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Career Opportunities in History

Why Major in History?

The Willamette History program is designed to encourage students to explore history in breadth while simultaneously developing a depth of expertise in congruent subject areas and mastering historical skills. Through small classes that focus on close reading, research, analysis, and historical writing, department faculty work to engage students throughout the major. Students of history are researchers, philosophers, and problem solvers. They come to understand the complex factors of historical change and gain an appreciation for the diversity of human experience across time and space. Skills of historians are applicable to a myriad of careers and jobs, preparing students for work, both in the field and far beyond academia. Above all, a study of history bestows both perspective and empathy.

Where Can My History Degree Take Me?

The short answer is: anywhere! There is no single path to follow, and a history degree guarantees a diverse range of options. Employers often cite the skills gained through a liberal arts program, such as critical thinking, synthesis of abstract ideas, persuasive writing, and creative problem solving as the most desirable traits in candidates, and the History track is ideal for developing that skill set.

While many History majors gravitate towards education or academia, innumerable doors are opened to graduates. The fundamental skills acquired through our program can be applied to almost any career, from law and the STEM fields, to business and nonprofit management, to archival and creative fields. Alumni teach in public schools and universities, work as lawyers and paralegals, serve as political consultants in state and federal government, and promote a variety of social concerns through advocacy work and administration in nonprofit organizations.

What Can I Do With This Major?

  • Education

    Fields and Areas:

    • Teacher
    • Training Services
    • Library Services
    • Research Assistant

    Typical Employers:

    • Primary, Middle, and High Schools
    • Universities
    • Community Colleges
    • Historical Societies
    • Libraries
  • Sales and Management

    Fields and Areas:

    • Sales Analyst
    • Account Manager
    • Sales Consultant
    • Marketing Specialist
    • Advertising Specialist
    • Public Relations Specialist

    Typical Employers:

    • Retail Companies
    • Banks and Credit Unions
    • Accounting Firms
    • Consulting Firms
    • Insurance Companies
  • Legal

    Fields and Areas:

    • Lawyer
    • Paralegal
    • Legal Assistant
    • Judge

    Typical Employers:

    • Law Firms
    • Nonprofit Organizations
    • Corporate Legal Departments
    • Local, State, and Federal Government Agencies
  • Office and Administrative Support

    Fields and Areas:

    • Financial Aid Counselor
    • College Recruiter

    Typical Employers:

    • Universities and Colleges
    • Government Agencies
  • Banking and Financial Services

    Fields and Areas:

    • Fund Developer
    • Marketer and Planner
    • Stock Trader
    • Certified Financial Planner
    • Bank Auditor
    • Financial Analyst

    Typical Employers:

    • Banks and Credit Unions
    • Investment Banks
    • Asset Management Companies
    • Accounting Firms
  • Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media

    Fields and Areas:

    • Advertiser
    • Marketer
    • Museum Curator or Director
    • Archivist
    • Social Media Marketer
    • Historical Consulter
    • Filmmaker
    • Broadcasting

    Typical Employers:

    • Museums (Historical, Natural History, etc)
    • Art Galleries
    • Historical Societies
    • TV and Film Production Companies
    • Broadcasting Companies
    • Social Media Organizations
  • Writing and Communications

    Fields and Areas:

    • Writer
    • Editor
    • Historical Author
    • Public Relations Specialist
    • Journalist
    • Grant Writer

    Typical Employers:

    • Online or Print Journals and Newspapers
    • Publishing Companies
    • Magazines
    • Self Employment/Freelance
    • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Community, Social and Religious Services

    Fields and Areas:

    • Caseworker
    • Charity Officer
    • Chaplain
    • Youth Director
    • Clergy Member
    • Community Outreach Worker
    • Social and Community Service Manager

    Typical Employers:

    • Houses of Worship
    • Department of Human Services
    • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Government

    Fields and Areas:

    • Politician
    • Government Historian
    • Diplomat
    • Records Manager
    • Archivist
    • Policy Development and Evaluation Specialist
    • Public Affairs Specialist
    • Foreign Affairs Specialist
    • Legislative Analyst

    Typical Employers:

    • Senate Historical Office
    • Society for History in the Federal Government
    • Consulting Firms
    • Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense, Department of Energy’s Historical Office (and similar historical offices for other departments)
    • Executive Branch, Congress, Supreme Court, etc
    • Various Federal Agencies
  • Health and Medicine

    Fields and Areas:

    • Research Assistant
    • Medical Historian
    • Strategy Analyst

    Typical Employers:

    • Hospitals
    • Medical Centers
    • American Association for the History of Medicine
    • Health Care Organizations

Internship Opportunities

The Department of History encourages students to consider the possibility of an internship arranged through the department, of which there are numerous and diverse options. Students have found opportunities in a number of local locations and settings, both for academic fulfillment and career-building. If you have questions or wish to get involved with the History Department's program of internships, contact Professor Eisenberg at eeisenbe@willamette.edu.

Finally, many History majors pursue careers in non-profit or community work. For information on Internships in such organizations, the Career Services Office offers extensive information on programs and resources to explore options.

Willamette University

History Department

Address
Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
Phone
503-370-6061 voice
503-370-6944 fax