Careers and Jobs

A history major can qualify you to do many different things, from working in the government to education and even business. A traditional career path would be to become a historian, researching and analyzing the past.

What makes history such a flexible degree is that research, communication and quantitative skills are stressed in courses, and these are skills that employers in business, government and education seek in employees.

Fort Wilkins. Officers' parlor.

Thunder Bay, Ont. Indian products.

Thunder Bay, Ont. Clerk with furs.

Jamestown, VA. Chapel.


  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Peace Corps/Vista Volunteer
  • FBI/CIA Agent
  • Politician
  • Legislative Aide

Foreign language skills are valuable or even required for some of these positions. You can gain excellent experience in the government field by finding an internship related to your interests.


Research and Preservation

  • Archivist
  • Historian
  • Curator
  • Librarian
  • Biographer
  • Genealogist
  • Gerontologist

Hands-on experience is helpful when pursuing work in these areas.


Business and Industry

  • Manager
  • Research Analyst
  • Insurance Agent
  • Banker
  • Sales Representative

A business minor may be helpful, but sometimes relevant work experience is more beneficial.


Graduate and Professional Education

  • History
  • Law
  • Literature
  • Education
  • Philosophy

Remember to take any necessary exams early; it can take six weeks for results to be sent to the schools to which you applied. Foreign language competency, sometimes in two languages, is required in many graduate programs.

History is a rich field which allows you to study and research past civilizations and problems, as well as major social, political, cultural, and economic events of the past. Some introductory history courses to help you decide whether history is the right major for you include HS 101: History of Western Civilization to 1500, HS 104: The Third World in Historical Perspective, HS 200: Historical Thinking and Writing, or any of the other survey courses in western civilization or US history.

Career options with only a bachelor's degree may be limited, but improve significantly with a master's degree and Ph.D. A bachelor's degree may qualify you for a number of entry-level jobs, including positions such as a research assistant, administrative aide, or management trainee. A master's degree qualifies you to teach at the junior and community college level, while a Ph.D. is necessary to teach at four-year colleges and universities. You may qualify to work in a business environment if you have any business experiences, or a business minor or second major.


For other ideas on what to do with a history major, please visit these links, 

American Historical Association

Eastern Washington University: What to do Besides Teach