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What can YOU do with a degree in History?

Many, many things!

As a liberal arts major, of course, the world is your oyster and you can consider a multitude of careers. Training in history provides the knowledge and skills that allow one to succeed both within and outside the historical profession. Employers in a remarkably broad range of fields recognize the value of a bachelor's degree in history, knowing that successful history majors have become adept at skills that are critical in the workplace. History graduates are valued not only for their ability to write well, but also for their proficiency in analyzing information, viewing problems within a larger context without losing sight of important details, and understanding the complexities of change over time. In addition, admissions committees for graduate schools, law schools, and other professional programs have long appreciated the skills and knowledge that applicants with history backgrounds bring to other fields of inquiry. Of course, for those hoping to pursue careers within the historical profession (college history professor, social studies teacher, archivist, curator, information manager, consultant, genealogist, etc.), a history degree is indispensable.

Historians as Educators

-Elementary Schools

-Secondary Schools

-Postsecondary Education

-Historic Sites and Museums

-Park Services

Historians as Researchers

-Museums and Historical Organizations

-Cultural Resources Management

-Historical Preservation


-Think Tanks

Historians as Communicators

-Writers and Editors


-Documentary Editors

-Producers of Multimedia Material

Historians in Business

-Corporate Historians

-Contract Historians

-Nonprofit Associations

Historians as Information Managers


-Records Management (including credit bureaus and government intelligence gathering and processing)


Historians as Advocates



-Litigation Support

-Legislative Staff Work


Use of One's History Degree on the International Scene


-U.S. State Department

-Peace Corps


The following people started out as history majors. The wide variety of careers they pursued and their significant achievements express the general utility of a history degree.

Politicians: Theodore Roosevelt (President), Woodrow Wilson (President), Franklin Roosevelt (President), John F. Kennedy (President), Richard Nixon (President), George W. Bush (President), W.E.B. DuBois (founder of the NAACP), Henry Cabot Lodge (Senator), George McGovern (Senator and Presidential candidate), George Mitchell (Senator), Orrin Hatch (Senator), Henry Kissinger (Secretary of State and National Security Advisor), Newt Gingrich (Speaker of the House), Antonin Scalia (Justice of the Supreme Court), Elena Kagan (Justice of the Supreme Court*), Anthony Kennedy (Justice of the Supreme Court), "Lady Bird" (Claudia) Johnson, First Lady.

Entertainers: Katharine Hepburn (actress), Conan O'Brien (late night talk show host), Lauryn Hill (singer), Julia Child (author and television chef), Brian Dennehy (actor, writer, and producer), Edward Norton (actor), Ellen Barkin (actress), Michael Palin (member of Monty Python and travel writer), Janeane Garofolo (comedienne), Jimmy Buffet (singer), Stockard Channing (actress), Steve Carell (actor and comedian), Larry David (actor, writer, and producer -- creator of "Seinfeld" and "Curb Your Enthusiasm"), Will Forte (actor).

News Media: Chris Berman (ESPN sportscaster), Wolf Blitzer (CNN anchor), Seymour Hersh (investigative journalist), Charles Kuralt (travel and news correspondent), Bill O'Reilly (FOX news anchor and host), Charlie Rose (television host).

Business: Lee Iacocca (President of Ford and Chairman of Chrysler), Martha Stewart (lifestyle guru), James Kilts (President, Gillette Corp.), Richard Braddock (CEO, Eastman Kodak Corp.), Carly Fiorina (CEO, Hewlett-Packard and senior executive, AT&T and Lucent Technologies), Howard Stringer (founder and CEO of Sony Corp.), Samuel Palmisano (CEO of IBM Corp.), Ben Silverman (Co-Chairman of NBC).

Sports: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (NBA - Lakers and Bucks), Bill Bradley (NBA - Knicks), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medals winner in track and field), Adonal Foyle (NBA - Warriors, Magic, and Grizzlies), Johanes Maliza (soccer - Earthquakes and Islanders), Grant Hill (NBA - Pistons and Clippers).

Other: Elena Kagan (1st female Dean of Harvard University Law School*), Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (author and special assistant to President John F. Kennedy), Eric Kandel (winner - Nobel Prize in Physiology), Robert Fogel (winner - Nobel Prize in Economics), Christa McAuliffe (teacher and crew member of the Challenger), Chris Hughes (founder of Facebook), Prince Edward (3rd son of Queen Elizabeth II of England), Chelsea Clinton (daughter of former president).