A history degree gives you the skills that can take you into a variety of careers from museum and heritage work to teaching or accountancy
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
- Academic researcher
- Heritage manager
- Historic buildings inspector/conservation officer
- Museum education officer
- Museum/gallery curator
- Museum/gallery exhibitions officer
- Secondary school teacher
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
- Academic librarian
- Broadcast journalist
- Civil Service administrator
- Editorial assistant
- Human resources officer
- Information officer
- Marketing executive
- Policy officer
- Politician's assistant
- Talent agent
Remember that many employers accept qualifications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Within the museums and heritage sector pre-entry work experience is highly valued. Look for volunteering or work experience opportunities within the area in which you're interested. For example, if you'd like a career in curatorship, try to get experience working with museum collections.
Use any opportunities to build up a network of contacts as well as provide the skills required for your chosen job.
If you're looking for a career in a different area, such as banking or law, internships offer the chance for more structured work experience and are usually well advertised, making them easier to find. Competition for places is strong so research the company well before applying.
Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.
History graduates are valued by a wide range of employers and organisations including heritage organisations, museums and libraries. Other typical employers include:
- accountancy firms
- archive and records offices
- higher education institutions (HEIs)
- international development organisations
- law firms
- management consultancies
- publishing companies
- television and radio broadcasters.
National and local government and the public services also attract history graduates, particularly the civil service (with some graduates applying to the Civil Service Fast Stream), NHS management, the police and armed services.
Skills for your CV
A degree in history develops your:
- critical reasoning and analytical skills, including the capacity for solving problems and thinking creatively
- intellectual rigour and independence, including the ability to conduct detailed research
- ability to construct an argument and communicate findings in a clear and persuasive manner, both orally and in writing
- capability to work without direct supervision and manage your time and priorities effectively
- ability to discuss ideas in groups, and to negotiate, question and summarise
- capacity to think objectively and approach problems and new situations with an open mind
- appreciation of the different factors that influence the activities of groups and individuals in society.
Some history graduates go on to further study at Masters level in order to specialise in an area of history and cultures of interest to them.
However, many postgraduate courses accept graduates from any subject and this allows history graduates to enter careers as diverse as:
- museum studies
These courses provide you with vocational training skills in discrete occupational areas.
Courses of further study include the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), one-year teacher training courses, Masters courses in information management and museum studies, and certificates in corporate finance and personnel practice.
What do history graduates do?
The top five jobs held by history graduates employed in the UK fifteen months after graduation are marketing associate professional, secondary education teaching professional, sales and retail assistants, other admin occupations and HR.
|Working and studying||12.8|
|Type of work||Percentage|
|Retail, catering and customer service||17.5|
|Business, HR and finance||16.1|
|Clerical, secretarial and administrative||16|
For a detailed breakdown of what history graduates are doing after graduation, see What do graduates do?
Graduate destinations data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.