A history degree at Southern will provide a student with a broad spectrum of marketable skills. Whether you plan to seek out careers in history, or you want to be a medical professional, businessperson, teacher, lawyer, or almost any profession you can think of, history is a great choice. Why? Because with history you learn how to think critically, to analyze evidence, and to write in such a way that you are an effective communicator. You hone skills that every employer desires. Few other majors combine into one single degree the skills that a history degree can help you develop. Forbes lists those skills in this article. The American Association of Colleges and Universities reports similar findings here. So even if you don't think you want to pursue a career as a historian, consider choosing history as a second major for no other reason than to develop invaluable workplace skills.  

Why History?

In our classes students often ask what they can do with a history major, to which we reply, "What can't you do with it?!" This response, while not terribly helpful on its face, is nonetheless very much true. Unlike nursing or pre-med, theology, or social work, or any professional degree where you are trained for a more narrow career trajectory, history majors are trained in a set of specific skills, not for a specific job. We believe this is important because most people change careers a few times in their worklife. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics does not define what a "career change" actually is because no one else agrees how to define this, but there is consensus that what you major in during college will not necessarily be the career that you retire from forty or fifty years down the road. So if you train to become a nurse, pastor, or social worker, and that is the only thing you study in college, and if you have a career change at 35 years old, will you have the skillset needed to make that change? The skills you will develop as a history major make the chances that you'll answer "yes" to that question much more likely.

There are many history majors that never plan to practice in that field. In our department we have pre-med, pre-law, nursing, business, English, biology, music, language majors, and just about any other major you can imagine. They add history as a second major but they have no plans to work in the field of history. There is no limit to the sort of career a history major can pursue, but many of those that are directly related to history are:

  • History educators
  • Researchers
  • Paralegals
  • Museum curators
  • Information managers (libraries)
  • Lawyers  
  • Diplomats and those who work in political careers in government service often major in history or political studies. 
  • International Development workers

One of our recent graduates immediately began teaching high school history, but many go directly to graduate school.  From our most recent graduating classes, we have one pursuing a master's degree in health care administration, several have entered law school, and one is pursuing a masters degree in history.

Career Links

The National Museum of American History. This will take you to a page with continually updated job postings for this museum.

Check back again.  Links will be added regularly.

Useful Links on History

Careers for History Majors

Why Major in History?

Entering the Job Market with a BA in History

What to Do with a BA in History

Check back again.  Links will be added regularly.