What can you do with a history major? Lots! While many think that studying history is predominantly for those who want to teach, the data shows that history majors go off into a wide variety of careers. There is no limit on what you can do with a history major. Its very versatility is its strength.
Those training in history can be found at work in a range of professional environments, including advertising, banking, business, government service, information management, libraries and archives, legal affairs, media, museums, nonprofit and advocacy organizations, publishing and editing, and much, much more.
The skills that you acquire through the study of history are in high demand in many fields. A degree in history demonstrates that you are able to:
- Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing
- Think critically and present convincing arguments
- Conduct research and show fluency in evaluating a wide range of sources
- Recognize diverse viewpoints and cultural perspectives
- Understand context and causality, and explain how and why things are the way they are
As the chart below indicates, history majors have many potential career paths. Here at Seton Hall, our own history alumni have gone on to leading graduate programs, law school, library and archival careers, as well as work for such firms as Christie’s Auction House, CALIBRE Systems, Goldman Sachs, KIPP, the Whitney Museum of Art, and many others.
Data source: ACS 2010–14 5-year Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS). Includes individuals who stated they were in full-time employment, between the ages of 25 and 64, had achieved a bachelor's degree or higher, and had either history or US history as the field of study for their bachelor’s degree, courtesy of the American Historical Association.
Check out the American Historical Association's page on "Careers for History Majors" to find out about opportunities that are available for those who graduate with an undergraduate degree in history. You can also read Paul B. Sturtevant's article "History Is Not a Useless Major: Fighting Myths with Data," as he debunks myths in the newsmagazine, Perspectives on History.
Still not convinced?
Check out what the experts are saying about the value of the history major and the demand for training in the humanities:
- "The Surprising Thing Google Learned About Its Employees," Washington Post (2018)
- "Shocker: Humanities Grads Gainfully Employed and Happy," Inside Higher Ed. (2018)
- "Liberal Arts in the Data Age," Harvard Business Review (2017)
- "Six Myths About Choosing a College Major," New York Times (2017)
- "History Is Not a Useless Major: Fighting Myths with Data," Perspectives on History (2017)
- "Entering the Job Market with BA in History," American Historical Association (2015)
- "That Useless Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket,” Forbes, July 29, 2015
- "If Students Are Smart, They’ll Major in What They Love," Chronicle of Higher Education (2015)