What can I do with a major in history?
As a history major at UW Oshkosh, you will not only learn a great deal about the histories of particular places and times, but you will also develop some very broad skills, including clear, concise, good writing, research skills, analytical reading, and critical thinking.
So, to answer the question “What can you do with a history major?” think of what you can do with highly developed writing, reading, research, and thinking skills. There are a lot of possibilities.
Career Services offers a one-credit class in skills for getting a job called “Professional Career Skills in Social Science” (IDS 209) and one called “Professional Career Skills” (Prof. Counseling 202) in which history majors can hone skills that help them to find jobs. These are offered every semester. Check Titan Web.
Also, the History Department offers a 300-level course entitled “Public History” (HIST 339) which focuses on the work of presenting history to public audiences. This could help students think about careers in museums, national parks, the entertainment industry and other venues for public history.
Join the History Club to get and attend History Club events. One or two events a year are focused on careers for history majors and what alumni of the UWO History Department have been doing.
Also, join LinkedIn and our LinkedIn group “UW Oshkosh History Department Students, Alumni, and Faculty.” This is a nice way to see what alumni are doing and to occasionally hear about jobs and news items to help with your job search.
Another way to see what alumni are doing is to check out our alumni page, where some alumni are featured. They got jobs with a history major in a wide array of fields.
For some ideas about possible careers, see the American Historical Association’s page on careers for history majors here and an eye-opening article about history majors in business fields here.
For careers and master’s programs in the field of public history, check out the National Coalition on Public History’s site. Their page on careers in public history is here and on master’s programs is here. Also, the University of Delaware has a great email listing of jobs in public history.
Another helpful website for thinking about what job you might pursue is a blog authored by a history professor from Messiah College in Pennsylvania. Here is his series of posts entitled “So What CAN you do with a History Major?”
The history department has a small library of books on the subject, including: Lambert’s & DeGalan’s Great Jobs For History Majors (2008), Facts on File’s Top Careers for History Graduates (2004), Princeton Review’s What to Do With Your History or Political Science Degree (2007), and the American Historical Association’s Careers for Students of History. These are located in the History Department Conference Room (Sage 3631). See a member of the department if the room is closed.
Finally, you are encouraged to come to talk with Career & Professional Development or Michelle Kuhl, in the history department, or any of the history faculty about careers.