Launch Your Career
What do employers want?
The skills you will acquire when you major in history.
- Critical Thinking
- Persuasive Writing
- Research - Synthesis and Presentation
- Excellent Oral Communication
- International Knowledge and Experience
Most employers today are not looking for job candidates who have majored in one specific discipline; rather, they are looking for particular skills.
A 2013 national survey by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that nearly all employers (93 percent) said that "a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate's] undergraduate major."
Penelope Abernathy is an alumna and the Knight Chair of Journalism and Digital Media Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Read More »
More than three-fourths of employers want universities to place more emphasis on critical thinking and written and oral communication skills.
The history major is designed to ensure that all students graduate with these kinds of skills.
Eighty-three percent of employers surveyed believe that doing a significant research project will help prepare students for success. The History Major provides precisely this preparation with its required research component in both HIS 391 and the capstone class HIS 511.
What will employers need in the future?
The skills students will develop by majoring in history.
For most American workers, the days of preparing for a single career are over. In the 21st century workplace, employees typically change jobs ten times in the two decades following college!
As Dean Kiss writes in his message to students of the College of Arts and Sciences: "No matter
where your career takes you, it will be important to remain flexible and confident of your ability to succeed throughout your working life. Employers are interested in people with
flexible skills and a wide-ranging, multidisciplinary perspective."
We cannot predict all of the kinds of the jobs that will exist thirty years from now, let alone train for them.
But we can be quite certain that the skills you will acquire with a history degree will give you the flexibility to assume wide range of careers during your life.
Technical skills are certainly important but technical skills plus a major in the history are a winning combination. Whether you become a physician or a programmer, successful entrepreneurs and business leaders consistently say that it's those who have both who go to the top!
What do our communities need?
Engaged and informed citizens who were history majors.
The executive director of the American Historical Association James Grossman recently argued in the LA Times that "usefulness" of History's critical thinking goes well beyond the job market to creating active and engaged citizens. He writes: "Everything has a history. To think historically is to recognize that all problems, all situations, all institutions exist in contexts that must be understood before informed decisions can be made. No entity — corporate, government, nonprofit — can afford not to have a historian at the table. We need more history majors, not fewer."
What can you do with a history major? Almost anything you want.
According to new research featured in the New York Times, finding a job you love is key to professional success and lifetime happiness.
Lucky for you, if you love history, there are a number of careers open to you!
The American Historical Association maintains a website with a number of career suggestions and job search tools:
The list of careers you can pursue with a history degree is enormous.
Graduates from UNCG's history department have successfully pursued a wide range of careers including:
- Film producer
- Mortgage Broker
- University administrator
- Community College Instructor
- Business Vice President
- Staff for a U.S. Senator
- Insurance account manager
- Retail store manager
- Radio producer
- Public historian
- U.S. Army Sergeant
- Teach for America Instructor
- Financial Service Representative
- Comic book author
- Study Abroad consultant
- National Park Service Park Ranger
- Marketing Specialist
Katie Heidsiek, MA 2011, is the curator for the Town of Windsor Museum in Colorado. Read More»
The History Department will help you prepare for your career.
The History Department has an active alumni network, both online and in person.
If you are a current or former student in the department make sure to join our LinkedIn Spartan group for those affiliated with the department. Students sign up today and start networking with our alumni. Alumni, we are always looking for volunteers interested in mentoring our students in different career paths.
Make sure to check out our rotating Alumni Spotlight interviews, including two recent profiles that have just been added.
The History Department will hold its third annual department Alumni Networking Event on Friday evening, October 21, 5:00-7:00pm. It will be focused on building long-lasting ties and
relationships between faculty and former students. This unique event offers the opportunity for our students to connect with alumni and alumni the opportunity to mentor these students on
various professional paths.
The event is lots of fun so check it out! All students are welcome to attend Fall Alumni Networking Events. Check the Homecoming website for more details.
In the Spring, the first College-wide professional development event will take place on Friday, March 3, 2017 beginning at 9:00 a.m. Hosted by the Career Liaison for the Humanities Network and Consortium (HNAC), the conference-style event will include a keynote address, breakout sessions on preparing for the job market, and conclude with a networking lunch. It will also feature local employers and alumni and be open to all students in the College. For more about
this event and other events organized by HNAC click here: https://hnac.uncg.edu/.
Our faculty are happy to speak with you about your future plans. We will help you find the resources you need.
If you are interested in talking about career planning in general, please make an appointment with our Career Liaison, Dr. Emily J. Levine.
If you are interested in law school, please make an appointment with our Pre-Law Advisor, Dr. Thomas Jackson.
History majors pursuing careers in teaching receive special advising each semester.
The History Department networks with Career Services.
Use the Handbook for History Majors to plan a course of study that fits your career interests, including advice about choosing an appropriate minor, study abroad, and other opportunities for building on your strengths.
Careers that History Majors in the U.S. Have Successfully Pursued
- Advertising: account executive, media buyer, media planner, copywriter, researcher, sales.
- Banking: loan officer, operations manager, trust officer, branch manager
- City Planning: regional planner, urban administrator, urban planner.
- Computer Services: computer operator, operations analyst, marketing representativ(information technology)
- Education: bilingual teacher, college/university professor, secondary school teacher, school counselor, special education teacher.
- Education Administration: admissions counselor, academic advisor, alumni affairs staff, career services staff, financial aid staff, learning support services staff, development staff, student activities staff, student housing staff, dean of students, counseling staff, principal.
- Environment: advocacy staff, community relations, contract administrator, environmental education,environmental journalism, environmental policy, fundraiser, lobbyist, park ranger, social research analyst, technical writer, wildlife/recreation management.
- Government: analyst, caseworker, city manager, civil service, community affairs coordinator, codecompliance officer, congressional staff, criminologist, customs agent, diplomat, economicdevelopment coordinator, foreign service officer, housing & community development, intelligence analyst, investigator, legislative analyst, legislative assistant, politician, program analyst, program information officer, public affairs officer, researcher, speech writer.
- Film, TV, Radio: broadcaster, production assistant, producer, programming assistant, public relations, sales, scriptwriter.
- Health Care: public health administrator, human resources manager, public relations.
- Historical Research: archaeologist, archivist (national, state, local, medical, corporate archives), biographer, curator, historian, demographer, historical society administrator, international relations analyst.
- Human Resources: benefits specialist, college recruiting specialist, compensation manager, employee relations officer, employment interviewer, job analyst, organization development specialist, recruiter, labor relations, training specialist.
- Insurance: actuary, branch manager, brokerage manager, sales, underwriter.
- Investments: commodities trader, research analyst, securities analyst, stock broker.
- Journalism: editor, photojournalist, writer, researcher, news correspondent, foreign news correspondent (see also Publishing).
- Languages: consul, customs inspector, exporter, foreign language teacher, immigration officer, importer, intelligence officer, interpreter/translator, researcher, travel agent.
- Law: attorney, judge, law professor, legal research assistant, paralegal.
- Library Science: librarian, library technology manager.
- Management & Business: accountant, sales, sales manager, economist, corporate policy analyst, human resources manager, research & development manager, CEO.
- Marketing: market research analyst.
- Multimedia: business development, customer support, marketing, online copy editor, online researcher, production assistant, sales, scriptwriter, website designer, web editor, web producer.
- Museums & Public History: curator, exhibits designer, historic preservation specialist, historic site manager, public history curator, special collections curator, appraiser of antiquities and art, museum technician.
- Non-Profit Sector: clergy, consumer advocate, fundraiser/development, education administrator, foundation work (United Way, Red Cross), grant writer, Peace Corps/Vista volunteer, public relations, activist careers, advocacy/labor unions.
- Performing Arts: actor, choreographer, director, producer, stage manager, community affairs director, fundraising/development, government relations, investor relations, press relations officer, promoter, publicity officer, speech writer.
- Publishing: author, book editor, columnist, corporate communications, copy editor, editorial writer, electronic publishing specialist, employee publications specialist, freelance writer, government publications specialists, journalist, newspaper/magazine writer, playwright, production assistant, public information officer, public relations, magazine designer, (see also Multimedia).
- Real Estate: appraiser, commercial real estate agent, residential real estate agent.
- Retail and Merchandising: buyer, retail manager, sales representative, entrepreneur, executive.
- Visual Arts: appraiser, editorial assistant, graphic designer, photographer.
(courtesy of Messiah College