What You Can Do with a History Degree
An undergraduate degree in history is not meant to prepare you for specific careers. However, there's no doubt that it can be a stepping-stone to many interesting professions. This is because, as a history student, you have the chance to acquire a range of intellectual and general skills that make you very attractive to employers.
These skills include: researching, evaluating, organizing and presenting material; clarity and correctness of expression; critical thought; capacity for extended independent work; appreciation of the validity of the views of others, and imaginative insight.
All these skills and aptitudes you'll gain as a result of studying history are highly employable, and make you suitable for a variety of careers from the public service to law, banking and business, journalism and the media, teaching and academia.
To get a closer look (or to apply directly for jobs related to your history degree!) take a look at our Job Board for History Students & Grads below. It’s a list of job openings in career fields related to History, and similar academic disciplines. You’ll see just how many jobs are relevant to the skills this degree can teach you.
Job Board for History Students & Grads
What a History Degree Program Teaches You
It is important to study history because understanding where we came from is fundamental to the proper functioning of human society; it helps us understand where we are now, and where we are likely going. In other words, studying the past is crucial to understanding the present.
Studying history gives us the tools to help us separate historical fact from historical myth. Having the proper tools, such as the ability to evaluate historical information critically, can help prevent such occurrences as wealthy societies consuming their way into extinction, and more importantly, can help prevent armed conflicts and genocide.
Understanding the paths that brought societies and elements of those societies to where they were, and where they are today, is a crucial factor in the avoidance of repeating past mistakes and determining a proper course for our future.
Employable Skills You'll Gain as a Result of Your Studies
If you're studying history purely out of personal interest, and you're not sure if it'll help you get a job, don't worry. A degree in history will provide you with the opportunity to learn a host of employable skills that are transferrable among many different types of careers.
Principally, a degree in history will enable you to develop the ability to understand and analyze issues and events at a high level of competence. Other marketable skills include:
• A talent for clear expression, both oral and written
• Reading and listening with critical thought
• Putting forward ideas and arguments in a concise manner
• Gathering, investigating and assessing material
• Basing conclusions on research and generating ideas
• Organizing material in a logical and coherent way
• Effectively and objectively investigate problems
• Understanding the impact that past actions can have on present and future outcomes
Success Tip: Keep in mind, that to employers these skills and competencies are often much more important than the actual subject matter you have studied.
Career Guides: Directly Related to a History Degree
With the degree-specific skills you’ve gained, you can pursue the following careers (not a comprehensive list…there are many more out there!):
Other Career Guides: Indirectly Related to a History Degree
Not interested in a career that’s directly related to your degree? That’s okay, because of the transferable skills you’ve gained (as mentioned above) you have plenty of career options, including, but certainly not limited to:
Please Note: Some of the above listed careers may require education, training and experience above and beyond the scope of an undergraduate degree. Click on careers you’re interested in to find out more about its specific requirements.
History Degree Jobs
If you're interested in finding a job that's closely, or loosely related to your history degree (in other words, a job in one of the fields listed above), check out our job board. It lists jobs related to your degree that are found all across Canada and the United States!
Tips for Becoming More Employable with a History Degree
In order to increase your chances of finding relevant employment with your history degree, consider the following tips:
• Consider a graduate degree in history
• Increase your employable skill set with a double major
• Gain relevant career experience as a student
• Don’t be scared to start at the bottom
Salary You Could Earn Entering the Workforce
The salary level you can earn as a history graduate can vary drastically, and is heavily dependent on the following factors (not an inclusive list):
• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)
• The industry in which you find work
• The size and type of your employer
• The region in which you work
• Other work experience you may have accrued
• Other skills you may have
History Graduate Salary Ontario: According to a salary survey in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $43,468 CAD is the average salary earned by a social science graduate, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2008.
Unfortunately, statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.
History Degree Scholarships
Are you a history student looking for help paying for school? Search our History Scholarships page for Canadian and American scholarships that are specifically suited for this field.
Success Tip: Apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.
Professional Associations for History Career Fields
To find out more about careers in the field of history, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have job boards that advertise job openings.