What Can You Do with a History Major?

Tim Goddard in Bangalore, India (2014)
Tim Goddard ’04, executive 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

Here’s a map of where some of our alumni work:

For more personal insights into what you can do with a History major from Bethel, check out these resources:

Individual Alumni Interviews and Profiles

Roundtable Discussions with Multiple Alumni in a Field

  • Graduate School in History: Noel Stringham ’07 (PhD, U. Virginia), Katie Thostenson ’05 (doctoral candidate, U. Edinburgh), Ben Wright ’05 (PhD, Rice University)
  • Teaching Middle and High School: Zach Haskins ’14 (Shakopee High School), Joe Held ’13 (Centennial High School), Micayla Moore ’16 (Minnetonka Middle School West), Daniel Rimmereid ’15 (Franklin Middle School – Minneapolis), Kelly Van Wyk ’15 (MOC-Floyd Valley Middle School – Alton, IA)
  • Middle and High School Principal — Bart Becker ’01 (Maple Grove Senior High School) and Dave Lutz ’07 (Wayzata West Middle School)

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:

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