April 02, 2008
By Elisabeth Grant
Jobs for history majors. Careers in history. Why study history? These are some of the most popular search phrases that bring people to the AHA’s web site. High school and undergraduate students question why they should go into history. Graduate students question what the job market will look like once they earn their PhDs. And many ask what one can do with a history degree outside of academia.
To help all of these groups find answers look to the AHA’s web site and the plethora of job and career related resources available there.
Why Study History?
This very question, or a variation of, has been addressed by a number of articles and publications produced by the AHA that are available online.
- Why Become a Historian? – A series of essays featuring a range of historians in different fields. Hear from Gordon Chang at Stanford University, Spencer Crew at the National Museum of American History, Robert Gutierrez at Miami Sunset Senior High School, and many more.
- Why Study History? – An article by Peter N. Stearns, which is part of the slightly larger print publication Thinking History.
- Why Study History? – An article by William H. McNeill from 1985.
- Careers for History Majors – A concise approach to showcasing different careers within different areas for history majors. For instance, the “Historians as Communicators” section highlights jobs for historians as writers, journalists, documentary editors, archivists, and more.
- Careers for Students of History – This publication covers a wide range of settings for historians’ careers, including classrooms, museums, archives, and more.
History Graduate Students
The AHA’s Committee for Graduate Students has crafted a graduate student resource page to guide grad students through each phase of their studies. Their Job Market section includes advice, articles, and links to more resources.
Graduate students may also be interested in the online version of Retrieving the Master’s Degree from the Dustbin of History, which provides information on future careers in community colleges, secondary school teaching, and public history.
What is public history? What opportunities does it offer? Follow these links to more information on public history and resources for public historians.
- Resources for Public Historians – This page contains links to reports, employment listings, Perspectives on History articles, and other sites with related information.
- Careers in Public History – Here you’ll mainly find links to sites that offer job listings for public historians.
Perspectives Articles & Blog Postings
For more on jobs and careers in the history field see the following:
- AHA Data on the History Profession – This page offers links to reports and Perspectives on History articles about the job market for PhDs, salaries for historians, history student enrollments, and more.
- What is a History Major Worth? – A blog post by Robert Townsend on history majors’ future salaries.
- Where are All the Jobs? – A blog post by David Darlington on job searches at the AHA’s annual meeting job register.
For those on the job market, remember that AHA Members have access to job ads through the historians.org site.