What Can I Do With a History Degree
Federal agencies including: The Smithsonian Institute, National Archives and Records, Library of Congress, National Park Service, Intelligence services, Foreign service
State and local agencies including: Archives and libraries, Museums, parks, and historic sites, Municipal archives, Arts and humanities councils
Gain relevant experience in student government or other related organizations.
Complete an internship with a government agency. Maintain a superior academic record. Plan on obtaining an advanced degree. Develop foreign language skills.
Become familiar with specialized government hiring procedures. Consider a variety of entry-level positions in all branches of local, state, and federal government.
- Elected or appointed public officials (i.e., legislators, governors, mayors, judges)
- National political party headquarters
- Public interest/advocacy groups
- Political campaigns
Gain experience and make contacts through internships with government agencies or public officials. Volunteer to work with public interest groups, political campaigns, political associations, or community service projects.
Participate in student government and campus politics.
- Law firms
- Corporate legal departments
- Government agencies
- Public advocacy groups
Obtain paralegal training or law degree. Gain experience through summer or part-time work in a law firm. Volunteer with a public advocacy group. Participate in mock trial and pre-law associations.
- History museums and historic sites
- Historical associations and societies
- Cultural heritage organizations
- Historical projects
- Research and service institutions
Volunteer with various nonprofit organizations of interest. Consider supplementing curriculum with relevant course work in anthropology, sociology, art history, or foreign languages.
Curatorial and Archival Management
- Historical homes
- Art galleries
- Special collections
- Historical societies
- Universities and colleges
- National, state, and local government
- Non-profit organizations
- Research institutes
Acquire strong computer knowledge and experience. Obtain an internship or volunteer in a related organization. Develop excellent written and oral communication skills. Hone organizational skills and develop attention to detail.
Earn a master's degree in information sciences for advanced opportunities in data management.
- News departments of local, public, and commercial radio and TV stations
- Syndicated radio services
- National, state, and regional radio networks
- Work on campus newspaper, TV, or radio.
- Find summer or part-time work with local commercial TV or radio station.
- Volunteer with public TV or radio.
- Consider obtaining a minor or double major in journalism or broadcasting/electronic media.
- Teaching: Elementary, Middle, or Secondary, Higher Education
- Community Education
- Public and private schools
- Colleges and universities
- Zoological parks, aquariums, wildlife refuges, and bird sanctuaries
- Arboretums, gardens, and conservatories
- National and state parks
Develop excellent presentation skills. Become skilled in the use of multimedia.
Learn how to develop curriculums and workshops. Become an "expert" in a particular subject. Obtain teaching certificate for public school teaching. Obtain a graduate degree for college and/or university teaching. Gain experience as a tutor, camp counselor, church schoolteacher, etc. Build strong relationships with professors, supervisors, or other community leaders for strong personal recommendations. Complete an internship or volunteer in a setting of interest.
- Office Administration
- All major retail firms including drug, specialty, variety, and department store chains
- Insurance companies
- Real estate agencies
- Financial institutions
- Nonprofit organizations
Earn a minor in business. Obtain related experience through advertisement sales positions with campus yearbook or newspaper. Gain relevant retail sales experience. Acquire good computer and statistical skills. Develop excellent communication skills. Demonstrate a high energy level. Obtain leadership experience in student or community organizations. Consider an MBA for brand management, consulting, and research opportunities.
- An undergraduate degree in history is good preparation for graduate study in history as well as other areas such as psychology, law, or business.
- Research the prerequisites of the area of interest and tailor program of study to meet curricular and skill needs.
- Part-time, summer, internship, and volunteer experiences are critical.
- Develop skills by obtaining a leadership role in a school or community organization.
- Get involved in Student Government.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills are imperative for most careers related to history, politics, or government.
- Become familiar with the government application process for opportunities in federal, state, or local government.
- Prepare to develop a specialty area including both academic training and work experience for history related careers.
- Develop patience, persistence, and drive in obtaining history related positions.
- For careers in politics, be prepared to volunteer extensively before being hired or elected as an employee or official. Begin by working with the campaign or official of choice while in college.
For careers in arts and humanities, obtain a broad liberal arts background including knowledge of the arts, personal and mass communication, and foreign languages.
- Join related social and/or professional organizations.
- Develop a network of both formal and informal contacts.
- Research websites and books that address various job opportunities, pay structure, and hiring processes.
Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer