Office of Career Services, Allegheny College
Career options for History Majors:
A major in history is great value
- in understanding society and its institutions,
- in developing skills in research, writing, and organizing thoughts, and
- in fostering perspective and judgment valuable in all kinds of decision making.
Although many history majors decide to apply their degree in a history-related field, opportunities to apply history-related skills exist in a variety of areas. The Top Fifteen Careers List and Sample Employment of Graduates suggest many career options.
A sampling of internships and state by state historical opportunities can be found at this link.
Occupations using history skills:
collects, evaluates, systematizes, preserves, and makes available for reference public records and documents of historical significance
reconstructs the life or career of an individual in narrative form. Conducts extensive research.
conducts prosecution in court proceedings on behalf of the city, county, state, or federal government. Gathers evidence and presents it before a judge.
reports, writes and/or edits for a newspaper, majazine, radio station, or other media. Often includes historical research in order to place current events into perspective. May include writing historical articles.
Foreign Service Officer
represents interests of U. S. Government by conducting relations with foreign nations and international organizations
conducts research into genealogical background of individual or family in order to establish descent from specific ancestor or to identify forebearers.
prepares record of past or current events dealing with some phase of human activity. May act as advisor or consultant. May work for state or regional governments, consulting firms in public or urban planning, or other agencies.
Historian, dramatic arts
conducts research to authenticate details, such as customs, costumes, manners of speech, architectural styles, modes of transportation and other items peculiar to a given period and locale.
Historic Site Specialist
investigates, acquires, marks, improves and preserves historic sites and natural phenomena in conformity with the state policy. Prepares brochures, exhibits, maps, photographs, etc. to stimulate interest in sites.
Historical Society Director
directs activities of state or local historical society, including developing publications and exhibits, speaking before groups and performing administrative duties. May raise funds.
teaches and conducts research on historical subjects, publishes articles and books on area of expertise. Advises students. May consult on projects in area of expertise; may serve on academic committees and perform academic administration. May be interviewed by media on current events and foreign affairs.
conducts research on companies
arbitrates disputes, advises counsel, jury, litigants or court personnel, and administers judicial system
conducts criminal or civil lawsuits, draws up legal documents, advises clients as to legal rights, and practices other phases of law. Legal specialities include Criminal Law, Insurance Law, Corporate Law, Environmental Law, International Law, Patent Law, Probate Law, Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Title Law, and others.
performs library tasks which may include selecting, purchasing, cataloguing, classifying, circulating and maintaining library materials. Reference Librarian performs readers’ advisory service and conducts research for clientele.
conducts research to determine consumer preferences and trends and effectiveness of marketing strategies, analyzes data using statistical methods, writes reports on results.
researches law, investigates facts, and prepares documents to assist lawyers. May specialize in litigation, probate, real estate or corporate law.
conducts research on architectural, art and urban history for application to historical conservation and restoration. Researches preservation laws and tax benefits. Serves as advisor or overseer on government restoration projects.
Research Assistant, Legislature
provides research assistance to legislators and general public, especially legislative history on institutional records and legislators’ papers, assists in investigations, serves on study commissions.
Research Worker, Encyclopedia
analyzes information on specified subjects to answer inquiries from enclyclopedia owners, referring to library reference sources or consulting with experts in fields. Prepares written summaries of research findings for mailing to inquirers.
Teacher, Secondary School History or Social Studies
instructs students, prepares course outlines, corrects papers, administers and grades tests, meets with parents, maintains discipline, participates in meetings. May organize historic projects or tours. May coach a sport or supervise a club or activity.
searches public records and examines titles to determine legal condition of property title; prepares reports on findings.
develops comprehensive plans and programs for utilization of land and physical facilities of cities, countries, and authorities, recommend government measures to control and guide community development.
Government agencies expressing interest in hiring History Majors:
Drug Enforcement Administration: Intelligence Research Specialists
DEA Employment Opportunities
National Endowment for the Humanities
NEH Job Opportunities
National Park Service
NPS Employment Information
SI Office of Human Resources
United States Customs Service
Customs Career Opportunities