Why Major in History?

This article lists several career directions for history majors.

Why major in history?

Far more than job training, historical study is an education, one that begins at NYU but deepens for the rest of your life. In studying history you learn about lost worlds, as well as the forces that made our world; you travel to other times and places, through reading and discussion as much as study abroad. But the History Department is committed to preparing our students for professional success as well as intellectual growth, and here are just a few ways to think about the abilities our majors develop and the careers they select - even if the full range of careers our graduates pursue is as diverse and unpredictable as the peoples and developments they study at NYU.

Effective Writing Skills
Any job you will find upon graduation will require you to communicate in written form competently.  Writing competently requires hard work and conscientious practice.  While obtaining a degree in History you will learn to handle any writing task with expertise.

Research Skills
Research is a crucial component of obtaining a degree in History.  Learning to understand past practices and policies, being able to map the finer points of any historical issue and being able to bring to bear new information upon those issues will be helpful in any occupation.

Critical Analysis
Critical analysis teaches you to think outside of normative convention and thought.  You will learn to hone and fine tune your ability to think up creative and alternative solutions to problems and puzzles.  This skill is not only important in the workforce, but in life.

Interdisciplinary thought and awareness
Communication across disciplines is an essential and common practice opening new areas of investigation and inquiry for all fields involved.  When applying interdisciplinary thought and awareness in the workforce, conflict and complexity can be tackled in a myriad of ways.  You will be able to use the people and resources around you to work innovatively and find incisive solutions to work dilemmas.

Additionally, as you earn your History B.A., you will learn to uncover, synthesize and communicate complex ideas, a vital skill for any job.

The skills that you learn upon achieving your History degree provide you with numerous career options.  Some of the jobs available to you upon graduating include:

Historians as Educators

  • Elementary, Secondary and Post secondary schools
  • Professors, Scholars
  • History Sites and Museums

Historians as Researchers

  • Museums and Historical organizations
  • Cultural Resources Management
  • Historical Preservation
  • Think Tanks

Historians in Media

  • Writers and Editors
  • Journalists
  • Documentary Editors
  • Filmmakers

Historians as Information Managers

  • Archivists
  • Records Managers
  • Librarians
  • Researcher

Historians as Advocates

  • Lawyers and paralegals, Litigation support
  • Legislative Staff Work
  • Foundation officers
  • Policy Makers
  • Campaigner worker
  • Congressional Aide
  • Foreign Service Officer/Diplomat

Historians in Businesses

  • Historians in Corporations
  • Contract Historians
  • Historians and Nonprofit Associations