Five Surprising Jobs You Can Get with a History Degree

If you have a burning passion for history, yet worry that you’ll never be able to find a history-related job—think again.

History, in itself, combines many different disciplines such as geography, social studies, literature, religion, economics, and linguistics. Therefore, careers related to any of these disciplines will be open to historians. The abundance of career possibilities is primarily due to the many skills that history majors acquire. These include developing excellent skills in writing, research, and in critical thinking. History majors learn to create persuasive arguments and often have to synthesize large amounts of information and draw conclusions. Keep reading to learn about the exciting careers that await those with a history degree:



  • Archivists have physical control over the records (which can include multiple forms of media) in their care. They regularly appraise the collected items to determine their value and need to thoughtfully arrange and describe the materials so that patrons can easily utilize the collection. A neatly organized archive contributes greatly to the smooth operation of an organization.
  • All government agencies have archives that must be regularly updated. Educational, cultural, and religious institutions as well as newspapers and magazines maintain their own archives.
  • Entry-level positions generally require at least a B.A. and, more often, an M.A. in history. Depending on the particular archive, other specific degrees and skills may be required. In today’s information age, appropriate computer skills are certainly required, as so much information is stored digitally.
  • Possible salary: more than $40,000 per year.


Careers in Government

  • The FBI and CIA hire exceptional students for various training programs. The FBI trains special agents in criminology, terrorism task forces, linguistics, and many other careers. The CIA, though often associated with intelligence gathering, works in a variety of fields and educations.
  • Consider also the Bureau of the Census which collects, stores, and analyzes tremendous amounts of data.
  • Possible salary: will vary widely, but will be especially competitive with any position in the private sector.


Foreign News Correspondent

  • With a degree in history and some interest in journalism, you could find a news career in print, television, or internet media. While one does not step into the “Foreign Desk” right away, the experience gained while climbing the ladders of success will be invaluable.
  • Possible salary: low to begin, but excellent long-term


Investment Analyst and Market Researcher

  • Investment analysts put their excellent research skills to work. Potential investors need counsel in studying companies and their financial decisions to be assured they are making good investments.
  • Market researchers determine consumer preferences and whether or not they are being met effectively. They look at current marketing strategies by analyzing data, and they write reports on results.
  • Investment analysts: could earn $80,000. Market researchers: $60,000


The National Park Service

  • The National Park Service is responsible for approximately 350 parks, battlefields, monuments, and sites around the country. With their education and experience, historians can help to interpret the past to visitors.
  • Courses in art history, folklore, archaeology, and other disciplines may prove useful training for work at a museum or historic site.
  • Possible salary: will vary depending upon specific responsibilities


These are just a few interesting careers for history majors that you might not have considered. Many university websites contain much more information about possible careers for those with history degrees, so if you are interested in a specific niche, it is best to do research before declaring your major. The information for this article was provided by the professionals of Norwich University who offer a military history degree for interested students.

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