What You Can Do with a History Major

What You Can Do with a History Major

Undergraduate Program

What you can do with a History Major

Many of the students in WMU history program are preparing to be secondary teachers. The university began as a normal school in 1903 for the purpose of training teachers and it continues to be one of the best places in Michigan to prepare for this career. There are other choices. There are teaching opportunities above the secondary level, in junior colleges, colleges and universities. Our faculty is actively engaged in research and graduate education and can prepare you for graduate school and help place you at other institutions around the country. We also have a strong program in public history at the undergraduate and graduate levels, to prepare people to work in museums, archives and public programs.

All three of these options are offered as formal programs of study, but there are still more possibilities. Students interested in careers in law, journalism, creative or scientific writing, or librarianship can prepare at the undergraduate level by majoring in history. Scratch the surface of a history major and you find someone who likes to read and write. One of the goals of the history program is to nurture interest in self-education, since the 21st century will require growth and change from all of us, not least from our secondary teachers.

Careers

Government agencies and private businesses alike are turning to their past in order to develop better policies for the future.  Many federal departments and state and local governments are now mature enough to have historical data banks on which to draw, to analyze the impact of past programs and policies as a basis for new legislation.  Business executives are increasingly aware of the need to organize their archives and corporate records, and to take more initiative in public relations by developing museums and related outreach activities.

For history majors at Western Michigan University, these developments translate into an unprecedented variety of opportunities to practice history professionally.  The field needs outstanding, committed teachers at every level.  Public and private sector jobs in research and interpretation are almost bewildering in their diversity.

Examples of Job Titles for History Majors: 

*Please note that some of the listed positions require education beyond a bachelor’s degree.

Anthropologist
Archivist
Clergy
Congressional Aide
Historical Society Staff Member
Economist
FBI / CIA Agent
Foreign Service Officer
Government Official
Historic Preservation Specialist
Museum Curator
Intelligence Analyst
Journalist
Lecturer
Librarian
Market Research Analyst
Urban Planner
Peace Corps / Vista Worker
Psychologist
Research Assistant
Teacher, Social Studies
Travel Agent
Criminologist
Editor
Archeologist
Biographer
Community Relations Director
Historic Site Tour Guide
Museum Technicians & Specialist
International Relations Specialist
Foreign News Correspondent
Genealogist
Historian
Insurance Agent / Broker
Writer / Author
Political Scientist
Lawyer
Legal Assistant / Paralegal
Lobbyist
Indicter
Demographer
Media Consultant
Public Relations Specialist
Sociologist
Technical Writer
Counselor
Park Ranger
Urban Administrator

Examples of Employers of History Majors:

Advertising
Media
Public Interest Groups
Schools & Universities
Education
Parks & Recreation
Broadcasting
Museums
Campaigns
State & Local Governments
Health & Human Services
Police & Fire Protection
Bureau of the Census
Paralegal Profession
Legislators
Travel and Tour Services
Highway & Street Construction and Maintenance
Social & Welfare Services
Central Intelligence Agency / Federal Bureau of Investigation
Peace Corps / Vista
Political Parties
Administration & Legislation
Housing & Community Development
Transportation
Department of State
Politics
Research Foundations
Corrections & Court Systems
Library
Archives

Careers Links

 

Department of History
4301 Friedmann Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334 USA
(269) 387-4650 | (269) 387-4651 Fax
dorilee.schieble@wmich.edu