What Can I Do with a Major in History?

The major in history sets students up for a wide range of careers. Pursuing this major gives students a broad grasp of world history and the cultural backgrounds of many segments of contemporary society. In addition to this content knowledge, students learn to read critically, think analytically, and write clearly. Students learn methods of historical research and exposition that may be applied not only by the professional historian but also by those interested in pursuing careers in government, education, law, the media, business, and other fields.

Key Skills Developed by the History Major

  • Ability to read, critically evaluate, and interpret the academic work of scholars and a wide range of historical source material, including political tracts, laws, diaries and personal papers, speeches, reports, letters, journalistic projection, art, literature, and film
  • Analysis of long-term social, political, and economic trends and their effect on current affairs
  • Data collection and data analysis
  • Critical evaluation of evidence and pattern recognition
  • Organization of information into a substantial report or paper
  • Analysis of causal factors, political structures, social and motivational influences, and decision-making processes


Some of the jobs currently held by our majors include:

  • High School and Middle School Social Studies Teachers in many schools, including in Orange Township, Foundation Academy, Uncommon Schools, Washington Middle School, North Bergen High School
  • Professors at Brown University, Oakland University, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bergen Community College, Essex County College
  • Attorneys at several firms, including Lowenstein Sandler, Freeman & Bass, Wanda M. Akin & Associates, The Law Office of Piotr Rapciewicz
  • Archival Assistant, Newark Public Library
  • Business Analyst, IMS Health
  • Organizer, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance
  • Financial Marketing Professional, Prudential
  • Systems Analyst, RLM Apparel Software Systems
  • Academic Program Manager, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Township Clerk, Township of Teaneck
  • Program Director, Move for Hunger
  • Family Service Specialist, Child Welfare Services
  • Logistics Analyst, LG Electronics
  • Hedge Fund Operations, U.S. Bank
  • Senior Library Assistant, Montclair Public Library
  • Spanish Language Interpreter, New York City Housing Authority


In recent years, our majors have interned with the following employers:

  • Bergen County Department of Parks: Division of Cultural and Historical Affairs
  • Boys and Girls Club of Newark
  • Denville Historical Society
  • Department of Education: Office of Charter Schools
  • Ellis Island
  • Essex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Gunn Historical Museum
  • Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites
  • Jersey City Museum
  • Macculloch Hall Historical Museum
  • Margaret Sanger Papers Project, New York University
  • Meadowlands Museum
  • Montclair Art Museum
  • Morristown National Historic Park (Archival Ambassadors Program)
  • Newark Archives
  • Newark Museum
  • New Jersey Historical Society
  • New York Public Library
  • North Jersey History and Genealogy Center
  • Queer Newark Oral History Project
  • Passaic County Historical Society
  • Vivat International (NGO with consultative status at the UN)

Our program also sponsors an Archaeological Field School in Italy, through which students can gain hands-on experience while earning credit toward the major over the summer.

Graduate and Professional Schools

Some of the prestigious graduate and professional schools that our majors have recently attended include:

  • Columbia University
  • Duke University
  • Lehigh University
  • New York University
  • Rutgers University School of Law
  • Rutgers-New Brunswick
  • Stony Brook University
  • Temple University
  • University of New Mexico
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Yale University
Additional Resources:
  • The Career Development Center (CDC) is staffed by professional career counselors, who are available to administer vocational assessments and discuss results; offer targeted career workshops, alumni / employer career panels; resume critique and interviewing strategies.
  • "History Is Not a Useless Major"
    Paul B. Sturtevant's essay "History Is Not a Useless Major: Fighting Myths with Data" in Perspectives on History offers data on the career paths of history majors.
In preparation for a career in business, or for life generally, I can think of no more suitable academic major than history. History is the study of people, what they do, and why they do it: the perspective that's necessary for future success.
Brian Hamilton
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Sageworks, Inc.