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CAREER RESOURCES


What Can I Do with a History Major?

The short answer to this question is “everything.”  The history major has many career options because prepared with skills in demand in many fields, including writing, research and problem solving, critical thinking, and oral communication.  Moreover, these skills are transferrable—they are not field-specific but applicable in many ways for many different kinds of jobs. 

Many employers look at the college degree, not the specific major, and make their decisions about who to hire based on which applicants best show that they understand the job, have the skills that will help their future employer, and possess a desire to work hard and succeed.

When you graduate and look for a career, know your interests (a visit to the Career Center is highly recommended:  http://www.gvsu.edu/careers/), know the skills you have gained, and think ahead by taking advantage of opportunities such as internships or career preparation events that will help you in the future. 

For further information, see:

University of Tennessee, What Can I Do with This Major? http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/major/history/

American Historical Association, “Why Study History?” https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/why-study-history

American Historical Association, “Careers for History Majors” https://www.historians.org/jobs-and-professional-development/career-resources/careers-for-history-majors

GVSU History Major http://www.gvsu.edu/cms4/asset/8E60AE8A-DD89-F38B-68F611A92AA5D47A/history_general_15-16.pdf

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_stru.htm

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections http://www.bls.gov/emp/

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CAREER POSSIBILITIES, CLICK HERE OR SEE BELOW


THE OPTIONS


Career Area: Law School and Government

Job Titles

Lawyer

Legislative aide

Foreign Service

Law enforcement

Public advocacy groups

Public office, staff administration, or campaign assistant

Legal aid or public defender’s office

Community organizing

Paralegal

 

Preparation Strategies

Complete an internship at a government agency or public policy group

Join Law Society of GVSU:  https://orgsync.com/62576/chapter

Seek leadership roles in campus organizations, including student government

Join debate teams

Volunteer for community organizations, advocacy groups, or political parties

Complete a study abroad program

Resources

GVSU Pre-Law Website:  http://www.gvsu.edu/prelaw/

American Bar Association, Legal Profession Statistics:  http://www.americanbar.org/resources_for_lawyers/profession_statistics.html

What Can I Do with This Major? http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/major/law/

 

Potential Employers

Law firms

Federal, state, and city government

Lobbying organizations

Corporations

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

Public interest groups

Curriculum Suggestions

BUS 201:  Legal Environment for Business

CJ 302:  Criminal Law
CJ 305:  Constitutional Rights and Civil Liberties
CJ 325:  Criminal Justice and Human Rights

CJ/LS 444:  Forensic Behavior and Law 
CLA 367:  Thinking Like a (Roman) Lawyer

COM 303:  Debate

HST 317:  History of American Foreign Relations
HST 328:  U.S. Constitutional and Legal History

LS 201:  Introduction to Law
LS 324:   Legal Research and Writing 

MGT 334:  Labor and Employment Law
MGT 432:  Grievance Arbitration and Collective Bargaining 
PHI 330:  Legal Philosophy
PLS 206:  American Constitutional Foundations

PLS 306:  Constitutional Law I (Federalism and Separation of Powers) 
PLS 307:  Constitutional Law II (Civil Rights and Liberties)
PLS 314:  International Law 
WGS/LS 370:  Women and the Law

For more curriculum suggestions, see http://www.gvsu.edu/polisci/pre-law-faq-45.htm

Students interested in becoming a lawyer will need to attend law school (earning a J.D.) (http://www.lsac.org/jd/), which requires taking the LSAT (http://www.lsac.org/)


Career Area: Business

Job Titles

CEO

Entrepreneur

Accounts manager

Systems analyst

Business manager

Preparation Strategies

Attend professional and career events sponsored by GVSU Career Center, including Job Fair

Gain relevant experience through internships and summer jobs

Join student organizations for business students

Talk to professionals in industry that interests you

Resources

What Can I Do with This Major? http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/major/business-studies/

Seidman College of Business, Student Organizations

http://www.gvsu.edu/seidman/student-organizations-70.htm

Potential Employers

Manufacturers

Healthcare organizations

Banks and financial institutions

Real estate brokers

Insurance companies

Retail stores

Hotels and restaurants

Non-profit management

Curriculum Suggestions

Interest in General Business:

ACC 212:  Principles of Financial Accounting

ACC 213:  Principles of Managerial Accounting

ECO 210:  Introductory Macroeconomics

ECO 211:  Introductory Microeconomics

BUS 201:  Legal Environment for Business

Interest in Marketing:

ACC 212:  Principles of Financial Accounting

ECO 211:  Introductory Microeconomics

BUS 201:  Legal Environment for Business

MKT 350:  Marketing Management

Interest in Management:

ACC 212:  Principles of Financial Accounting

ECO 211:  Introductory Microeconomics

BUS 201:  Legal Environment for Business

MGT 331:  Concepts of Management

FIN 320:  Managerial Finance

Alternately, history majors could complete the 12-credit Entrepreneurship Certificate offered by Seidman College of Business, which is designed as “a short track of courses to learn the process and tools, and to develop the skills and experiences necessary to identify and create a sustainable business opportunity.”  See http://catalog.gvsu.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=40&poid=5529


Career Area: Education

Job Titles

Elementary and secondary school teacher

School administrator

College professor

Higher education administrator

Higher education student support services

Preparation Strategies

Volunteer in schools (25 hours of experience with children or youth required by College of

            Education for admission)

Seek experience with youth, such as summer jobs at camps, churches, or youth organizations

Complete a relevant internship, for example, at a literacy center

Complete a study abroad program

Complete a senior thesis (HST 498) if considering graduate school

Resources

History Major with Secondary Education http://www.gvsu.edu/cms4/asset/8E60AE8A-DD89-F38B-68F611A92AA5D47A/history_secondary_education_15-16.pdf

GVSU Elementary Education Major http://www.gvsu.edu/coe/undergraduate/undergraduate-elementary-education-program-25.htm

GVSU College of Education, Admission Requirements http://www.gvsu.edu/coe/undergraduate/admissions-requirements-10.htm 

What Can I Do with This Major? http://whatcanidowiththismajor.com/major/education/

American History Association, “Graduate School Application Process:  From Start to Finish”  https://secure.historians.org/projects/cge/PhD/Questions.cfm

Potential Employers

K-12 schools

School districts

Community colleges

Colleges and universities

Curriculum Suggestions

EDF 315:  Diverse Perspectives on Education

EDI 337:  Introduction to Learning and Assessment

EDT 370:  Technology in Education

PYS 301:  Child Development

SST 309:  Social Studies for Elementary Teacher (for elementary teaching minor)

SST 310:  Strategies for Social Studies Teachers (for secondary teaching certification)

HST 498:  Senior Thesis (if considering graduate school)

Students interested in elementary school teaching can major in Social Studies and must complete the Elementary Education Minor

Students interested in college teaching will need to earn a graduate degree in history (Ph.D.).  All students considering graduate study should major or minor in the foreign language(s) relevant to their interests


Career Area: Public History

Job Titles

Government historian

Museum Curator

Cultural resource manager

Conservator

Park service historian

Historical consulting

Historic preservation specialist

Archivist or records manager

Preparation Strategies

Complete an internship in public history

Volunteer at local museums, historical societies or other organizations relevant to public history

Complete a study abroad program

Complete a senior thesis (HST 498) if considering graduate school

Resources

American Historical Association, Careers in Public History https://www.historians.org/jobs-and-professional-development/career-resources/careers-in-public-history

National Council on Public History, Job Listings http://ncph.org/jobs

The Public History Navigator http://ncph.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Public-History-Navigator-2015-Web.pdf

Melissa Bingmann, “Advising Undergraduates about Career Opportunities in Public History,” Perspectives on History (March 2009) https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/march-2009/advising-undergraduates-about-career-opportunities-in-public-history

American Association for State and Local History, “Curious about a Career in Public History?”

http://about.aaslh.org/curious-about-a-career-in-public-history/

American Alliance of Museums http://www.aam-us.org/resources/careers

Society of American Archivists http://careers.archivists.org/

Potential Employers

Museums

Historical societies

Federal, state, and local government

Non-profit organizations

Corporations

National Park Service

Curriculum Suggestions

ANT 220:  Introduction to Archaeology

ANT 314:  Bioarchaeology

HST 405:  Local and Community History

HST 420:  Public History*

HST/CLA 415:  Museum Studies*

HST 490:  History Internship

Students interested in careers in public history often obtain a master’s degree (MS or MA) in history or museum studies


Career Area: Library and Information Science

Job Titles

Academic librarian

Services librarian

Liaison librarian

Metadata librarian

Library director or manager

Health science librarians

Archivist

Conservator

Children’s or young adult librarian

Preparation Strategies

Volunteer at a public or school library

Gain relevant experience through part-time jobs in libraries

Seek experience with youth, such as summer jobs at camps, churches, or youth organizations (for

            school librarians)

Resources

American Library Association, “LibraryCareers.org” http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/libcareers

Meredith Schwartz, “How to Become a 21st Century Librarian,” Library Journal, March 20,

2013 http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/03/careers/how-to-become-a-21st-century-librarian/#_

 

Potential Employers

Public libraries

Academic libraries

School libraries

Corporations

Government (including National Archives and Records Administration)

Curriculum Suggestions

CIS 160:  Programming with Visual Basic

CIS 238:  Internet Media and Programming

COM 201:  Speech

COM 371:  Media and Society

If interested in children’s or young adult librarianship:

ENG 304:  International Literature for Children and Young Adults

ENG 309:  Teaching Literature to Children

ENG 311:  Teaching Literature to Adolescents

ENG 334:  American Multicultural Literature for Children and Adults

A strong liberal arts background is the best preparation for a librarian.

Most professional-level library positions require a master’s degree in library and information science (either MLS, MLIS, MSIS, MSLS, MA in LIS, or MS in LIS)


Career Area: Media and Communications

Job Titles

Journalist

Editor at trade or university press

Editor at newspaper, website, or magazine

Publisher

Documentary film producer

Grant or technical writer

Media planning

Media relations specialist

Preparation Strategies

Gain relevant experience through internships and summer jobs

Seek leadership roles in campus organizations, including student programming

Work for campus newspaper, radio station, and similar outlets

Volunteer to be announcer at college and local sporting events

Volunteer to create or maintain websites for local organizations

Maintain a personal website or blog to showcase work

Resources

What Can I Do with This Major?

What Can I Do with This Major?

Riley Guide, Job and Industry Resources for Writing, Broadcasting, & Journalism Careers

Potential Employers

Websites, newspapers, or magazines

Radio and television stations

Trade and academic presses

Corporations

Federal, state and local government

Colleges and universities

Curriculum Suggestions

CFV 225:  Film Culture

CIS 160:  Programming with Visual Basic

CIS 238:  Internet Media and Programming

CMJ 236:  News in Society

CMJ 256:  News Reporting

CMJ 284:  Broadcast News 1

CMJ 290:  Journalism History

COM 201:  Speech

COM 220:  Media Literacy

COM 271:  History of Communications Technologies

COM 371:  Media and Society

ENG 261:  Foundations of Language Study

LS 324:  Legal Research and Writing

WRT 200:  Introduction to Professional Writing

WRT 219:  Introduction to Creative Writing

WRT 253:  Document Production and Design

WRT 350:  Business Writing

WRT 351:  Writing for the World Wide Web