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Only a small percentage of history majors go on to be historians; most become businesspeople, curators, lawyers, librarians, politicians, researchers, teachers, and writers. Leaders in every field, from business to the arts, point to the advantages of historical study in fostering well-rounded intellectual development and< building valuable career skills in researching, documenting, communicating and constructing logical, evidence-based arguments. With so many job options available, history majors should focus on the skills they have honed during their careers. Look for opportunities to speak with people who have jobs in fields that you are interested in entering and ask them about how to prepare yourself. It is never too early in your career to build a network of mentors who are willing to offer advice and guidance.

Career Related Skills

  • Research - the ability to understand past practices and policies and to trace the roots of any issue, to find new information which bears on that issue, and to incorporate that information into one's analysis of an issue
  • Critical Analysis - the ability to analyze a situation and come up with creative and practical solutions.
  • Interdisciplinary thinking - the ability to think about a problem in a variety of ways, analyze it using multiple tools, and provide solutions which draw from different traditions of thought.
  • Communication - the ability to communicate one's ideas effectively, especially in written form.

Common Career Paths for History Majors