History Career Paths

History Career Paths2018-08-20T14:56:49+00:00

Career Paths, Skills, & Suggested Courses

A major or minor in history can facilitate a rewarding career in almost any field, from medicine to law, from education to business. Centre College history majors know that their studies prepare them for success in any field by teaching them to be articulate speakers, sharp writers, and critical analysts of any situation. For more on careers in history, visit the American Historical Association‘s website.

  • Archive and Library/Information Services
  • Banking and Financial Services
  • Business Management and Consulting
  • Education
  • Government and Non-Profit Service
  • Journalism
  • Law and Politics
  • Medicine
  • Museum Curating and Historic Site Management
CEOs

  • Carly Fiorina (Hewlitt-Packard Corporation)
  • Lee Iacocca (Chrysler Corporation)
  • Robert Johnson (BET TV)
  • James Kilts (Gillette Corporation)
  • Samuel Palmisano (IBM Corporation)
  • Ben Silverman (Co-Chairman, NBC TV)
  • Martha Stewart (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia)
  • Howard Stringer (Sony Corporation)

Journalists

  • Bill O’Reilly
  • Charlie Rose

Politicians

  • George W. Bush
  • Dwight Eisenhower
  • John F. Kennedy

Supreme Court Justices

  • Elena Kagan
  • Anthony Kennedy
  • Antonin Scalia
Among Centre College’s past history majors, some have established careers with:

  • Bain Capital
  • International Red Cross
  • The Moscow Times

They work as:

  • consultants
  • documentary editors/producers
  • financial analysts
  • media specialists
  • teachers
  • and even Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Revenue
The skills you develop through history classes offer you a broad range of options because those skills are in demand almost everywhere. As a history major, you have the following skills*:

  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills. Your experience using a broad range of sources to construct and sustain solid arguments and to situate those arguments within the existing literature means that you can sift through lots of data in any context. Moreover, you can tease out what matters most and determine what it all means.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills. Not only can you analyze data, but the papers you’ve written and presentations you’ve given have enabled you to explain your findings to a broad range of people in multiple formats. You can explain it all in a manner that will most effectively reach your audience, including the use of different technologies when appropriate, and convince them that your conclusions are valid and meaningful.
  • The ability to argue for or against a position using well-researched evidence and sophisticated analyses. You can consider multiple perspectives, weigh them with a critical eye and attention to detail, and discard those that don’t hold up. As a history major, you have a superb ability to appraise and evaluate, which is a major asset to any future career.
  • A holistic and detail-oriented approach to problem solving. You know that the smallest detail might have significant impacts, but you can best see that by keeping the “big picture” constantly in view. Only by appreciating how everything fits together can you fully understand how it all works.
  • The ability to work independently as well as in a team. As a history major, you’ve acquired this skill in the various individual and group assignments you’ve completed as part of normal coursework.
  • Significant practice meeting deadlines in fast-paced environments. (You’ve completed your history major at Centre, after all!)

*Adapted from Christopher Brooks, “Connecting the Dots: Why a History Degree is Useful in the Business World” Perspectives on History: The Newsmagazine of the American Historical Association (February, 2015): 44-45

  • Business Careers
    You should consider supplementing your history major with courses in financial accounting (ECO 260) and statistics (MAT 130), practice with software like Excel, and an internship in your field of interest.
  • History and Education Careers
    You should consider taking all of the survey courses (HIS 110, HIS 120, HIS 230, and HIS 240) as well as broad range of upper-level courses for maximum coverage. You should also maximize opportunities to conduct research during the summers. For those interested in public history, consider an internship with a museum or historical society, too.
  • Information Management and Library Sciences Careers
    You should consider supplementing your history major with courses in computer science (starting with CSC 117) for greater facility working with large databases.
  • Medical Careers
    Consult with the medical school advisor here at Centre to ensure that you take all of the courses required for medical school. This will still leave you with enough room in your schedule to major in history. A major in history may set you apart from other applicants who are less well-rounded and have a background only in the sciences.