It may be true that most graduates secure jobs that are related to their major. However, a degree in history can land you jobs in other career fields. Hence, this article will explore ten things to do with a history degree.
History is one of the traditional disciplines in the humanities. For this reason, history is renowned as a cornerstone of the Bachelor of Arts. Today, the rate at which students choose history majors is on the rise. Statistics show that the discipline ranks among the most popular disciplines for Bachelor of Arts graduates.
If you pursue a degree in history, you will understand and learn how to navigate the coinciding political, economic, and cultural issues of modern society. Graduates of history acquire different transferable skills including informed citizenship, critical thinking, research, and general awareness.
The skills that you will gain after studying history can land you jobs in many workplaces including government, education, management, law, administration, and sales. You can also work in the tech industry, healthcare, financial services, and the media.
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Why study history?
History has built a longstanding reputation as a cornerstone of the Bachelor of Arts and humanities. Students choose the major for several reasons. Therefore, we will take a look at the reasons below.
Studying history in school will help you to have a comprehensive knowledge of the establishment of past societies, systems, ideologies, governments, cultures, and technologies. You will also learn how they operated and their changes over time.
By pursuing a history major, you will have better knowledge and understanding of historical events and trends. In other words, you will have a better understanding of the world that we dwell in. The knowledge gained enables experts in the field to impact the world.
It is only through history that you can remember brilliant people whose heroic acts impacted nations. After learning about this, it will inspire you to work towards becoming great in society. Keep in mind that it takes only one great story from a history book to light up people’s imagination and motivate them to do great works.
Finally, a degree in history can land you jobs in a range of careers. Some of the career fields where you can land jobs with a degree in history include government, education, journalism & the media, tourism, heritage consultancy & planning, museums, libraries, archives, public history, and project management.
Is history a good career?
Yes. If you are pursuing a history major, you will acquire strong analytical and communication skills. These skills will help you pursue careers in law, finance, business, etc. You may also work as a museum or art gallery curator or academia.
Is a history degree hard?
If you compare history majors with other majors, you will discover that a history major is easier. The reason is that history majors do not involve any lab work and technical writing.
Once you are pursuing a history degree, you will be examining older texts and writing papers.
Is it worth getting a history degree?
Pursuing a history major is worth it because the discipline offers a good intellectual challenge for students. Upon graduation, students gain analytical skills that lead to careers in different careers. In addition, holders of a history degree are well respected by employers.
Do history majors make money?
Graduates of history are considered to be high salary earners. According to PayScale, historians holding a bachelor’s degree make an average salary of more than $67,000 per year.
Professionals with a graduate degree go on to pursue high-paying careers.
What can I do with a history degree in Canada?
Canada has several career parts for history graduates. The following career options are available in Canada for students holding a history degree:
- Exhibition designer
- Historical interpreter
Exhibition designers are professionals that are responsible for creating displays and fixtures for large exhibitions, shows, businesses, museums, libraries, and galleries. These professionals have a comprehensive knowledge of layout and design and can work in a museum, gallery, trade conferences, or a private firm.
Keep in mind that history graduates can work as museum archivists, therefore, they can apply the same skills and knowledge to fill the role of an exhibition designer.
Historical interpreters give an accurate account of history by representing many figures throughout history so as to recreate life during a certain period, or to improve informative lectures.
These professionals can also perform in different settings including battle reenactments, themed events, or museums.
A history degree in Canada is enough to land this job. You will have acquired research skills, organizational skills, acting abilities, and the confidence to speak in front of diverse groups of people.
What can I do with a history degree in the UK?
Studying history at any university in the UK is very profitable. While you may be thinking that your history degree can only secure low-paying jobs in the UK, below are things that you can do with your history degree:
- Academic librarian
- Civil service administrator
An academic librarian acquires, organizes, manages, and distributes library resources as well as making sure that the library resources meet the needs of users.
The duties of academic librarians vary depending on the size of the library. Generally, academic librarians select, create and catalog library resources. They also make sure that library provisions meet the needs of a particular group of users including students, staff, postgraduates, etc.
With a history degree in the UK, you can be hired as an academic librarian in higher institutions, public libraries, research institutes, and specialist departments within government, hospitals, and large professional firms.
Civil service administrator
Civil service administrative assistants and officers are responsible for the day-to-day management of government ministries and their departments. They also liaise with customers, conduct research, process payments, handle complaints, etc.
There are many civil service administrators in the UK and they work on regular hours as with other public servants. The major employers of civil service administrators in the UK are the government departments and executive agencies.
Things To Do With A History Degree
While a degree can land jobs in a related field, a history degree can secure jobs in a wide range of fields. If you are a graduate of history and you think that your certificate may not land you high paying jobs, below are things to do with a history degree:
- Park ranger
- Museum archivist
- Business consultant
- History professor
1. Park ranger
Park rangers are recreation professionals that protect the natural resources, ecosystems, wildlife, and people that visit state and national parks. They work in law enforcement and visitor’s centers.
In law enforcement, park rangers have the power to arrest and levy fines on people who break laws of the federal and state lands. They also enforce laws that guide national and state parks.
On the other hand, park rangers conserve the wildlands and cultural heritage of a nation and they teach the public the need to protect these cultural treasures.
Park rangers have a comprehensive knowledge of history. Therefore, this makes the career one of the things to do with a history degree.
If you are working as a park ranger with a history degree, you will be in charge of the visitor center for a historical site. You will lead the visitors as they tour through historic buildings.
Average salary: $14.33 per hour
2. Museum archivist
Museum archivists organize and preserve historical artifacts for research purposes. They also preserve, display, and explain archival materials including art, artifacts, and historical documents for people who visit museums.
To work in a museum, you must have a graduate degree in history, museum studies, archival management, or a related area. Alternatively, you could qualify for a full-time job as a museum archivist through volunteer work, previous part-time work, or research work experience.
Working in the position requires using databases and classification systems to track important objects and records. To be successful in this career, you will possess specific skills including technical writing and data management.
Average salary: $52,389 per year
A librarian is a professional who is trained in information science to prepare new materials, classify them by subject matter, and describe books as well as other materials so that people can find them easily.
Generally, the job of librarians focuses on one of the three aspects of library work such as user services, technical services, and administrative services.
If you major in history, you will have the ability to find information and evaluate sources. When you have these abilities, you can help patrons to find content, resources, research books, and other publications. You will also be able to answer customer questions.
Becoming a librarian is actually one of the things to do with a history degree.
Average salary: $56,275 per year
An editor plans, reviews, and arranges materials for publication in newspapers, magazines, books, or websites. Editors also revise story ideas and decide materials that may please readers and recommend ways on how to improve the product by suggesting catchy headlines and titles.
If you are researching to write papers and historical essays while pursuing your degree, you will acquire research skills and learn how to write historical information in an engaging way. With these skills, you can land a job as an editor who writes on historical figures, events, or locations.
Another option for you could be to write speeches for politicians or leaders. You may also go into content writing for print and digital media.
Average salary: $56,366 per year
5. Business consultant
Business consultants offer management consulting to businesses and organizations in order to help them improve their performance and efficiency. They examine businesses, develop solutions, and help organizations to meet their goals.
Business consultants who specialize in history can work in a museum where they will be tasked with advising museums, institutions, or historical sites. Professionals in this position work as experts on a particular topic including archives and preservation or a certain time period (civil wars).
Average salary: $70,134 per year
Lawyers offer legal advice and counsel, research and gather evidence, and develop legal documents for divorces, wills, contracts, and real estate transactions. They also prosecute and defend clients in court.
If you have a history degree, you can work as a paralegal or legal assistant to support attorneys and law offices. While working to support attorneys and law offices, you will apply your research skills to gather and analyze evidence and draw up legal documents.
Additionally, you may file briefs, interpret laws; research, and analyze legal precedents. You can as well advise clients, represent them in court, and defend them.
However, you will need an additional qualification to supplement your Bachelor of Arts in History. Another option could be to pursue a J.D. degree from a recognized law school.
Pursuing a law career is one of the things to do with a history degree.
Researchers analyze data, gather and compare resources, share findings with team members, stick to the necessary policies, and keep critical information private. They possess strong communication skills, attention to detail, and time-management skills.
The career is one of the most common entry-level jobs for history graduates. While working as a researcher with a history degree, you will work in a team to gather information on distinct topics.
The analytical and critical thinking skills that you have acquired during your studies will help you to make observations and conclusions. You can work in the public or private sector in this role. Becoming a researcher is one of the things to do with a history degree.
Average salary: $73,587 per year
A historian gathers and examines primary sources including texts, artifacts, and other materials so as to answer questions about historical events. Historians compare these sources and analyze them in a context and interpret them from the perspective of other historians
As a historian, you will apply the research skills gained during your degree program. The skills will enable you to research, evaluate, write, and present historical matters of interest.
Historians work in a wide range of sectors including government, nonprofit organizations, and private.
Average salary: $74,158 per year
A journalist is a storyteller who writes, edits, proofread, and files news stories, features, and articles for print and digital media.
If you have a history degree, you will develop a comprehensive knowledge of the incident that you are covering. This can prepare you for a career as a reporter or journalist. While working as a journalist with a history degree, you will be able to carry out investigations.
If you choose to be a reporter, you will be tasked with creating investigative content for online and print newspapers. History graduates may also become multimedia journalists where they will create video-based stories for news outlets.
Average salary: $37.66 per hour
10. History professor
For those who wish to become a faculty member in an educational institution, pursuing a postgraduate degree is a sure bet for you.
If you become a history professor, you will always teach students general and/or specialized history courses at the undergraduate and/or graduate levels at colleges, universities, and other postsecondary schools.
By teaching students history, it will enable them to explain events and lessons from certain time periods and how they shaped future circumstances.
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