10 History Major Career Options

A typical undergraduate student may be hard pressed to name 10 history major career options. Though largely untrue, history majors have unjustly gained a reputation for not being very useful in the job market. Any history major could tell you that they have a family member or friend who has continually warned them against their educational field of choice, saying it will doom them later in life. But there are many more career options for history majors than you might think. See the list below for just a few of the career fields someone with a history degree might choose.

  1. Law. Law schools, though notoriously difficult graduate from, are a very viable career direction for a history major. Those with a history degree, especially one in American History, already have a very strong base of knowledge about the U.S. legal system, giving them a distinct advantage.
  2. Teaching. For many history majors, this career option is an obvious choice. You get the chance to shape young minds, and talk about your passion every day. Just make sure you like kids.
  3. Communications. History majors, by default, need strong communication skills to graduate successfully. They can usually write very well and have excellent verbal communication and research skills. Coincidentally, of these abilities are also essential in the journalism and communications career fields.
  4. Business. You might think that a business degree is necessary to break into this career field. But history majors, with their communications skills and cultural knowledge, often prove themselves as valuable parts of certain industries.
  5. Government. Federal and state governments are among the most substantial job providers in the U.S. economy. Government jobs value critical thinking, problem solving, and knowledge of how the system works. This, of course, makes it a viable career option for history majors.
  6. Writing. History majors almost universally aspire to write a successful nonfiction book. The career itself is somewhat precarious, and it takes some entrepreneurial spirit to pursue it. But those with research skills and a unique point of view may find success in this career.
  7. Archiving. There are a plethora of organizations that require archivists. Government agencies, museums, hospitals, colleges, and corporations are just a few. History majors relish this career option, as it allows them to maintain and discover all sorts of information from the organization’s past.
  8. Library services. No matter how much information technology invades libraries, librarians will always be required to keep the operations going. There are many different specialties within the library services career field-such as technical service and collections development-that suit history majors well.
  9. Think Tanks. Put together by organizations ranging from government to the private sector, think tanks conduct research and publish their findings on an array of subjects. The common skills that a history major possesses (researching and communications) are vital to think tanks’ processes, making it a great career option for the inquisitive graduate.
  10.  Historian. This career is the Holy Grail of professions for history majors. But beware, the major employers of historians are Universities and colleges, and they usually require a PhD.