Below, you’ll find the internet’s largest list of the 23 of the best jobs for History majors. Last updated in 2019.
Put your hands in the air and say thank you, Jesus. You did a History degree. But I’m here to deliver the good word: you don’t have to become a friggin high school teacher.
If you’re wondering about the best careers for History majors, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve collected 23 of the best jobs for History majors—jobs in 2019 that pay well, complement the skills taught in History departments and have long-term growth.
Despite the lies you’ve been told from the annoying Engineering major or clueless Business major, History majors end up in a variety of interesting jobs.
So pour yourself a beer. Roll up your sleeves. And let’s take a fast tour of the best jobs for History majors.
The point of the list isn’t to tell you the exact steps to get these careers. That would be a long post and I cover that in my book. Use this list to decide on a general direction. Then go and search those careers on the following sites: Glassdoor, LinkedIn advanced search, Twitter advanced search, and Reddit. This will give you a realistic view of what your day-to-day would be like and whether this career would be a good match for you.
I also encourage you to read my post 35 awesome jobs for English majors. From an employer’s perspective, there really isn’t that much difference between an English degree and a History degree.
Inspired by one of these history major career directions? Learn how to land interviews and build a career you love with my complete career bundle. This career bundle includes my ebook, personal resume template, and a 7-part video course on building profitable skills.
NOTE: These jobs aren’t restricted to History or English majors. These careers are also relevant to Political Science majors, Psychology majors, Philosophy degrees, Social Science degrees, Art History degrees, and Geography degrees. Again, the humanities teaches you communication and research skills, two areas that can be applied in many different industries.
Alright, enough preamble. Here are the best careers for History majors.
#1 – EXHIBIT DESIGNER / CONTENT CREATOR
When planning a new exhibit (such as “aviation history in America”), museums will often hire agencies to research, design, and create the exhibit. In industry terms, these agencies provide expertise in interpretive planning and exhibit design services. Note, you won’t need to be a designer—though, you will work alongside graphic designers and could develop these skills if you are so inclined.
Your role at an exhibit design agency might go by a few different job titles: exhibit designer, content developer, and creative director (once you move up the ladder). History majors are a natural fit for careers in exhibit design as this job requires professional research skills, writing, and a knowledge of different artistic and historical periods.
Exhibit coordinators will work on small teams. You’ll be working with other History majors and typically people with advanced degrees. You’ll also work with graphic designers, other writers, researchers, and website developers as you build interactive experiences for museum visitors.
What will you do every day? A large portion of your day will involve research. Your agency will bid on different contracts, so you’ll be expected to research new exhibits in different historical periods. During this process, you’ll be collaborating with clients and attending weekly meetings.
Once the research is complete, you’ll work on a team to produce the different collateral: brochures, creating content such as descriptions of different works, and developing website copy. You might travel to a new city to pitch a new project or to present ideas to clients.
What skills do you need to develop? This role demands a background in research and history. However, you’ll need to build skills in storytelling, copy editing, and interactive communications.
Begin by reading a few books on each of these subjects (storytelling and communications, copy editing, interactive communications). You should also reach out to someone in this field via LinkedIn to hear about how they got started and what skills you need to develop to land an interview.
You can find out more about this role by searching for agencies that provide this type of service. Here’s one (I have no affiliation with them) to get you started.
#2 – CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGER
Marketers drive leads and traffic to a business. Salespeople email and phone those leads. But once a big contract is signed (such as a $100,000 software contract), customers have a lot of needs. They need to be educated about the product. They need to be informed of new features. And they need someone to meet with them and hold their hand (in a non-sexual way) from time-to-time.
This is the job of a customer success manager. It’s part customer support, part sales. This role also is also called, inside sales. Or “value realization manager” at large organizations.
History majors with good social skills are a good match for this job. So what would you do during the day? One day, you might fly down to the customer’s headquarters (all expenses paid) and run a few workshops on new product features. Another day, you might answer emails from customers, talk to them on the phone, and help them with any product issues.
Keep in mind these would be big companies you’d be talking to. So you would talk and work with the same few key customer accounts again and again—you wouldn’t be a support agent talking to hundreds of customers a day.
How to get started? First, these roles only exist in companies that do “enterprise sales.” This means they sell expensive contracts to large organizations. This is why the role is critical as these big customers need to be kept happy in order for them to renew the contract.
An excellent and easy way to get started is by joining the company’s customer support team. This is less glamorous as you’ll be answering help tickets and chatting with lots of customers. But it will also give you product experience, making it easy for you to apply for an inside sales/customer success job in a year or so.
What type of companies would you apply to? Technology companies such as SAP, Microsoft, Google, and Box all have this role. Smaller tech companies will also have some version of this role and hire from a broad variety of technical backgrounds. If tech isn’t your thing, large organizations such as General Electric will have these roles, though the more technical the product the more likely they’ll require an engineering degree.
#3 – BUSINESS ANALYST
Every company produces a lot of data: products sold, units moved by sales territory, and financial forecasts. The role of a business analyst is to spend a lot of time in spreadsheets and software such as Salesforce and Tableau, analyzing past trends and reporting on the health of a company’s sales.
While a lot of business analysts begin with a finance or commerce degree, it’s entirely possible for History majors (and humanities majors in general) to work as business analysts.
For History majors, you’ll want to avoid finance-heavy roles (such as working for insurance brands, healthcare giants, or in the financial service sector) as those industries pay highly and will attract a lot of grads with finance degrees. However, smaller companies, as well as fast-growing technology companies, will typically hire from more diverse backgrounds.
So how do you get your start? There are two core skills, to begin with. First, work on gaining practical Excel skills. There’s no shortage of courses on Excel—begin with Udemy and Coursera. Next, take an introduction to statistics course (Udacity) has a few that are free. Finally, look for entry-level jobs in the industries listed above and then transition into an analyst role. You’ll also need to develop a mastery of software such as Salesforce and Tableau. You can find plenty of books, online tutorials, and certifications to get started.
#4 – GROWTH HACKER
Consumer technology companies (such as Facebook, Airbnb, Uber) have pioneered a new career path known as growth hacking. The name is silly. But the skill and demand at startups and tech brands is real.
History majors make a good fit for growth hacking as the career requires a love of both research and creativity. In simple terms, growth hacking is a marketing discipline with a strong emphasis on quantitative analysis. At large tech companies, you have scale. This means that small changes—such as adding a $15 referral program for each friend you get to try their first Uber ride—can have a significant impact on gaining new customers. Growth hackers look to find and exploit these incremental wins.
Why can History majors thrive in this career? First, one of the most famous growth hackers—Andy Johns is himself a humanities major.
Second, this field is new. You can’t learn these skills at Harvard Business school (though, no doubt they try to teach them). This field welcomes people who can execute—so if it sounds interesting to you, start following growth hackers, read their blog, and apply to entry-level jobs in order to gain practical experience. Like most new careers, growth hacking is uncharted ground. It’s up to you to forge a way to your first job.
#5 – PRODUCT MARKETING
In small companies, the marketing department is filled with jack-of-all-trades. A single person might write website copy, run social media accounts, and think of new campaigns.
In large companies, these activities are divided. One specialization at large companies is called product marketing. The product team creates a product. The marketing team runs top-level brand awareness and lead generation activities. The product marketing team sits between products and marketing. They will estimate customer demand for new product features, create value propositions (why customers will pay money for new features), and help to decide how to bring new products to customers.
In this sense, the job is a blend of research and creativity, a good match for History majors. While this job attracts a lot of business majors, I’ve personally seen many talented product marketers come from arts and humanities backgrounds.
How to get started? While experience is the best teacher, product marketing has a lot of theoretical knowledge to master. This means you can get started and there are a lot of great resources to help you.
One of the best ways to get started is with certifications and workshops offered by the company Pragmatic Marketing (I have no affiliation and no affiliate links to any of the companies or tools I mention in this post). These are offered in most major cities. This is a good place to begin. Next, search LinkedIn for jobs such as “product marketing coordinator” or “product marketing specialist.” These are entry positions. With certifications and theoretical knowledge, you can work on landing that first interview.
#6 – PR MANAGER
Strong communication skills and a militant love of details are a prerequisite to working in PR. You don’t need a business communication degree to work in PR. In fact, most PR professionals are self-made and come from a variety of arts backgrounds. For example, one PR manager I know also runs a successful art studio in her spare time.
What will you do as a PR manager? If you work at an agency, you’ll be working on a few key accounts. Typically, you’ll be aiming to get press coverage for product launches, crafting messaging for company announcements (such as acquisitions), and helping to launch brand campaigns. Agency hours are long, exciting, and give you excellent experience that many employers desire.
If you work in-house, you’ll typically work fewer hours. Instead of managing multiple clients, you’ll be working on the same product each day. You’ll work on a smaller team and be responsible for writing press releases, speaking to reporters, and responding to crises (such as a product recall or your CEO being discovered to be a practicing Satanist).
How to get started? First, develop a portfolio. This means you’ll need to learn how to write a press release and master some of the basics of PR terminology by reading a few books from Amazon. Local PR agencies can be a good way to build those early skills as well as freelance work for companies who can’t afford a full-time PR manager.
This career has good pay and has given many History majors a comfortable life.
#7 – INTERNAL COMMUNICATIONS
Imagine you are the CEO of a giant company. You have 100,000 employees around the globe. Now, because you long ago sold your soul to Beelzebub and golf with the evil sons of Trump the money roars in. Times are good at your global conglomerate.
While everything is working out financially, there are challenges. For example, you’ve just spent five million dollars on a new workplace productivity software solution—and you want to make sure that employees actually use it. Or, your expensive consulting firm has shown that employees in France feel like global headquarters ignores them. They are unmotivated and uncommitted to the company’s mission.
In large companies, there will typically be a small team responsible for “internal communications.” Their job is to communicate important announcements, make sure employees are aware of the CEO’s vision, and keep hundreds of thousands of employees connected and informed.
How to get started? Internal communications is part-PR, part marketing. You’ll need to start mastering skills such as PR messaging, writing press releases, and crisis communications. Look for entry-level jobs on “internal communications” teams. Or get your start in a similar department (such as PR) and then make the transition.
#8 – CONTENT STRATEGIST
Long ago, companies and governments told their lies on televisions. Every night, people huddled around to watch sitcoms and every 11 minutes you could buy airtime to blast your corporate messages into living rooms. BUY YOUR MILK THIS WEEK! DON’T FORGET TO FILE TAXES! YOUR ENERGY BILLS ARE GOING TO GO UP!
These days, nobody watches TV. But everybody goes online. And what is the blood that keeps the internet alive? Content. From marketing campaigns to information about filing taxes, companies and governments create mountains of content each year.
A content strategist is someone who helps to make sure this content is efficient, effective, and accurate. A content strategist at a government agency might work to make sure that people find the tax information they need on the website. A content strategist at a company might help sell more products. It’s a fast-growing job and there are no signs of companies or governments creating less content in the future.
How to get started? Content strategy is a new field. You don’t need a business degree or any particular certification. Lots of History and humanities majors have turned content strategy into their careers. A good place to begin is with the book Content Strategy for the Web, a foundational text. Confab is a yearly conference that attracts the best minds in content strategy.
Also, content strategists should know the basics of UX, marketing, and SEO. Look up content strategists on LinkedIn and ask them for advice to help you break into this field.
#9 – DEVELOPER
Yes, History majors can be developers. In fact, I personally know a History major from Princeton who decided one day to quit his job (he worked at the desk beside me), go to a local coding bootcamp, and become a developer. I was worried for him. Six months later, he had a full-time job as a developer for a publically traded company.
If you want to develop products for Facebook or be paid 300K to play ping pong at Dropbox, it’s time to have a talk. Do you love development? Do you love coding? Are you obsessed with getting better at coding? Because the developers you hear about getting paid huge sums of money are really good at their jobs. Coding is their craft and they’ve worked for years at this skill.
At the same time, there’s lots of work and opportunity for people willing to develop some skills and learn a coding language.
With web development, it’s pretty easy to get a job at an agency with a decent amount of skills. It’s also easy and lucrative to work for a small company as a freelancer.
What’s the best way to start? I’ve heard good things about coding boot camps. These are local programs that offer intensive learning with instructors. Just don’t pay stupid amounts of money. Coding is hard but not so hard that you need to pay $30,000 to learn it. Udacity also has an excellent track record of training people will little or no experience and landing them jobs in technology.
Like most things in life, you’ll get out of this profession what you put in. The only barrier to entry is your ability to learn this skill. If you have a solid portfolio and demonstrated mastery of a language (such as Ruby on Rails), companies won’t care what degree you have.
#10 – JOURNALIST AND BRANDED CONTENT
Journalism is a common career for History majors. It’s a myth you need a journalism degree to get hired. Employers care about your ability to write, find good stories, and connect with audiences. Developing a portfolio of writing samples is key to getting in the door.
Of course, it’s true that journalism is an industry in decline. Even the New York Times has serious business challenges ahead. Local media jobs are drying up. Things are bleak for traditional reporters.
If journalism is still your first career love, explore some of the better performing digital media companies such as Vox, Red Bull’s media properties, and smaller online media companies.
For more job security, a lot of journalists tend to work for new hybrid PR/media agencies. Brands typically pay more for content these days (for example, Starbuck’s Upstanders campaign was a multi-million dollar journalism experiment). This is known as branded content. Search for job openings at PR agencies specializing in this type of branded content work (for example, the Bateman Group in San Francisco).
There are more jobs for History majors below. If you are a History major and you landed in a cool career, please email me your job, how you broke into this career, and any advice for other History majors trying to find similar jobs. I’ll add your story to this article.
#11 – PROJECT MANAGER
Do you love deadlines? Thrive on organizing people into impactful teams? Interested in developing effective processes? Then become a project manager. From ad agencies to nonprofits, project managers are needed to manage deadlines and wrangle people.
A History degree isn’t a prerequisite for becoming a project manager. But your attention to detail and communication skills gives you a good foundation to start building the skills needed.
So how to get started in this role? First, you’ll want to learn some of the basic tools: Gantt charts, a command of Excel, and common project management platforms.
Chris Humphrey is a humanities grad who now works as a project manager at a large bank. He writes an incredible blog to help PhDs and other humanities majors find careers outside of academia. I recommend reading his advice to learn more about how to adapt your skills and land interviews outside of academia.
Project management isn’t all theoretical. You’ll need practical experience to land that first job. Start by volunteering at a non-profit, help to organize a conference, or start at a small agency or company. Start humble and build your skills. Once you’ve mastered the basics, start looking for full-time employment at large companies.
#12 – COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS
Most companies have a small team in charge of analyzing competitor activities. From tracking new product lines to helping the CEO decide the right pricing structure, these analysts research and synthesize data. This job can have a variety of titles: competitor insight manager, competitive intelligence manager, competitive intelligence analyst.
This is primarily a research role, though you’ll be expected to present data to leadership. In simple terms, you’re trying to gather data about competitors in order to guide your company’s strategy and decision-making. For example, one of your competitors might release a new feature. Your CEO will want to know whether it’s worth developing this feature as well and whether more competitors are planning to invest in this area in the next few months.
This role is a good fit for History majors as it combines analysis with creative thinking. For example, when looking at competitors you won’t have clear data (these insights are hidden and protected by companies). You’ll need to find creative ways to research and track competitor movements.
How to get started? The first step is to start learning the common analytic frameworks that analysts use. There are lots of free online courses and books on these topics. Next, you’ll want to apply for junior roles under an experienced competitive analyst. This is a specialized skill, so you’ll need to learn it from an experienced practitioner.
#13 – SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
From airlines to local governments, social media is an essential part of corporate communications. History majors can easily find work as social media managers as this role requires communication skills, research experience, and an ability to quickly track and understand new trends.
This role typically begins with an internship on a social media team or as a social media specialist. In media companies (such as Vice or Buzzfeed), you can also work as an engagement editor, a similar role focused on helping to make sure articles and videos reach a broad audience on social channels.
What will you be doing every day? Your tasks will fall into four categories: listening and responding to customers, publishing content, analyzing your brand’s success on social media and creating reports, attending meetings and developing new processes.
A large part of your day will be managing the new questions, responses, and comments on social channels. From consumers asking questions on Instagram to complaints about products, you’ll be tasked with deciding how to respond. This involves drafting responses, chatting with customers on social channels, and analyzing traffic with tools such as Hootsuite or Google Analytics.
If your company has a product launch or live event, you’ll be tasked with monitoring response on social channels. After the event, you’ll analyze success and present a report to leadership.
How to get started? As a History major, you already have strong communication and research skills. However, you’ll need to master some of the tools of the trade and learn how social teams operate. Begin with free training at Hootsuite Academy and start reading industry blogs.
You can begin your career at an advertising agency (as they often manage social media on behalf of clients). Or apply for internships at smaller brands or local businesses, working your way up.
#14 – COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
From local governments to national agencies, communication officers help to craft communication strategies and inform the public. This job is well-suited to History majors as it demands attention to detail, strong communication skills, and the ability to synthesize complex information (such as research on new tax policies) into messages that the public can understand.
As a communications officer, you’ll work at a government branch. This means good pay, short hours, and a pension. While you’ll make less than a high-powered PR professional, you’ll enjoy a comfortable salary and good job security. Your day-to-day activities will include building communications plans (such as deciding how to launch the press strategy for a new public works project), research, and writing different pieces of content such as press releases, website copy, social media updates. You’ll work on a team and collaborate with stakeholders such as elected officials, different government agencies, or community organizations.
How to get started? Typically, you’ll need to complete various writing samples that are often required in government jobs. You can see job postings by visiting your local government’s website, search LinkedIn, or set-up Google Alerts as these postings are typically published on their website.
If you’ve never had a communications role before, you can apply for an entry-level role in government and then apply to communications jobs as they come up. Or volunteer at a local nonprofit or community organization as this will give you similar experience and writing samples to help you land that first job interview.
#15 – UX DESIGNER
UX is a growing industry and many History majors have found well-paying jobs with this skill. UX is an industry term for user experience—the experience a person has as they use a website, download an application or browse an e-commerce site. Don’t let the technical aspects of this career stop you—History majors can excel in this role.
UX is a design-focused role: you’ll be designing interfaces such as apps and websites. While a History degree doesn’t give you the tangible skills for this job, these skills can be acquired. There’s no shortage of excellent books, free video tutorials, local courses, and online schools to teach you.
UX is a well-paying career and very much in demand. A lot of UX designers come from different educational backgrounds. For example, the founder of this popular UX agency has a degree in journalism. During your work week, you’ll be designing wireframes, doing light ‘front-end’ coding, and making things look pretty in Photoshop and Indesign.
A good way to get started is to start mastering the tools of the trade. These tools are wireframing software such as InVision, Photoshop, and Indesign. Nobody will hire you if you’ve never used those tools before. You need to master them.
The next step is to take a few courses, read a few books, and read blogs such as Smashing Magazine. This is a career for self-starters. Nobody cares what your degree is. They care about whether you can do good work, so start mastering tools and building a portfolio.
#16 – CUSTOMER INSIGHTS MANAGER
Every large organization collects a lot of data. From social media chatter to NPS data (a metric used to monitor the loyalty of customers), companies need to analyze customer opinion and monitor the health of their brand. A customer insights manager (also called a customer research analyst or customer data analyst or customer analytics specialist) helps to manage all of this data, sorting information from around the organization into meaningful reports about customers.
History majors excel at research, so there are lots of job opportunities to enter this field. It’s a myth that you need a business degree or marketing communications degree to obtain these types of analyst roles in organizations. While an MBA or economics degree is no doubt desirable, History majors can develop these skills.
In your work, you’ll spend a lot of time analyzing, presenting, and making recommendations based on customer data. One day, you might analyze data from a company’s NPS software system. The next, you might prepare a presentation about common customer problems with a new product, making recommendations to other managers and directors.
To get started, you’ll need to take a few online courses and search for entry-level jobs in this field. Udacity, for example, has an excellent free course in customer analytics. Udacity also has a few paid courses taught by talented professors. Start following jobs on LinkedIn with this title and develop the skills demanded by the role.
#17 – CONTENT EDITOR
As companies create more content (from website updates to product infosheets to branded campaigns), there is a need to govern and control the quality of this content. This rise in content creation has created a new type of editor.
Content editors develop style guides, standardize processes, edit content from different parts of the organizations, and ensure editorial consistency. While the skills are similar to a traditional editor position at a magazine, the content will typically be related to marketing campaigns. You might develop processes to identify when content needs to be updated (such as outdated product pages) or implement a system for tagging content in a CMS (content management system). You’ll attend meetings, train new writers on the company’s editorial principles, and help refine the company’s approach to content production.
History majors have a good foundation of skills for this role. However, you’ll need to develop an understanding of CMS systems (software used to publish web pages), basic HTML coding, a proficiency in information architecture, and brand style guides. All of these topics can be learned from finding books on Amazon, taking industry courses, and speaking to practitioners in the field.
#18 – CMS EDITOR
Every large and complex website uses a CMS (content management system). A CMS is a piece of software that makes it fairly easy to create new pages, organize website information, and make universal updates (such as a new aesthetic design) to thousands of web pages at once. There are many different types of CMS systems. Some of the popular ones include WordPress and Drupal. Large organizations might build their own custom CMS.
For example, think of a large website such as Amazon. If they want to update something such as the color of the shopping cart button, this is done through a CMS. Instead of updating each web page (millions of pages), this change is made in the global code controlling those pages in a CMS.
While a CMS editor sounds like technical role, it is an excellent fit for History majors. The coding is relatively easy and your job is more to master the CMS and ensure that writers are using it correctly. In your work, you’ll be responsible for mastering new features in your company’s CMS. You might attend training by the CMS company, study tutorials, and roll out new features to the organization.
You’ll also manage the backend of the system, making sure people aren’t breaking things and that everything is working. Note, this isn’t a coding role. You’ll simply be managing the implementation of the software.
How to get started? First, look at five to ten companies you’d like to work for and identify the CMS system they use. This can be found by looking at what CMS system they list in job postings. Next, work at learning about that CMS and becoming comfortable with the software. Every major CMS company will have free training videos and possibly even a certification. Next, you’ll want to develop some proficiency in HTML and CSS. A few books from Amazon will get you started. Skillshare, Udemy, and One Month Code all have excellent courses.
#19 – EMAIL MARKETING – AUTOMATION MANAGER
From political figures to popular brands, email is one of the central channels for reaching and communicating with audiences. A political figure might use email to drive signatures for a petition. A nonprofit will send regular email campaigns to raise donations. And brands will send emails about a variety of topics: new products, sales and promotions, and entertaining content to attract new customers.
As you probably know, managing large email lists and campaigns sent to millions of subscribers is a lot of work. Automation is the main tool of corporate email strategies. When a new email arrives in your inbox from a company or nonprofit, it’s typically automatically sent by a piece of software taking into account what emails you’ve received before, your customer profile (such as what web pages you’ve visited or whether you’ve made a recent purchase), and whether you’ve opened previous emails from the company.
The job of an email marketing manager is coordinate and implement complex email programs at large organizations. For example, a popular political figure will send emails to millions of people. Often, these emails are structured into sequences. A small business owner might receive one stream with messages relevant to taxes and economic growth. A young voter might receive email messages about education, lowering tuition, and the environment.
So what would your day look like? As a manager, you wouldn’t actually write or design the emails. Your time will be spent building new emails in your company’s email software (setting up targeting, creating segments, and testing) and reporting on the success of email programs. You’ll also lead meetings to brainstorm new email sequences, improve processes, and stay on top of new changes such as laws around spam in your country.
How to get started? As a History major, you have the core strengths needed for this job. But you’ll need to further develop industry-specific skills such as the basics of HTML, mastery of email programs such as Marketo or Pardot or Infusionsoft, and build a proficiency in Google Analytics. Search for “email marketing manager” in LinkedIn and make a list of different skills required. You can then start developing those skills and look for entry level jobs. These entry-level jobs typically have the following titles: email marketing coordinator or email marketing specialist.
#20 – HR MANAGER
Many History majors have found lucrative and fulfilling careers in human resources. It’s simply not true that History majors can’t work in HR as the industry attracts people from many different degrees and skill backgrounds.
HR professionals perform two functions for a company. The first is building processes and training that helps employees perform at their best. This might involve setting up goal setting systems to measure employee performance, supporting career paths with training, and helping managers navigate difficult situations (such as an employee who needs to be terminated or moved to a different role based due to poor job performance).
The second function is protecting the company. This might involve ensuring employment contracts are upheld, tracking the performance of employees, and ensuring managers adhere to employment laws.
To get started, begin in a general HR role such as a coordinator or specialist. Once you’ve begun to hone your skills in an HR department, it will be easier to specialize, build new skills, and better plot your career path.
#21 – RESEARCH ANALYST AT THINK TANKS
Think Tanks are organizations that conduct research in order to better understand markets, shape public policy, and track economic trends. For example, the Pew Research Center is a well-respected research firm that studies consumer behavior including U.S. politics and policy; journalism and media; the internet, science and technology; religion and public life; Hispanic trends; global attitudes and trends; and U.S. social and demographic trends.
Other Think Tank organizations include American Enterprise Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Similar roles exist in private analyst firms such as Gartner, Forrester, Econsultancy, and SiriusDecisions. These organizations analyze global consumer behavior and sell their insights to companies (whether as trend reports or consulting packages).
To get started, look for a job as a research assistant or research analyst. This will expand to senior roles as your career grows. A research assistant or analyst at a research firm will be involved with most aspects of the survey research process including questionnaire development, data management, statistical analysis, quality control, reporting of survey results, and data visualization. In addition, you would prepare toplines, cross-tabulations and other data summaries.
This job would also involve preparing datasets for public release. Creating tables, charts, and presentations. Conducting background research for senior researchers. Drafting sections of research reports. You would also write blog posts, fact-check, and number check reports, and monitor trends through the year, becoming familiar with leading figures in the field.
For all of these tasks, attention to detail and individual judgment are critical, making it a good fit for History majors as well as other humanities degrees such as social and political science majors.
If you’re interested in this career, take a look at the career options at the Pew Research Center. This will give you a snapshot of this industry and you can then expand your search to other firms as well as start developing the skills required for the job.
#22 – POLITICAL CAMPAIGN MANAGER
During political races, the campaign manager is the heart of all activities. A campaign manager will oversee day-to-day operations, hire new staff, implement fundraising campaigns, and collaborate with the candidate. The job requires strong organizational and interpersonal skills.
Here’s how one History major who worked as a political campaign manager described her experience:
“I feel that my degree in History has certainly been useful in my career. A good working knowledge of social and political history is extremely beneficial to political operatives. It gives you a sense of voting and behavioral patterns that can be helpful. For example, one can look to history to figure out how voters and citizens react in times of national crisis as a guideline for how a campaign should proceed in light of the tragedy of September 11th. In addition, anecdotal political history is a great tool for motivation and inspiration during a campaign. Finally, I would say that a background in historical studies prepares one to examine the reasons and forces behind actions and not just the who, when, and what of history. This prepares one well for the always fluctuating mode of political campaigns.”
Get started by looking for entry-level roles including volunteer coordinator, scheduler, or local organizer. This will help to build your network, introduce you to employers, and show you the skills you’ll need to further develop.
#23 – HISTORY DEGREE JOBS IN GOVERNMENT
For those interested in careers in the government, the best way to begin is to enter “historian” in the search field here. A lot of government jobs have specialized names. You’ll find a wide range of roles including policy analysts, government historians, intelligence analysts, communication specialists, and corporate communication managers. Note: try also searching for more than “historian” in the above search box. Expand your search with the following skill-based keywords: communications, analyst, research, strategic communications, and public affairs.
One government career that is well-suited for History majors is a public affairs specialist. In this role, you’ll plan and communicate programs, policies, and activities. This involves the analysis of scientific content in order to create fact sheets, web content, social media content, talking points, key messages, scripts and other materials. For example, you might plan, design, and execute comprehensive nationwide public health communication campaigns to convey information concerning the organization’s programs to publics served or affected by such programs.
Other government jobs for History majors include: archives technicians, archivists, exhibits specialists, intelligence specialists, museum curators, administrative and programs specialists, management analysts, and program analysts.
You can find more about careers in public affairs by searching open positions at USAJobs.gov.
MORE JOBS FOR HISTORY MAJORS
As mentioned, employers don’t really treat a History degree much different than an English degree. In fact, most humanities and social science degrees can land similar careers.
For more careers that History majors excel in, look at my list of 35+ awesome jobs for English majors. I also published 5 more lucrative jobs for humanities majors here.
If you’re sick of spinning your wheels, my Career Bundle has helped thousands of humanities majors find their path. Good luck, my friend.