What Can I Do with My History Major?

Do you love history but wonder if teaching is your only career choice? Are your parents asking you, ‘What job can you get with a history major?’ Are history majors cool or geeks?

History majors at PC are among the college’s most visible leaders. They are regularly found serving in student government, student organizations, volunteer and outreach programs, and athletics– both intercollegiate and intramural. Many are widely traveled having studied abroad on a semester-long program or one of the department’s short-term, faculty-led study abroad programs. They have excelled in the classroom, been accepted into various honor societies, and been awarded the college’s highest honors for service and leadership. Our alumni have been accepted for post-graduate study and pursued successfully a wide array of career paths.  And yes, they are most definitely cool!

The graduates of the PC History Department have gone into many different career fields. For instance, recent graduates have pursued the following opportunities:

  • Peace Corps
  • Teach for America
  • Retail management
  • Barack Obama presidential campaign
  • Division 1 Football coaching staff
  • Naturalist
  • Commissioned officer in the U.S. Army
  • Graduate school for teaching
  • Graduate school for journalism
  • Graduate school for speech pathology
  • Graduate school for English
  • Graduate school for ministry
  • Graduate school for public administration
  • Graduate school for history
  • Graduate school for law
  • Graduate school for medicine
  • Graduate school for public history
  • Graduate school for the foreign service
  • PCUSA Young Adult volunteer
  • Fresh Air Fund worker
  • Museum educator
  • Firefighter
  • National Park Service
  • International Educator

The Office of Career Programs will assist students in identifying and pursuing the many career possibilities available to those majoring in history. For instance, History Degree’s Resources for History Graduates and the American Historical Association’s Careers for History Majors are free and useful websites dedicated to helping students who have majored in history.  You may also contact the department’s Graduate School Coordinators Dr. Anita O. Gustafson and Dr. Patrick H. Cosby for assistance in planning for post-graduate schooling and career options.

majors_dempseyDavid Dempsey (’11) is an example of a major who has pursued a very interesting career path after graduating from PC.  While at PC he double majored in history and math, participated in the Mathematical Association of America, the PC club soccer team, served as a tutor in math help sessions, and worked in the library. He traveled on two spring break trips to Turkey and to Israel and Egypt with the History Department’s Encounters Afar program.

Why did you choose to major in history at PC?

Prior to entering college, I had never considered becoming a history major. My focus in high school had been math. However, after taking my first class in the History Department at PC, I was hooked. The professors presented the subject in intriguing and creative ways that made history come alive. Through investigating ancient civilizations with them I gained valuable insight that applies to today. I traveled the world learning the stories and events that continue to shape nations, peoples, and current events.

What have you done since graduating from PC?

After finishing at PC, I enrolled in graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte pursuing a master’s degree in computer science with a concentration in game design. Drawing on the stories of ancient civilizations, I now create true-to-life plots for my gaming projects.

How did your history major prepare you for your current career path?

However I use my professional energies, I am convinced the foundation I received in the History Department at PC has equipped me with insight, understanding, perspective, and appreciation. And, with the realization that even though the world is rapidly changing, much still remains the same.