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Careers for History Majors
Careers for History Majors
Many different career paths are open to students who major in history and complete their degrees with distinction. A recent alumni survey indicates that our graduates are successful in broad ranging fields.
Respondents listed (among other things) the following jobs:
- Instructional designer
- Secondary school teacher
- Corporate office manager
- Financial aid planner
- College/university professor
- Insurance underwriter
- Retail store owner
- Probation/parole officer
- Central Intelligence Agency analyst
- Law clerk/paralegal
- Human resources specialist
- Secretary/treasurer: business
There are many sources of information available on possible careers after completion of our program in history. The Career Development Center at Bloomsburg University (570-389-4070) can be a big help.
Two excellent publications are listed here, along with a telephone number, through which copies can be ordered:
Careers for students of history, by Constance Schulz, Page Putnam Miller, Aaron Marrs, and Kevin Allen
(Washington, DC: American Historical Association, 2002). This fifty-two page pamphlet can be ordered directly from the American Historical Association. Call 202-544-2422.
Great jobs for history majors, by Julie DeGalan and Stephen Lambert (Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Publishing Group, 1995). This 254 page book can be ordered from the NTC Group. Call 847-679-5500.
Everything history is about ...
"History is not an exact field like mathematics ... as it requires more of a analytical interpretation of as many sources as possible and judging and weighing the validity of the sources to reconstruct what happened, when, by who, how and why. Then interpret how and why those prior events prompted and caused the next set of events to happen and so on.
"When I was doing field work for my Research and Writing course, I interviewed six older individuals to provide information regarding business and housing in Orangeville in the 1930s. Most information collaborated but some contradicted. As the historian, you need to notate all accounts and point to a conclusion that would appear to be most accurate. By gathering as much of this information as possible on past events and what occurred next due to those events, one can effectively make predictions of future outcomes. This skill set is essential to many careers. From stock market and mortgages to insurance and banking.
"Someone that has these skills to gather, evaluate and interpret information makes them a perfect candidate for a host of careers outside the world of education. My field of work, insurance, is one. As an insurance underwriter, I was responsible for gathering information about commercial business, research their operation and exposure, analyze their insurance claim activity, determine the extent of management involvement and philosophy and evaluate financials to determine why their losses occurred, predict what their future results will be and make a decision for my company if we could make money by offering insurance coverage and at what cost. It all comes down to gathering, evaluating and interpreting information ... everything history is about."
— J.R. Sperry, Jr., Senior VP / NY Mgr, RT Workers' Comp Specialty, a division of R-T Specialty, LLC