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Career Paths

What do people do with a history degree?

Any job that needs people who can think, analyze, write and be persuasive because those are the skills history majors learn in addition to acquiring historical knowledge and understanding about the world they live in.

Our graduates go on to a range of careers from the law, journalism, regional planning, business management, teaching, or working in local museums. A few go on to graduate programs in history.

Nationally, history majors are in many professions.

History Majors in Politics
History majors include past and present politicians, such as California Senator Diane Feinstein and Presidents such as George W. Bush, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

History Majors in Pop Culture
In popular culture, historians are everywhere!

Martha Stewart (domestic diva) has a history degree. So does Sacha Noam Baron Cohen (who is Ali G. on HBO when he’s not being Borat).

Conan O’Brien (late night talk show host), Ananda Lewis (MTV VJ), actors Edward Norton (American History X and Fight Club) and Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), and novelist Nelson DeMille (The General’s Daughter) were history majors too.

History Majors in Business and Institutions
History majors run major organizations and institutions. Patricia Russo, the CEO of Lucent Technologies, has a history degree as does General John Abizaid, the former head of all U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Or how about designing videogames?

Civilization VJon Shafer is the youngest lead designer for Firaxis, the company that makes the popular videogame Civilization. Originally a double major in computer science and history, Shafer dropped computer science to focus on history. "It ended up playing a major role in what I've been doing because Civilization uses history as a foundation for everything that takes place. It's important to know the flow of history and the different major events that people will recognize," Shafer said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal/Classroom Edition. He noted that "being well-rounded and having perseverance" are the most important skills needed to follow his career path, and that "knowing programming is third."

Read the Jon Shafer article