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Career Information for History Majors

Teaching and Education

  • Primary and secondary education in history and/or social studies. This includes public and private schools, and school district or state offices of curriculum and instruction.
  • Adult Education Programs, including college-level continuing education programs, corporate training programs and local service agency programs.
  • Community colleges, colleges and universities, teaching history, general humanities, or interdisciplinary programs. Advanced degrees are required for almost all of these positions.
  • Government education agencies, including local, state and federal departments of education.
  • Private foundations involved in promoting education, analyzing trends or developing curriculum materials.

Government Agencies

  • Executive branch agencies. This includes the Department of Interior (National Park Service), Department of State, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian Institution. It also includes local, state and regional agencies and commissions. This includes both historical research work and administration of archives, museums and historic sites and parks.
  • Cultural agencies require administration of historic artifacts and documents, exhibits and parks. Many of these agencies publish historical research, documents and guides, requiring writers and editors.
  • Planning agencies, such as urban planning and environmental management. These require historical research and analysis of land-use and policies, historical preservation studies and supervision of compliance.
  • Public archives and libraries at state, local and federal level, requiring skills in acquisition, preservation, management and public display of documents and artifacts.
  • Military services, including institutional history centers, archives and records projects and museums.
  • Judicial branch and regulatory agencies and commissions also require historical research into policies and legislation, and management of archives and historical offices.
  • Legislative bodies, including Congressional and state legislative staffers. These positions cover policy research, previous legislation and legal rulings, management of records and bibliographic material.
  • International agencies, including historical analyses of contemporary problems and policies, demographics research and records management.

Nonprofit Organizations

  • Historical associations and societies, including governmental and private organizations. They manage historical sites and historical preservation efforts, organize community historical activities and produce historical publications.
  • Historical projects, usually of a specialized nature. This include preservation of papers and artifacts, editing, site management, oral history projects and preparation of public materials.
  • Museums, requiring skills in administration, preservation, research, display and interpretation. This includes public outreach and promotion, lecturing, and publication, including video and multimedia productions.
  • Research institutions, such as policy institutes (think tanks), public research agencies and university-based centers. They produce policy studies, historical analyses of contemporary issues, contracted histories and data analyses.
  • Philanthropic organizations providing educational and cultural public services, which require policy analyses and reviews of programs and proposals.

Small Businesses

  • Consultants on cultural resource management, including contracts for environmental impact reports, historic structures and sites preservation, and preservation education programs.
  • Contract historians for records management, and research, writing and editing histories for businesses, organizations, various levels of government and public history agencies.
  • Genealogical services, tracing and writing family and community histories.
  • Preservation and restoration, including site research, rehabilitation, historical conservation and legal research.


  • Banking and investment, including historical financial and risk analyses, records and archives management, policy and trends research, corporate histories and publications.
  • Communications media, including television and film companies, researching and writing documentaries and historical narratives.
  • Journalism, searching contemporary and historical records, interviewing, applying historical perspective to current issues and events, and writing and editing.
  • Insurance, researching historical records, policy matters and legislative analyses and managing archives and records.
  • Law, including records research, supportive historical material for briefs and depositions.
  • Manufacturing, including analysis of markets and risks, corporate histories, archives and records management, public relations and public exhibits.
  • Marketing and advertising, including market research, analyses of trends.
  • Publishing, including acquisitions and editing for publishers of historical works and texts, analyses of market trends and demands and online or multimedia information services.
  • Public relations, including analyses of public trends and historical materials for promotion and presentation.

Graduate Education in History and Related Fields

  • M.A. and Ph.D. programs in history, learning advanced history, research methods and writing original research results.
  • History programs in preservation and management of records (archives, manuscripts), material culture (artifacts), and the built environment (historic sites, buildings).
  • Professional degrees, including schools of business management, communications (journalism), law and public administration.


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