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History | Careers

What to expect from a history degree AFTER graduation

Click here to see “Careers For History Majors,” presented by the American Historical Association.

Click here to visit Candid Career’s Major Explorer to watch interviews from specialists offering insight on 17 different career opportunities for History Majors

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.

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.

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.

WSU History Alumni Testimonials

See what WSU History alumni are doing with their degrees.

Mr. Bradley Richardson is the Executive Director of the Clark County Historical Museum in Vancouver, WA

Resources & Guidance

The American Historical Association wants you know that “History is Not a Useless Major.” Read about what your opportunities after college look like if you choose to graduate with a degree in HISTORY.

USA Today encourages liberal arts majors to pair their history degree with specific skills in fields such as “marketing, sales, business, social media, graphic design, data analysis and management, and information technology or support.” See what you can do with a combined skill set HERE!

See what the New York Times refers to as the “6 Myths About Choosing a College Major.” Review pay out statistics for STEM majors, see what areas of the workforce women choose to go in to more frequently than others, and whether or not it might help to double major! Read Jeffrey J. Selingo’s article in the NYT HERE.

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.


Career opportunities 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