What Can You Do with a History Major?

Tim Goddard in Bangalore, India (2014)
Tim Goddard ’04, vice president of marketing for Corum Group

“What can’t you do with a History major?”

As survey after survey has revealed, employers in all sorts of fields are looking for exactly the same skills that we cultivate in our students: critical thinking, research, writing, speaking… (Here are the results of our most recent alumni survey on this theme.) Plus wide-ranging knowledge that helps our students understand and relate to people from a variety of backgrounds.

So it’s no surprise that another alumni survey found that there is no typical Bethel History career:

  • About 30% work in the corporate sector: entrepreneurs, accountants, salespeople, managers, etc.
  • Another 25% work in elementary or secondary education — here’s a map of where our alumni are serving as teachers and principals — and another 13% work in higher education
  • About 10% each were in government/law and the non-profit sector
  • Surprisingly, 5% work in health care — which points to another advantage of the History major: because you learn how to learn, you’re always prepared to continue your education, whether that means getting a degree in nursing or dentistry, or social work or museum studies, going to law school or seminary, or retraining for a new skill

For more personal insights into what you can do with a History major from Bethel, meet some of our alumni whom we’ve interviewed on this blog:

Or watch this video, featuring interviews with corporate attorney Tony Barthel ’99, teachers Annie Sjoholm ’09 and Brad Dahlman ’08, nurse Kim Pegelow ’05, and public policy student Keith Miller ’05:

Finally, those interested in continuing their historical studies in a master’s or doctoral program should check out our four-part interview with Ben Wright ’05 (PhD, Rice University), Katie Thostenson ’05 (doctoral candidate, U. Edinburgh), and Noel Stringham ’07 (doctoral candidate, U. Virginia).


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