Careers & Outcomes

What can I do with a major in History?

A major in history can be a preparation for a variety of careers. While some students choose to major in history to help them prepare for teaching middle or high school, history or social sciences or to participate in Teach for America, a history major isn't just for teachers. And although a few history majors intend to pursue a Master's or PhD in order to seek employment in colleges and universities, keep in mind that there are many different paths you can take with your history degree.

History is not merely the study of the past. In studying history, students develop many marketable basic skills, such as learning how to:

  • Organize and interpret data
  • Write with precision and clarity
  • Develop logical, convincing arguments
  • Combine solid research with creativity

In all avenues of the business world - or education or academia - written reports are a fundamental form of communication, and history majors master this skill early. Many achieve proficiency in a foreign language, and this increases their value to many potential employers.

Why do companies like History graduates and individuals with humanities degrees?

No matter what career path you decide to persue, remember that for most graduates, the study of history is not narrow job training, but a fundamental educational experience. Literate, well-educated individuals will continue to find jobs. Even for the majority who do not find employment based on their course work in history, their study has provided them with skills, with an understanding of society and institutions, and with an insight into the human conndition, If the study of history does nothing but broaden perspectives, create avid and critical readers, mold informed and thoughtful citizens, it has done its job.

The important issue is the planning and setting of goals. Double majors, for example, in English or in languages, course work in accounting, statistics, economics, or political science, or in other fields - all help to make the history major more valuable. Plan early, set priorities, gain out-of-the-classroom experience, seek advice, and a history major can be rewarding to you, both personally and in the job market.

What does a career with a History degree look like?

The American Historical Association provides a wealth of information on careers in history for interested students. Explore the diverse career pathways of an education in history and find your way towards making a difference.

The American Historical Association's Guide to Careers in History

Where our alumni are working

With 98% of reporting graduates secured opportunities within 6 months of graduation, WashU history majors have gone on to graduate studies, internships, academia, and have been employed in fields such as public administration, advertising and media, business, government service, and journalism.  Here are just a few of the top destinations for WashU History major graduates.


Post-Grad Employers:

  • Brunswick School
  • Capital One
  • City of St. Louis
  • City Year, Inc.
  • Ernst & Young (EY)
  • Freedom Mortgage
  • Fulbright
  • Krupp Kommunications
  • Lipman Hearne
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Mercury Communications, LLC
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • New York County District Attorney's Office
  • Rand Corporation
  • Saint Louis Science Center
  • US Department of State

 

Graduate, Medical, and Law Schools:

  • Boston University
  • Northeastern University
  • School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • University of California - Davis
  • University of Virginia
  • Washington University in St. Louis
  • Weill Medical College of Cornell University


Internships:

  • Assisi Foundation of Memphis, Inc.
  • Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site
  • Colby College
  • Community Mediation Services
  • District Office of California State Senator Ed Hernandez
  • Division of Criminal Justice
  • First Choice Bank
  • Home Run Baseball Camp
  • Judiciary Ethics Council
  • Krupp Kommunications
  • Lipman Hearne
  • Missouri History Museum
  • North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System
  • Northwell Health--Huntington Hospital
  • Partnership For Drug-Free Kids
  • Paul P. Cheng and Associates
  • Powell Archaeological Institute
  • Product Placement Resources
  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission
  • The Green Foundation
  • United States House of Representatives
  • University of Texas - San Antonio
  • US Department of State
  • Washington University in St. Louis

What is the CCHP?

The Crisis and Conflict in Historical Perspective, aka “chip,” is a Department of History cocurricular initiative that serves undergraduates considering careers in policy, as well as the greater Wash U and St. Louis communities, seeking historically informed discussion about global events.

 The CCHP features a speaker series, an international relations round table, connections to the Career Center, and a campus-wide/STL public forum.

For more information, you can contact Dr. Krister Knapp, CCHP Exec. Coordinator.

more information about CCHP

Additional employment resources for a career in History