Deciding what major you want to pursue in college is one thing—deciding what to do with that major is a whole other story. History is a fascinating subject that gives you the knowledge and skills to understand the past and use it to inform the future. It’s a field that helps us understand our history on this earth and how far we’ve come. But what can you actually do with that History degree? Let’s delve into a few career options for students who are majoring or would like to major in History.
A common career path that comes to mind for History majors is working as a researcher. Researchers can work in practically any field, sharing their knowledge through books, documentary films, museums and other historical exhibitions, reports for local and federal governments, and even helping businesses understand the past in order to better their future. Becoming a researcher can also give you the opportunity to combine different passions with your love of history. Want to save historic buildings? Work for the government and use your research to accomplish that goal. Love to write? Become a journalist and use your understanding of the past to interpret current events. You can even consider a career in film as a documentary editor or try your hand at writing a book. The possibilities are endless.
Another well-trod path for a History major is education. You are equipped with the knowledge of the past to hand down to the next generations. Those who become educators have many options, be it teaching in an elementary, middle, or high school setting. However, there are additional requirements to obtain a teaching certification that vary by state. There's also always the option to become a professor at a community or four-year college, and an undergraduate degree in History is an excellent steppingstone for obtaining the advanced degree generally required for teaching at the college level. Outside the classroom, there are other opportunities for passing on wisdom. Historic sites, such as battlefields and monuments, and museums always need historians to interpret their materials. If you go for a more specialized degree in History, you might find a perfect niche for you in the worlds of museums and historic sites.
Wielding their knowledge of the past, History majors are ready to take on the world and all its injustices. Careers as an advocate can include working in law/litigation, in government, or for a private foundation. A History major also receives excellent preparation for law school, as well as litigation support, which is incredibly important to the outcome of cases. Working for the government is another common path for a student of history, whether they become a politician or staff member to a government official. It seems like a no-brainer to share your knowledge of the past with the public in order to build a better future! A job with a historical foundation or nonprofit association is also a viable option for a History major, as knowledge of past events is important to their continued work.
As you can see, there are quite a few career options for a History major. While some seem like an obvious choice, there are a lot more elements to each job than it seems at face value. Delve a little deeper into these career options to see if they would be a good option for you and what job you'd like to be doing daily. Now go out and spread that knowledge!
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