History Careers

See Where a WCU History Degree Can Take You


Brian Keogh, Class of 1994


Stephanie Sena, Class of 2001


Stephanie Hurter, Class of 2002


Thomas Neville, Class of 2006


Cheryl Nagle, Class of 2006


James Padilioni Jr., Class of 2013


Alyssa Day, Class of 2009


Danielle Lehr, Class of 2012


Amanda Derrickson, Class of 2011

Adam Farence

Adam Farence, Class of 2015

Nicole Strunk

Nicole Strunk, Class of 2019

So, you ask… "What can I do with a degree in history?" As Katherine Brooks, author of You Majored in What, observes, a humanities degree like History enables you to answer, "I'm going to do whatever I want." History majors are versatile! A recent article published by the Association of American Colleges & Universities recently made this point as well, demonstrating that a history major "will not condemn you to a lifetime of unemployment and poverty."

History Skills

With your history degree, you can do anything and go anywhere, because the skills you learn here can take you far:

  • Investigation: One of the most important skills our history students learn is the skill of investigation, from the art of asking good questions that help define the problem at hand, to the research skills in finding sources, to the skills of analysis and interpretation historians apply to our subject. Perhaps most importantly, you will learn the skill of effectively using evidence to draw conclusions.
  • Collaboration: We all must learn to play nice with others. The skills of collaboration, communication, and compromise are all significant ones that you must gain to join any sort of future work force. We practice them here in the classroom, working on group projects and presentations, leading and following while gaining skills in flexibility and adaptation.
  • Problem Solving: Our students leave campus as creative problem solvers, who can think imaginatively not only about past events, but about the world today. The ability to think critically and creatively about the past will give you the skills to help solve the problems we face today and in the future.
  • 21st Century Skills: History majors also learn many digital skills necessary for any future job. Our students work on digital history projects, building websites and creating multimedia presentations, editing video and audio. You can claim ownership of the projects you create, listing them on resumes and talking about them in job interviews. Students also become savvy online researchers, capable of discovering, evaluating, and aggregating the vast wealth of available sources.

Marketing your Skills

Some career choices for history majors may not appear as obvious as they do in more technical or specialized fields, but earning a history degree will provide you with many transferable skills that you will take with you wherever you go, including investigation, aggregation, curation, analysis, and synthesis, along with abilities in public speaking, writing, and research.

Since you are developing these valuable skills, the next step marketing them to a potential employer. The American Historical Association encourages students to quantify their skills in terms employers care about, including those identified by National Association of Colleges and Employers as the most desirable attributes sought by employers in its Job Outlook 2015 survey.

  • Leadership
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Written communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Analytical and quantitative skills
  • Technical skills
  • Verbal Communication skills
  • Initiative
  • Computer skills
  • Flexibility/adaptability
  • Interpersonal skills

So, if you effectively worked on a group project for a class, tout your ability to work in a team. If you learned new technologies in your Digital History course, add those skills to your résumé.

Career Paths

A history major need not mean commitment to a life in poverty. Recent studies suggest that history majors fair well in salaries. WCU history graduates have found employment in a broad range of professions and occupations, including:

  • high school teachers
  • university professors
  • lawyers and judges
  • ministers
  • museum professionals
  • archivists
  • librarians
  • journalists
  • screenwriters
  • law enforcement officers
  • business
  • public officials (in the United States Congress as well as the Pennsylvania General Assembly)
  • Fundraiser/ Development Officer
  • Non-Profit Administrator
  • Editor

Where to Find Jobs

Resources for Careers in History