What Can You Do With a History Degree?

history degree

History is a fascinating subject. But what can you do with a history degree? History isn’t just about old stories and long-gone battles. It’s the story of us—how we got here, the choices made, the triumphs and the struggles.

Studying history sharpens your ability to make sense of the world around you. History majors develop exceptional research skills, the power to analyze complex information, and the ability to communicate their findings clearly.

These skills aren’t just for the classroom! A history degree can take you places you never imagined, from the halls of government to the newsroom and beyond.

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What Is History?

What can you do with a history degree?

Historians are like detectives of the past. They dig into old documents, study artifacts, and piece together clues to uncover what really happened. Their goal isn’t just to memorize dates; it’s to understand the why behind events and share those insights.

Moreover, historians specialize in countless areas: ancient civilizations, political movements, wars, the lives of ordinary people—the list goes on! All of their work contributes to our ever-evolving understanding of the human experience.

History Degree Careers

A history degree gives you the skills to dive deep into the past and understand the complexities of the present. But where can that knowledge take you in the professional world? If you’re curious about the job outlook for history majors, we have an article for that. Let’s break down some of the most common career paths for history majors and explore other exciting fields where your skills will shine. Let’s start by looking at some core careers:


Love learning everything about the past? Think of historians as time detectives! They search for clues, analyze old stuff, and write about what happened long ago. They work in museums, fixing displays and keeping old objects safe.

Or they work in archives, where they organize and protect old papers. Some even work for the government or groups that focus on history.


History teachers get to share their love of the past with future generations. They teach teenagers about big events and important people in history. College professors know even more about a specific part of history and get to do their own research while they teach.


Librarians are like super-helpers for finding information! They help you find the right books and figure out where to look for good facts or stories. Knowing history is extremely helpful, especially if the library has books and papers about the past.

Transferable Skills: History Majors in Action

A history degree isn’t a one-way ticket to the classroom. The skills you develop are incredibly valuable across many fields:


Lawyers have to be like super detectives! They search for facts, figure out tricky stuff, and build a strong case to convince others. This sounds like stuff history majors do all the time, so they often become awesome lawyers.


Both journalists and historians have a job: find the truth and let everyone know. History majors practice digging for facts, thinking deeply, and writing clearly – that’s what makes a great reporter!


Paralegals are like helpers for lawyers. They do research, write important papers, and talk to people. History students are super organized and careful, which is perfect for this job.

Business, Government, Nonprofits

Don’t think only old stuff matters for these jobs! Businesses, governments, and groups that help people need employees who can write well, analyze complicated things, and see the whole picture. History grads become thinkers, good talkers, and problem-solvers – just what these organizations want.

If you like history or even if you want to use your skills in a new way, the possibilities are huge! Learning history online helps you understand the world, solve tough problems, and be a great communicator.

History Degree Specializations

History is as vast and complex as humanity itself! Historians often develop a deep passion for a specific area. You could specialize in prehistory, deciphering societies that left no written records.

Political history examines the rise and fall of empires, while military history studies conflict and strategy. Religious history explores the impact of faith, and social history focuses on ordinary people and cultural movements.

These specializations lead to unique career paths, from museum curators specializing in ancient artifacts to researchers who advise policymakers on current events.

Professional Organizations

History isn’t a solitary pursuit. Professional organizations provide a sense of community, vital resources, and career support for historians at all stages of their journey. Here are a few of the most influential ones:

American Historical Association (AHA)

This is the oldest and largest professional organization for historians in the United States. They provide resources for teaching history, advocate for the importance of historical studies, publish journals, and maintain a robust job board for history-related careers.

Organization of American Historians (OAH)

As the name suggests, the OAH focuses specifically on the history of the United States. They offer professional development opportunities, conferences, and awards recognizing important scholarship in American history.

National Organization for History Educators (NCHE)

This organization supports history teachers at all levels. NCHE provides curriculum resources, professional development workshops, and even a job board specifically tailored for history educator positions.

These organizations are essential pillars of the history community, ensuring historians have the tools and connections to thrive.

Are You Passionate About Our History?

A history degree isn’t just about knowing what year something happened. It’s about truly understanding how the past made the world we live in today! History grads learn how to research like detectives, figure out tough information, and explain things clearly.

These are skills that lots of different jobs need. Whether you want to dig up the past as a historian, teach others what you know, or use your brainpower in law, reporting, or business, a history degree can be your first step toward an awesome career!