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Careers for History Majors

What can you do with an undergraduate degree in history?


From the American Historical Association (AHA) :

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.

Here is a brief list of the career opportunities available to the undergraduate history major. This list is based on a very useful pamphlet, Careers for Students of History, written by Barbara J. Howe and jointly published by the American Historical Association and the National Council on Public History in 1989. While this online miniguide is based on this pamphlet (now out of print), with appropriate paraphrases from its text, it discusses also some of the new opportunities that became available to the history major in the recent past.

History BAs intending to pursue an advanced degree in history should read the excellent guide, Careers for Students of History, by Constance Schulz, Page Putnam Miller, Aaron Marrs, and Kevin Allen (2002: 64 pages, $7 members, $9 nonmembers. ISBN 0-87229-128-6).

Historians as Educators

Elementary Schools
Secondary Schools
Postsecondary Education
Historic Sites and Museums 

Historians as Researchers

Museums and Historical Organizations
Cultural Resources Management and Historic Preservation
Think Tanks 

Historians As Communicators

Writers and Editors
Journalists
Documentary Editors
Producers of Multimedia Material
Historians As Information Managers
Archivists
Records Managers
Librarians
Information Managers 

Historians As Advocates

Lawyers and Paralegals
Litigation Support
Legislative Staff Work
Foundations

Historians in Businesses and Associations

Historians in Corporations
Contract Historians
Historians and Nonprofit Associations