A bachelor's degree in history can lead to more career options than you might think. A history major learns important skills such as interpretive analysis, critical thinking and writing that are valuable in many workplace scenarios.
Many history majors plan to go into teaching at the elementary, high school or even college level. Requirements vary from state to state, but most likely you will need additional training and/or certification before you can become a teacher. Colleges and universities often hire adjunct faculty with just a master's degree, but tenure-track positions will require a doctorate.
A history degree is an ideal background for a law school candidate. Research, writing and public speaking are critical skills in the courtroom. College graduates must pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before applying to law school. In order to practice law, you must pass a bar exam in the state where you plan to work. Each state sets its own standards for the bar exam.
History museums and even some art museums prefer to hire people with a solid background in the history field as curators, archivists and educators. Large corporations often employ historians to run corporate archives or museums, although these duties may be combined with positions in public relations and marketing. History majors are also ideal candidates for advanced study in library science, where research skills are extremely important.
Any career that requires writing skills is perfect for someone with a bachelor's degree in history, and include such jobs as freelance or staff writers, journalists, and editors at magazines, newspapers and publishing houses. Historians can write for any number of publications, ranging from academic journals and popular magazines to nonfiction or historical fiction books. Historians can also produce historical documentaries independently or through partnerships with nationally known networks such as PBS and The History Channel.
Preservation today is far more than just saving old homes and buildings from destruction. City planners, architects, construction companies and economic development offices hire historians. These positions require the ability to negotiate through bureaucracy and compromise with multiple interests within a given project. The National Park Service provides positions all over the country for historians interested in preservation and conservation. Preservationists are often required to compile studies and conduct research for including a property on the National Register of Historic Places.
Professional historians are often used on a freelance basis by many different kinds of companies. Cultural organizations may not have the funds to hire a full-time historian and may prefer to contract with one for special projects instead. Historians may be hired for projects in preservation, exhibition design, historical architecture, archeology or litigation. The film industry may also hire a historian to consult on period details in a movie.