March 22, 2021

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What to Do With a History Degree

2 min read

What Can I do With a Major in History?

It’s true: a bachelor’s degree in history won’t specifically prepare you for a particular type of career. Many history majors have parents, friends, and advisors who suggest that they should pursue a more ‘marketable’ degree that will directly prepare them for work in a specific occupation. And though those people aren’t necessarily wrong, it’s safe to say that they don’t see the big picture of what a history degree has to offer.

Courses in history teach students to consume long documents, write effective arguments, and analyze statistical data. These skills are required in many occupations, and it should come as no surprise that many history majors end up working as lawyers and writers. The extensive reading and writing requirements do a good job of preparing students for careers in those occupations. What might surprise you is that many history majors are actually premed students, who supplement their liberal arts degree with courses in the sciences.

Only a small minority of history majors go on to become historians. Becoming a historian requires additional education in graduate school. And though many history majors do attend graduate school, most go on to study other subjects.

The simple truth is this: for most people in the working world, the degree they earn in college is pretty much irrelevant within a few years of graduation. Once you snag your first entry level job, the rest tends to flow pretty naturally. And the best way to ensure a happy life is to always follow your passions (it’s ok if they change).

Careers for History Majors

Here is a list of some of the careers most highly related to the skills that knowledge that history majors learn. Note: this is by no means a complete list. History majors go on to work in every imaginable industry, and work in too many occupations to list.

OccupationMedian SalaryMedian HourlyCurrent jobsOutlookRequired Education
Anthropologist$54,230$26.075,790GoodMaster’s degree
Archaeologist$54,230$26.075,790GoodMaster’s degree
Archivist$45,200$21.736,300NormalMaster’s degree
Curator$48,450$23.2911,710GoodMaster’s Degree
Editor$51,470$24.75129,600NormalBachelor’s Degree
Elementary School Teacher$51,660$24.841,549,520GoodBachelor’s Degree
High School Teacher$53,230$25.591,109,500GoodBachelor’s Degree
Historian$67,090$32.254,050NormalMaster’s Degree
Kindergarten Teacher$48,800$23.46179,520NormalBachelor’s Degree
Lawyer$112,760$54.21759,190GoodLaw Degree
Legislator$19,260$9.2667,700NormalBachelor’s Degree
Librarian$54,500$26.20159,940NormalMaster’s Degree
Market Research Analyst$60,660$29.16249,810GoodBachelor’s degree
Middle School Teacher$51,960$24.98659,460GoodBachelor’s Degree

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