If you have chosen history as a major, you may notice how your decision was frowned at (especially by your parents) when you broke the news to them. This is due to the puzzle that surrounds its usefulness till date. No doubt, you are passionate about history. But you are not sure of the right career path to take or the specific subject requirements within the profession before you enroll for admission into the university.
In Canada, many international students have one or two history courses as part of their entry requirements for admission if they are studying a major related to history. However, just like in English language requirement, Canadian students are exposed to different primary sources of learning in their foundation year.
Since you have decided to study history at the university level, it's pertinent to know that there are many career choices within the profession. History is an exciting subject that exposes you to various ways of doing research and relevant facts about the world that you may not have known.
How Useful is a History Degree?
You must have pondered this question in your mind several times as you hear conflicting opinions of how useless a degree in history can be in Canada. The fact remains that a degree in history has many career options that are rewarding and lead to self-fulfillment in the long run.
Aside from that, knowledge of histories such as early modern Europe and World War can deepen your understanding of the past. And help you to realise how they connect to the future.
For instance, Canada has a rich social-cultural history that is not just worthy to learn about but also create different pathways for career success. Since history is all about the past, its knowledge can help you learn about the lives of people in the past and apply them to the future.
The Skills You Should Expect To Learn As A History Student
Various historical studies and research methodologies were formulated to help the student gain a richer understanding of social trends and human behavior. As a history student, you will be able to acquire relevant skills that are very useful in a wide array of professions and industries such as law, science, banking, and archaeology.
Traditional Careers in History
Those who studied history can acknowledge that its benefits go beyond what you would probably read in history books. And that is why many Canadian students go-ahead to explore other disciplines after graduating from history department in school. But is that all there is to history courses? Where can you work with a history degree? Let's explore the options together.
Besides teaching, there are many other career paths that history graduates can leverage before leaving school. Below are some career paths that are probably unknown to an average history student.
- History Professor
Many colleges and universities require students to take specific majors to study a few courses in history as mandatory requirements. As a result of this, there may be a need for several history classes. Therefore, history graduates that enjoy educating and impacting their knowledge on others can fit into this role. However, they may have to enroll for higher certification and degree, such as a master's degree (MA) in history, to become fit for such a role.
- Museum Curator
History graduates that love the artistry and have a strong desire to explore their creative minds will do well in this job role. Museum curators with a historical background are highly sought after in positions that require educating people about artworks and other similar heritage.
This profession is almost as old as the world itself. It is the first and widely accepted traditional career path of every student for many centuries.
Historians usually spend a long time studying and interpreting historical trends. Depending on their job nature, they may also be required to travel to conduct research or educate others about a particular branch of history.
Many students who study for history degree will fit into the job role of a Liberian. This is due to the skill set they were exposed to during their university days, such as organising, shelving, and analysis. If you are history with a passion for these skills, you may do well to consider the career path of a librarian.
Non-Traditional Careers in History
Non-traditional careers for history students are numerous, and they are indirectly related to history. This is due to the educational background history students have concerning the profession. Below are some of them.
Editors spend a lot of time doing research and developing content for a business. This requires useful skills such as multitasking, analysing, writing, and organizing. Each month, there are millions of content published on the internet. Before they are published, they undergo a thorough editing process by a professional editor to ensure the content is deemed fit for the target audience. Therefore, companies looking for professional editors usually consider history graduates as highly viable for such roles.
Since lawyers spend a lot of time memorising various versions of the law and researching, graduates with a history degree find suitable roles within the law profession. They usually fit into admin roles in law firms, and they are tasked with doing research and other admin tasks in the firm.
- Translator or interpreter
History graduates with a personal interest in foreign cultures may find the need to explore their analytical skills by deciphering information using sign and written language. History graduates with excellent interpersonal skills will fit into this role.
Professional writers range from book authors, web content writers, copywriters to journalist. History graduates who enjoy doing research, studying, reading, and writing could decide to pursue a career as professional writers for which they will excel.
Why your College Major Does Not Determine Your Career Path
Most college grads can attest to the above statement that it's not a myth. While in college or even the university, it's common to find students labeling themselves according to their majors. These classifications usually guide their activities and relationships within the school.
But when they graduate and hit the job markets, they realise that these classifications are worthless. The fact is that most liberal arts degrees don't conform to a specific employment route. This means that you may not necessarily be employed based on your “history degree” but because of the skills that you may possess. Moreover, private coaching ca help you to develop these skills faster. Here is how to know if you need a private tutor.
The majority of employers in Canada seek skills et that corresponds with a specific subject. This helps job seekers to navigate their career paths themselves. That is to say, many employers would prefer an employee to possess critical thinking abilities, excellent communication skills, and the ability to solve complex problems. These skills are often highly rated than the degree in question.
Many history grads who focus on their competencies rather than their major can explore a wide range of career options that are related to their field of study. This is because most employers do not consider majors as the first thing. They want to see how you can help them solve a particular problem within the organisation, meet a specific need, or fill a professional role. This is where your skills come to play.
Fortunately, history students are not left without options. Employers are willing to pay for skills, and these skills can be learned from the majority of history lessons taken in school. Here are some of the skills history students learn consciously or subconsciously during their history studies in the college or university.
History students learn how to analyse historical trends, events, economic situations, political scenarios, and present conditions. This skill can be beneficial for problem-solving within an extensive system of operation. People who can analyse events are highly needed in the education and economic sectors of the economy and other fields.
History teaches us about the past and correlates it to the future. Students are taught how to do accurate forecasting of future events based on what they learned about the past. Forecasting is necessary for planning and analysing. Planning, in turn, helps to save costs and make good use of available resources to meet demanding needs.
Hence, forecasting is significant within a system, but it is also highly relevant in our personal lives. History grads that are good at forecasting are highly sought-after within various fields such as marketing, business development, law, and science.
Comparison forms the hallmark of many history lessons in school. From the various assignments, books, journals, and research work performed by historians, students learn how to make valid comparisons between two or more research methodologies, historical ideology, and claims. The ability to make such comparisons is highly valued in complex organisations.
And that is one of the reasons why the need for history grads will always be high, and the profession will remain evergreen. If you are a history graduate or taking history studies in school, it's pertinent that you know the worth of your career in the outside world. A history degree is and will always remain useful at all times.
Want to explore your career options? Read about the different branches of history.