Career Planning for History Majors

Careers section in newspaper
Licensed by Creative Commons (Flazingo Photos)

Whether you’re just entering our department, just about to leave it, or anywhere in between those stages, check out a new series of blog posts from the American Historical Association: “What to Do with a BA in History.”

The first post shared advice for recent graduates preparing to search for jobs. A sample:

History is dynamic, and you should be a bright, capable, and thorough thinker, writer, communicator, and researcher because of your time as an undergraduate. The problem is that no one will know it until you tell them! People make assumptions about various majors all the time, and in the news they often recite and rehash false stories about college education that go unchallenged. On your resume, in your cover letter, and during interviews and networking scenarios you need to quantify your experience in terms employers can understand and change the common perceptions out there. Your ability to do this can make all the difference.

Then earlier this week, post #2 in the series focused on the other end of the major, sharing practical tips for newer students wondering how to explore careers long before they graduate. One that fits well with summer vacation:

Conduct a career poll: Ask four friends or relatives for five careers they can “see” you in. Then ask why they considered that occupation. Write down your initial reaction to the suggestions. Take stock of your greatest strengths. What are you good at? What value does that have to others?

It concludes by recommending that you also set up a LinkedIn account and make connections with alumni who majored in History. To ease that step, be sure to join our own student/alumni group on LinkedIn!

And, of course, be sure to visit Bethel’s own Office of Career Development and Calling, open to students and alumni alike.


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