Careers for Historians

Interested in Careers for Historians? History is an incredibly broad and expansive discipline. Most historians specialize in a particular location(s), era(s), and/or subject(s). They might choose, for example, to specialize in local, regional, national, or world history; ancient, medieval, post-classical, modern, or an otherwise classified history; and/or economic, political, public, or social history. Many historians study a specific location, era, and subject. Those mentioned above are just some of the many specializations students choose to study in history programs.

Historians have to determine what they want to study and to what degree (quite literally). Historians in many fields may benefit from earning at least a master’s degree in history, and many historians choose to earn their PhD in history. What these professionals could potentially earn depends on the capacities in which they want to pursue their careers.

No matter the capacity in which they work, many historians decide to pursue careers in the academic, public, or private sector. Each sector may present unique potential career opportunities for historians as educators, researchers, consultants, and more.

Many historians work full time, and may travel to different states, regions, and countries to carry out research.

Careers for Historians with Master’s Degrees

Some historians with master’s degrees choose to pursue careers as educators in a variety of settings. Some may find career opportunities at colleges or universities; others may seek employment in secondary schools. They may also work as educators in museums (often as curators), libraries, or private organizations.

Historians with master’s degrees might also pursue career opportunities in historical societies or as research assistants to professors or professionals with PhDs in research institutions; as editors and authors of non-academic, history-based publications and books; archivists; or consultants for Hollywood, non-profit organizations, or companies in the private sector outside of academia.

Careers for Historians with PhDs

Some historians with PhDs also choose to pursue careers as educators and/or researchers in colleges and universities or research institutions. When they teach, they often teach undergraduate and graduate courses and conduct research and publish articles and books as a part of their teaching contract. They may also work in community colleges.

Historians with PhDs might also pursue careers as researchers in institutions in which researching is their primary job. Within this capacity, they might work as consultants to public and private organizations and institutions, or they might make a career primarily out of consulting.

Finally, many historians with PhDs may be more competitive to pursue jobs that commonly look for professionals with either a master’s degree or PhD. Archivists, academic authors and editors, historians working in historical societies, and historians working for certain governmental agencies will all benefit from having PhDs.

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