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History | Careers

In addition to being a core major for a liberal arts degree, an undergraduate degree in history can lead to work as a teacher, historian, archivist, librarian, information specialist, writer, researcher, or work in government service.

Two people discussing career choices

With further study, you can go into college teaching, business, medicine, law, politics, or ministry. Double majors—combining history with one or more such fields—are easily accommodated.

The study of history is an excellent way to develop skills in critical reading and the ability to come to draw conclusions by analyzing and interpreting materials. These skills can serve as a foundation for success in a variety of disciplines.

For example, you can combine your program in history with selected classes in political science, English, speech, and business to prepare for law school. Students have also combined a pre-med program with a history major; in fact, the percentage of those with history majors admitted to medical schools has sometimes been higher than applicants with biology majors.

Because history is one of the best fields in which to receive a broad and liberal education, job opportunities for historians are not limited to teaching and writing history. Training in historical methodology fits persons for many types of historical and non-historical careers outside of teaching. Governmental service offers careers as historians, archivists, information specialists, immigration officers, and social security officials. The Interior and State Departments, Smithsonian Institution, Agriculture Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Agency also fill positions with persons with historical training. Our students usually do well in the competitive examinations given by the United States Civil Service Commission and by the State Department.

Possible Employers

  • Advertising departments and agencies
  • Airlines, railroads, cruiselines
  • Archives, museums, historical associations
  • Banks, savings and loans, credit unions
  • Environmentally-related firms
  • Federal, state, or local governments
  • Hospitals and other health care companies
  • Hotels, motels, and hospitality industry employers
  • Magazines, newspapers, radio stations, cable networks, television stations
  • Manufacturing firms
  • Not-for-profit organizations
  • Professional associations
  • Public relations firms
  • Schools and universities
  • Sports-related organizations


Learn what the American Historical Association has to say about Careers for Students of History.

WSU’s own CougLink offers students and alumni access to job and internship listings nationwide. The site also provides up to date information on career fairs, workshops and other events taking place on campus.

To find out more about the attributes employers are seeking among recent college graduates, visit Job Outlook 2016: Attributes Employers Want to See on New College Graduates’ Resumes.

Careers in History

Account representativeHuman resources professional
Administrative assistantInstitutional researcher
Admissions officerIntelligence specialist
ArchaeologistInterpretive guide
Art conservatorLabor organizer
Artifacts conservatorLawyer
BibliographerLegislative research assistant
Career counselorLoan officer
CaseworkerManagement consultant
Claims adjudicatorManufacturer’s representative
Collections managerMarket analyst/researcher
Communications assistantMedia specialist
Conference coordinatorMuseum technician
ConsultantNature education interpreter
Corporate historianNetwork coordinator
CounselorOutdoor education instructor
Database/records managerPark ranger
DetectivePersonnel officer
Development associate for researchPharmaceutical representative
Director of visitor servicesProject archivist
EditorProject planner/coordinator
Education programs coordinatorPublic relations
Educational equipment and supplies salespersonRadio/TV announcer
EducatorReference librarian
Executive directorRegistrar
Financial aid counselorResearcher (national TV news)
Golf CoachSecurities information researcher
Government relationsSite manager/administrator
HistorianSoftware specialist
Historic preservation plannerTour director
Travel agent
Washington State University