means going deep into the subject. You must be an astute thinker and a brilliant researcher and writer, identifying the big patterns connecting current events to history. Most companies and organizers can benefit from such a skill set that can only be found in job seekers with a history major.
According to one member of the American Historical Association, John Fea, the current marketplace for historians is changing rapidly. Only a few people can pursue the career path they hoped to follow when in college. He explained that history gives students transferable skills and enables graduates to navigate through the modern volatile job market.
A bachelor’s degree in history gives you vital skills that you can use in different fields. As mentioned, the typical career paths for history majors include librarians, politicians, lawyers, writers, archivists, teachers, or researchers. Some of these jobs are in high demand, for example, jobs teaching high school are always available for social studies, history, political science, humanities, and government studies.
How to Land Any Job as a History Major
Finding a job as a history major is not necessarily tricky, but you will still hear people discouraging students from pursuing this degree. The majority of career counselors encourage students to go into STEM majors because they are more likely to have well-paying jobs.
Advising students against taking history courses has led to baseless myths. One of them is that history major graduates are underemployed. The fear that a history degree will not give you opportunities to get lucrative jobs is a myth. According to the American Community Survey, only 4.6% of the history majors they surveyed were unemployed.
While there may be fewer job opportunities in history-related fields for BA degrees, graduates should not be afraid to explore other industries. AC says that most students enrolling in history degree programs are not even looking forward to becoming historians; they know that it is possible to get lucrative jobs in other fields. This major equips you with a set of skills that can be used in different industries across the world.
How An Academic Advisor Can Help You Find A Job With A History Degree
An academic advisor helps you navigate different requirements for obtaining a history degree and assists your transition from being in school to entering a career. Every student should have regular meetings with their career advisor, at least once per year, to ensure you get the guidance you need. If you end up being a history major, the career advisor can help you when looking for work by providing any backup information. But it is up to you to send your resume to various job applications.
Benefits of Completing a History-Based Internship
An internship gives you a chance to work in a professional environment. The modern internship is a great concept. Students are mentored and taught how to work within their industry. As a history student, you should not skip an internship. It comes with many benefits, including a job search network, and catapults your career after graduation. Finding a job with a history degree is possible, but it’s not always easy, just like with most degrees. Without experience in your career field, you need a job search network, and an internship gets you into one quickly.
One of the invaluable benefits of an internship is the hands-on experience you get. This experience is much different than what you get in a classroom, and an internship is the only chance a student gets to acquire this knowledge. You put the theory learned in class into practice and gain new skills, such as teamwork, computer proficiency, and communication.
History related jobs are plentiful, and it’s a good idea to explore one or two of the internships so you can be sure that majoring in history is what you want. While you are still in college, an internship allows you to work on your career path to get a feel for what life will be like after graduation. If you feel being a history major is still the right choice after an internship, you can plan your career before you graduate, thanks to the people you meet in the field.
An internship helps you gain some experience, and by the time you send your resume to potential employers, you will already have some experience to include, giving you an edge in the market and higher chances of getting a good job with a decent salary than students who did not do an internship.
When in class, it is hard to know your strengths and weaknesses as a history major. By getting an internship, supervisors and experts in the field will point out your mistakes and strengths. Learn from them, ask for help, and observe others to get the most out of the experience.
Another benefit of attending internships is financial gain. Though a paid internship is not guaranteed, if you are lucky to find a company or organization that offers one, you get even more benefits. In addition to real-life experience, you can earn some cash and network with experts in the history field. When you join the company as an intern, you interact with professionals and people who have rich experience in your industry. They can mentor you and help you find work.
History degree students get a chance to apply various techniques taught in class through internships. Some of the skills you learn in history can only be practiced in safe environments so that if you make any mistake, you are protected. It would be risky to make such mistakes when in a job after graduating.
After college, you may find it hard to transition into the field. Some companies use internships to recruit new employees, and how you perform when given a chance can earn you a job opportunity down the line. Some companies will keep your contact information and call you when they have an open position. This is an effective way to test a person before bringing them on as an employee.
Job Shadowing for History Majors
Shadowing means spending time with an expert at their workplace, observing the professional and understanding the daily ins and out of their job. You can do this for hours or days, and it comes with numerous benefits for you as a student. It is not easy to approach people for this opportunity, but you should not be afraid. Talk to people working in the history field or who have a history degree and request a job-shadowing opportunity. It is easier if you know someone, but if you don’t know who to approach, send an email or call a company’s HR department. You can also ask your advisor or a trusted professor for recommendations.
Job shadowing comes with numerous benefits, such as putting you in a real professional environment. It can help you decide whether a career as a historian or any other related to history is what you want to pursue, and you can experiment with your skills and see if they are good enough for your career path.
While job shadowing lasts for a short time, it is practical to help you decide what you want to major in. You can do this before taking internships or applying for work. It is an excellent way to get the contacts of people in your field. You also develop relationships with people who can help you in the future. If you are a student in college planning to get a shadowing opportunity, do not relent until you find a chance.
Job Postings for History Majors
One of the places where you can find a list of job postings for history majors is online job boards. They allow you to search for the best history jobs available that your history degree qualifies for and post your resume for employers to find.
Finding jobs through online posts makes things easier for history graduates because you get notifications when jobs matching your qualifications are posted. You do not spend hours sifting through hundreds of job postings; as long as your search criteria cover history degree-related jobs, most boards notify you of positions instantaneously.
Job boards let you post resumes online so prospective employers can approach you if you match the talents they are looking for. Nothing makes it easier for you to find a job like being invited by potential employers for an interview. When an employer approaches you online, it’s a safe bet that they’re already impressed with your skills, so put your best foot forward in the interview.
When looking at job posts, you also get the option to search for other factors that interest you in a job, like education, location, and salary. You also get tips on how to write a resume. Most graduates are not sure how to create a resume, and if you can get on a job board that assists you in writing a curriculum vitae or a cover letter, applying for work is that much easier. The best thing is that you can use this one resume to apply for multiple jobs. With such excellent support, you are likely to land your first job soon after graduating.
Being a fresh college graduate, you do not have any experience in job hunting, though looking for internships or shadowing opportunities can help prepare you for the job search. Online job boards enable you to access expert resources on how to get the most from job searches or perform well in an interview. Some job boards even help you hire professionals to write your resume. However, to most history graduates, writing and editing a resume is not a problem.
Job Postings You Can Get Through Your University
All history graduates are looking for job opportunities right out of school, and it’s not always easy to find one right away. But even after you have left university and completed your studies, there are still ways your former college can help you find a job. One of them is joining an alumni group to make contacts and network with people who have similar interests and education. Apart from getting help from other history students, your former history professors can also come in handy in a job search.
Universities hold events that bring people together and allow you to build these valuable connections. The people attending university events are likely to be recent graduates or successful alumni. These are the people who can tell you about companies and trends regarding history major careers and maybe even point you directly to your next opportunity.
Some universities also offer training that helps students search for jobs. They may use webinars and live workshops to help you write a resume or participate in mock interviews and salary negotiations. These are opportunities that you should not miss out on. Learn from the best how to find your dream job.
There are many ways your former college can help you find job posts or a job interview, even months or years later after you graduate. If you are far from your school, check online to see if they offer any services for alumni, but you can also consider how extensive their online help is and make a trip back to your school to get more help. It may be a good career investment; you may come across some publications, networking meetings, and conferences with rich information on how you can find a job.
History is an extensive subject and covers numerous topics. It can be applied to many industries. History degree jobs are not limited to a narrow field. The best way to excel in this industry is to advance your education and attain a master’s or a doctorate.
History degrees give you a well-rounded education and help you enhance skills that are useful in your career, such as analytical, writing, and researching. History majors research and study many things, including architecture, politics, and art. But you are not limited to these in your career; the list of what you can do after graduation is endless. Just choose a degree program that aligns your studies closely to your goals.