As summer approach, thoughts turn to the next stage as university looms for many, while for others, it’s the end of university that’s in sight. For those looking forward to starting, or finishing, a history degree, we’re taking a look at the options available at the end of study.
History students tend to have strong problem-solving and analytical skills – two things that are relevant in pretty much any industry, but particularly those that have a focus on current affairs and future developments. This blog is a short and sweet exploration of the other options and advantages that can result from having a history degree.
Careers in heritage and museums
An obvious one to start with. Museums, galleries and libraries all offer opportunities to pursue history careers in archiving historical items and maintaining historical artifacts. Unlike doing academic research (which will be covered below) careers in archiving focus purely on the upkeep and organisation of historical articles, be that documents or artifacts. What makes history students particularly useful in these roles is their knowledge of history and their passion for preserving it for people both today and in the future so mistakes and achievements of the past won’t be forgotten.
Roles are varied ranging from administrative and curatorial through to others involving research and the acquisition of further knowledge about the historical artifacts that are in your possession.
Careers in research and teaching
A lot of history degree graduates continue their studies at university, taking a Masters and sometimes even a PhD. Or they obtain a teaching degree which enables them to share their interest in the subject. As an academic historian, this can lead to writing and even broadcasting careers which give opportunities to share expertise with a wider audience. The main attributes with pursuing these careers is a passion for sharing and a desire to learn more and impart your knowledge.
Careers in politics and law
Politics is another career path for history graduates. The former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown had a history degree. History and politics are very closely entwined in that history graduates have the ability to analyse past key political events, the historical development of governments and democracy and can analyse the factors in debates closely.
History graduates are also very highly regarded in the legal profession due to their strong skills in analysis and critical reasoning. To go into the legal profession, a law conversion course is typically needed but it’s a route that opens more doors than you might think.
Careers in media
History graduates are also useful in media, particularly journalism, editing and writing. This is because the skills gained and honed while undertaking a degree allows individuals to dissect information and news in small, bite-size chunks and convey it to larger audiences. Background history knowledge to political events is also useful, particularly when writing on current political and socio-economic issues.
Careers in marketing, advertising and public relations
Due to their strong analytical and communication skills, history graduates are well suited to a communications role such as marketing, advertising or public relations. Their ability to analyse past events and trends and using this knowledge to predict the behaviour of future markets and target audiences makes them particularly useful in this sector.
History degrees provide people with a myriad of skills. This makes them ideal candidates to pursue any number of career opportunities. Above are just a few ideas. So don’t worry when it hits the third year, in the middle of writing your dissertation and you don’t know what use your degree is; your degree subject is highly sought after in a much broader array of industries than you might initially think.