Impact of a History Degree

Many students who major in history hope to become 6th-12th grade social studies teachers. Others are interested in working at museums, historic sites, or 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 offer 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. Nearly every department at WSU offers an option for a minor or minors. WSU 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. 

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, or staff members 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 expected of history majors offers 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 is consistently looking for teachers in primary and secondary schools with a solid background in history, and those with a degree will be well suited to obtain teaching credentials in subjects such as history and social studies.

Interested in learning more on what you can do with a B.A. in History? Click on the links below.
American Historical Association Series
Common Career Fields for History Majors
Myths About Majoring in History