Allegheny College History Graduates
92% of Allegheny History graduates were employed (FT), in graduate school, or completing post-graduate service within eight months of graduation
- 56% were employed (FT 48% and PT 8%)
- 36% were in graduate school
- 8% were completing post-graduate service
Note: The post-Allegheny outcomes listed above reflect data for the class of 2014 collected within eight months of graduation and include a response rate of 89.3%.History Alumni
What do these professionals have in common?
Answer: They were all History majors.
Politics & Law
- John F. Kennedy: 35th President of the United States
- Joe Biden: 47th and current Vice President of the United States
- Dianne Feinstein: United States Senator and former mayor of San Francisco
- Elena Kagan: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
- Antonin Scalia: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
- Sonia Sotomayor: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
- Eric Holder: Attorney General
- Henry Kissinger: 56th Secretary of State
- Charlie Rose: Television talk-show host and journalist at PBS and CBS
- Wolf Blitzer: Journalist and CNN television news anchor
- Ray Suarez: Journalist for NPR, PBS, and Al Jazeera
Education & Literature
- Drew Gilpin Faust: American historian and President of Harvard University
- Robert Fogel: Nobel Prize-winning economic historian and scientist
- Annie Proulx: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, journalist, and author
- Salman Rushdie: Author and winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction
- Carly Fiorina: Former president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard
- Martha Stewart: Founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
- Robert Johnson: Founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET)
Arts & Entertainment
- Julia Child: Chef, television personality, author of Mastering the Art of French Cooking
- Janeane Garofalo: Actor, stand-up comedian, political activist, writer
- Steve Carell: Oscar-nominated actor, comedian, director, producer
- Katherine Hepburn: Actor, winner of four Academy Awards for Best Actress
- Art Garfunkel: Grammy-award winning singer, poet, and Golden Globe-nominated actor
- Jimmy Buffet: Singer-songwriter, restaurant entrepreneur, businessman
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Professional basketball player, played 20 seasons in the NBA
- Jacqueline “Jackie” Joyner-Kersee: Olympian, six-time medalist in four Olympic games
Why study History?
A major in history is of great value because it teaches you to:
- draw connections between disparate societies and institutions.
- assess subjects from multiple perspectives.
- research, evaluate evidence, communicate, and problem solve.
Worried about studying History?: Facts to dispel the myths that make some people nervous about majoring or minoring in History. History isn’t about memorizing boring facts. The discipline is versatile; you don’t have to go into education! History teaches people to think; it doesn’t train you narrowly for today’s soon-to-be-outdated job world. Historical knowledge is a powerful currency for the 21st century. From the Boston University History Department, 2015.
Liberal Arts Disciplines Prepare Graduates for Long-Term Professional Success: Analysis of census data tracks long-term earnings and employment rates of liberal arts graduates. Findings counter stereotypes about the value of liberal education. Association of American Colleges & Universities, January 2014.
“. . . whatever undergraduate major they may choose, students who pursue their major within the context of a broad liberal education substantially increase their likelihood of achieving long-term professional success.”
Why a History Degree is Useful in the Business World.
Christopher Brooks, American Historical Association, February 2015.
While studying in Germany, an American legal history graduate student took freelance jobs on the support staffs of various businesses to pay the bills. One day, he put in a bid for an assignment for a pretty big client and was invited to give his sales pitch. The company’s European head of research and development, a German, interviewed him. The discussion began with basic courtesies and talk about what the company needed; there was little discussion about the American’s academic background. About five minutes into the interview, the German pointed to a reproduction of a painting on the wall behind his desk and asked the American, “Who painted that?” The American replied, “Matisse, I think.” The German responded, “Good! Now, what are your thoughts on the Marshall Plan?”
And so the discussion went, for about 10 more minutes, after which time the American interjected: “Excuse me, sir, but why are you asking me all of these history questions?” The German: “Well, we had an American VP who was in a meeting recently with a French client, me, and my boss. The Frenchman looked up to the wall, pointed at the painting before him, this very one, and asked, ‘Who painted that?’ The American VP said, ‘I don’t know. I don’t need to know that stuff.’ At that moment, the French client left the room, along with his three-million-euro account.”
“Why did I ask you about history?” the German continued. “It is important for our business. And since you could answer my questions, you have the job.”
What can I do with a History major?
- Career Options for History Majors: Data about jobs & employers and strategies to win the perfect job.
- What Can I Do With This Major?: Table of links to career options for all majors.
- Careers for History Majors: A miniguide from the American Historical Association.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Information: United States Department of Labor guide to career information about hundreds of occupations.
Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Services
|There are over 170 federal departments and agencies including:
Do extensive research in order to find the area that best fits your interests.
USAJOBS is the Federal Government’s official one-stop source for federal jobs and employment information.
|Local and State Government
City or Town Management
Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Services
Elected or Appointed Leadership
Special Interest Advocacy
Nonprofit or Public Interest
|Curatorial and Archival Management
The Museum Employment Resource Center lists jobs and other information related to the museum, heritage management, and cultural resource communities.
Primary and Secondary:
The National Council on Public History (Jobs & Internship Listings) is a professional association that supports the field of public history.
Training and Development
General Information and Strategies
- A major in history provides a broad, liberal arts education. Develop a career goal, and then obtain the skills, experiences, and education necessary to enter that field.
- An undergraduate degree in history is good preparation for graduate study in history, as well as other areas such as, law, public administration, or business. Research the prerequisites for the degree of interest and tailor program of study to meet curricular requirements.
- Part-time and summer jobs, internships, and volunteer positions are critical to gaining the experience and skills that employers seek.
- Obtain leadership roles in school or community organizations. Get involved in student government, mock trial, debate team, or Model United Nations.
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills are imperative for most careers related to history, politics, or government.
- Prepare to develop a specialty area including both academic training and work experience for history related careers. Develop patience, persistence, and drive to obtain history related jobs.
- Gain experience in fundraising and grant writing techniques. Nonprofit and educational organizations are often funded in this manner.
- Conduct informational interviews to learn about careers of interest and develop a network contacts.
- Research websites and books that address various job opportunities, hiring processes, and pay structure
Job Search Resources
Visit the Career Education website:
The Office of Career Education recommends the following resources for Allegheny students and alumni who are searching for new professional opportunities or changing occupations.
Going Global: Packed with country-specific career information, this research tool provides expert advice and insider tips for finding employment opportunities at home and abroad. Check out the country profiles page. Includes the U.S. and Canada.
- LinkedIn: Search for both internship and full-time opportunities. LinkedIn users can save job/internship searches along with individualized alerts when new opportunities are posted.
- Idealist.Org: Employment site for nonprofit jobs and volunteer opportunities. Can register to receive alerts when new opportunities are posted.
- Indeed.com: Useful site to search opportunities either by keyword, geographic location, or professional field.
- The Riley Guide: A comprehensive site for resource guides, job search databases, and professional advice.
- TalentZoo: Job search engine for individuals who want to work in the advertising, marketing, tech, and design industries. Also, features helpful industry articles and tips for job seekers.
- The Career Project: Interactive site that allows you an uncensored look into thousands of careers through the experiences of individuals within professional fields.