Five Career Fields to Use a History Degree

Posted: June 30, 2020 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 3 minutes

What can I do with a degree in history?If you enjoyed history in high school and are thinking of pursuing it in college, you have many career opportunities waiting for you. Southern Utah University’s history program will elevate your civic and historical knowledge, intercultural competence, and critical and ethical reasoning skills so you can be successful in your chosen career.

“One of the key skills of any historian is to make sense of the past—to connect the dots between historical events and between the past and the present,” said Dr. Laura Davis, assistant professor of history. “We often utilize the past to make sense of the present, which is an invaluable skill in many careers.”

Students who study history learn to be proficient in research, fact finding, processing content, interpreting data, effective writing, public communication, and critical thinking. These skills pertinent to a history degree translate into many different career paths.

According to W.W. Norton History, on average 11% of history majors go into law, politics, and public life, 35% go into business and management, 18% go into education, and 36% go into other fields such as research and archival services, and journalism, publishing, and entertainment. These different avenues provide a diverse career field for history graduates, and something for everyone.

Below are some of the top careers and career fields for history majors.

Law, Politics, and Public Life

Having a thorough knowledge of history in terms of government, community and law is important when it comes to a career in the political sector. If these aspects of history interests you, you might think about becoming a…

  • Cultural Strategist
  • Lawyer
  • Politician
  • Judge
  • Development Associate
  • Community Organizer
  • Paralegal
  • Political Campaign Manager
Business and Management

You might be thinking, “if I wanted to go into business, I would’ve majored in business.” That’s an entirely good point; however, understanding the history and development of business, marketing, and management makes you an excellent candidate for a career in the field. Potential careers in business and management include…

  • Marketing Associate
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Banking Associate
  • Advertising Account Executive
  • Equity Analyst
  • Sales Representative
  • Insurance Analyst
  • Customer Success Specialist
  • Financial Planning Analyst
  • Public Relations Specialist

After graduating with a degree in history, your knowledge on the subject will make you a great candidate for a career in education. Entering the field of education puts you in a position of influence over a new generation of learners and leaders and gives you a great opportunity to share your knowledge. Potential careers in education include…

  • Museum Docent
  • Interpreter
  • Teacher
  • Professor
  • Tutor
  • Education Director
  • Curator
Research and Archival Services

If you’re planning on being a history major, you probably already know the importance of documentation and archival work. By going into a career in research and archival services, you’ll not only be preserving what has already been recorded, but also be contributing to how current civilization will be remembered. If this interests you, you might consider being a…

  • Librarian
  • Historic Preservation Specialist
  • Archivist
  • Public Historian
  • Cultural Resources Manager
  • Geographic Mapping System (GIS) Technician
  • Historical Consultant
  • Policy Advisor
Journalism, Publishing, and Entertainment

Whether it be creating authentic period costumes for the next historical movie, or writing a biography about a historical figure, there is a place for every history major in the journalism, publishing and entertainment sectors. Some careers include...

  • Documentary Filmmaker
  • Podcast Host
  • Television Writer
  • Professional Athlete
  • Book or Newspaper Editor
  • Producer
  • Journalist
  • Social Media Manager
  • Actor

Studying history opens up many pathways for students according to their strengths and interests. There are opportunities beyond even what is provided on this list.

“To study history is to know the ending before you begin,” said Professor Ryan Paul, lecturer of history. “It is vital that we not place our own knowledge into the heads of those who came before. We would do well to remember that the past was someone’s present, and hopefully those that come after us will afford us the same courtesy.”

The Department of History, Sociology and Anthropology is an intriguing blend of the past and the present. Faculty help to equip students with critical thinking and communication skills which enable them to investigate past and present human cultures and societies, identify key events that express change over time, and explain historical continuity and change. Students learn skills that allow them to communicate their findings logically, analytically, and effectively. Learn more about the Department of History, Sociology and Anthropology at SUU

The careers and career areas mentioned in this blog post were pulled from What Can I Do With A History Degree by W.W. Norton.

Tags: College of Humanities and Social Sciences History

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