University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of History

Careers for Students of History

Ira Allen Chapel on University Row

Further information on history careers

History illuminates the human condition. As a field of study, history provides the context with which to define one's relationship with the world, and a structure within which to study other disciplines. In portraying continuity and change, history offers a basis for understanding one's culture, one's community, and oneself. Without historical perspective, learning is incomplete.

History also provides a strong foundation for a broad variety of careers. The study of history prepares a student for the dynamics of business, law, government, or nonprofit careers. Historical knowledge provides details of past experience with which to test the feasibility of new solutions. It enhances the ability to recognize patterns in voluminous data; it supports valid comparisions and connections.

Practiced or applied?

In considering your career, one of the first decisions to make is whether you wish to practice history directly, or whether you wish to apply the knowledge and skills you have learned in the study of history to any one of many fields. The distinctions between such choices are highly personal: you might gain more career satisfaction from, say, being a feature writer for an international affairs monthly than from teaching high school history — or the reverse.

Typical organizations that emphasize history include archives, communications media, consulting and freelance assignments, historical associations and societies, historical projects, libraries, museums, publishing, research institutions, religious and philanthropic organizations, as well as teaching.

Typical organizations that apply historians' skills include management, advertising, archival and record-keeping services, banking & investment services, government service, insurance, law, market research, newspaper, radio & television journalism, paralegal services, public relations, staff training, and travel & tourism.

Last modified November 02 2009 09:52 AM