What Can You Do with a History Major? Having Fun with LinkedIn…

LinkedInMany times on this blog we’ve taken on the always-popular question, “What can you do with a History major?” (See our page by that title, which links to the stories of some of our alumni, surveys of employers, and more.) Now the professional social media site LinkedIn offers a new way to answer that question. History News Network explains:

What happens to history majors who don’t become historians? A new tool offered by LinkedIn, the social media website for professionals, provides a clue.

Press a button and you can discover where people who studied history went to work, what they do, and where they went to school. The results are drawn from LinkedIn’s vast pool of users (165 million, by some counts).

As HNN points out, you should take the results with a grain of salt: it’s not clear if LinkedIn weights users who major in History (vs. minoring in it, or taking, say, “Art History”) and “Many people who majored in history do not belong to LinkedIn, which is generally used by professionals and business people.”

Still, it’s very interesting. And even more so because you can narrow it down to all LinkedIn users who attended Bethel and studied History: all 357 of them, as of August 19, 2014.

And what do they do? Here’s the top ten list:

  1. Education (19.6%)
  2. Community and social services (10.1%)
  3. Sales (7.6%)
  4. Consulting (7.0%)
  5. Administration (6.7%)
  6. Entrepreneurship (6.4%)
  7. Media/communication and operations (both 5.6%)
  8. Legal (5.3%)
  9. Information technology (5.0%)
  10. Human resources and research (both 4.8%)

Some other fun facts from that search:

• Not surprisingly, Bethel itself is the leading employer of its alumni who studied history, and our neighbors-rivals at Northwestern also make the top seven list of employers. But the rest of that list includes the following organizations: Target Corporation, U.S. Bank, the U.S. Army, the State of Minnesota, and the Minnesota House of Representatives.

• Just under 60% of them work in the Twin Cities metro area, but Chicago, Seattle, and Washington, DC also are home to ten or more Bethel history folks on LinkedIn.

• 4% of them live outside of the United States.

And if you’re a History or Social Studies Ed alum or student who uses LinkedIn, we’ve got a group for you to join.

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