What can you do with a history degree?
An undergraduate history degree has many advantages that will help prepare students in a variety of different career areas.
Common Careers for History Majors
Many students who major in history hope to become 6th-12th grade social studies teachers. Others are interested in working at museums, historic sites, historical societies or organizations. However, a history degree is valuable in a far wider variety of fields and occupations than you might have ever imagined. Many employers greatly value the skills and training that history majors acquire. History majors bring to the job market a broad range of research, writing, and analytic skills as well as extensive background knowledge about the past and its impact on today’s society. A historical perspective is valuable in nearly every field.
If history is your passion, pursue it! The job market is always changing. Few people these days follow a narrow career path for their entire lives. Developing strong writing, research, communication, and analytical skills will prepare you for a wide variety of future careers. You might also want to consider completing a minor in another field. WSU offers many minors and nearly every department offers the option. WSU also offers unique interdisciplinary minors in Anthropology, Art History, Policy and Ethics, Regional Planning, Film Studies, Religious Studies, Asian Studies, Ethnic Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Women and Gender Studies, among many others. History courses are included in nearly all interdisciplinary majors. A history degree offers in-depth background valuable in many fields.
In fact, the percentage of history majors who become professional historians is low. Most go on to a broad array of fields. They become teachers, researchers, businesspeople, lawyers, librarians, writers, archivists, activists, politicians, public relations staff, journalists, administrators, fundraisers, and/or staff in various types of non-profit organizations. Leaders in every industry, from business to the arts, can point to their training as history majors as the starting point for their success. Indeed, historical study plays an important part in fostering well-rounded intellectual development as well as instilling valuable career skills in research, writing, argumentation and documentation.
The rigorous research and writing requirements asked of history majors also offer excellent preparation for careers in law, journalism, public relations, technical writing, fundraising, administration, and government service. Interestingly (and luckily for history majors) recent trends in medical and business school admissions suggest that professional schools are looking for students with training in humanities and social sciences.
The market for teachers in primary and secondary schools remains good and students with a solid background in history will be well suited to obtain teaching credentials in subjects such as history and social studies.
Interested in learning more?
Check out the American Historical Association Series on what you can do with a Bachelor's Degree in History: http://blog.historians.org/category/what-to-do-with-a-ba-in-history/