What Can I do With a History Degree?

What can I do with a history degree?

A history degree can provide you with a skill set that will open doors to a variety of different career paths. History graduates have strong analytical and communication skills, which are great to have for a career in the likes of law, marketing, business and HR. Popular career choices that are directly linked to a history degree include working in a museum or art gallery or in academia or education. 

Career options

Natural career paths following an events management degree:

  • Academic researcher
  • Archivist
  • Heritage manager
  • Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer
  • Museum education officer
  • Museum/gallery curator
  • Museum/gallery exhibitions officer
  • Secondary school teacher
 

Career paths (transferable skills):

  • Academic librarian
  • Archaeologist
  • Broadcast journalist
  • Civil Service administrator
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Human resources officer
  • Information officer
  • Marketing Executive
  • Policy officer
  • Politician’s assistant
  • Solicitor
  • Talent agent
 

These should only be used as a guide. Many employers will accept applications from students that have studied various degrees. 

Work experience

Those wanting to find a career within the museums and heritage sector should investigate doing an industry placement, pre-entry work is valued highly. Your careers department at your university should be able to help you identify these. You can also see whether there are any voluntary or part-time roles in your local area. You can reach out to your local museums directly to query this. Having pre-entry work will show that you are passionate and committed to a career in the sector. Previous work experience will enable your application to stand out amongst your competition. It will also provide you with the opportunity to network and build a list of contacts who may become useful in the future.  

Typical employers

The skills of a historian will be in demand and valued by many employers and organisations such as heritage organisations, museums and libraries. However, if you want to branch out beyond this, there will also be a number of opportunities that will require your skill set in the following sectors: 

  • Accountancy firms
  • Archive and records offices
  • Banks
  • Charities
  • Higher education institutions (HEIs)
  • International development organisations
  • Law firms
  • Management consultancies
  • Publishing companies
  • Retailers
  • Schools
  • Television and radio broadcasters.

How to enhance your CV

Through your degree, you will have learnt specialised skills in communication, critical thinking and gathering, investigating and assessing material. However, you will have also developed additional skills which will be transferable. 

Make sure the following skills are highlighted on your CV:

  • Critical reasoning and analytical skills, including the capacity for solving problems and thinking creatively
  • Intellectual rigour and independence, including the ability to conduct detailed research
  • Ability to construct an argument and communicate findings in a clear and persuasive manner, both orally and in writing
  • Capability to work without direct supervision and manage your time and priorities effectively
  • Ability to discuss ideas in groups and to negotiate, question and summarise
  • Capacity to think objectively and approach problems and new situations with an open mind
  • Appreciation of the different factors that influence the activities of groups and individuals in society.

Further study

Many graduates do decide to continue to study for a Masters degree if they are interested in becoming specialised in a particular field that they are passionate about. Other graduates may decide that they would like to study for a different postgraduate course, such as accountancy, journalism, law or teaching. These courses will teach you the basic vocational training for particular occupations – so make sure you do your research and are certain before you commit. 

What are history graduates doing?

The most popular career path amongst history graduates is within the public sector, according to a survey conducted by Cibyl. Besides that, the top 5 jobs amongst this cohort 15 months after graduation includes teaching, sales, marketing, business and research and administrative roles. 

Related Courses

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