Career Guidance for History Majors
What do you want to do with your degree?
Look around to see how you can combine your interest and your talent to earn a living. Check out job listings on places like LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, etc.
Do some research. Find the professional groups on-line. Don’t ignore LinkedIn, Reddit and Facebook groups. Network with alumni, use social media professionally. Check out the American Historical Association’s Career for History majors.
New occupations and career paths are developing all the time. We live in a time of rapid change. Many think the career ladder is gone, replaced by a career lattice. Sometimes this is called the lily pad approach.
This is both scary and exciting. It can be hard to figure out what jobs will exist in the future. There are more jobs than there are majors and if you select History (or humanities or social sciences) it is worth thinking about transferability.
The good news is that there is an enormous amount of information available.
What skills sets do history majors have?
Adaptability: Learning how to Learn
Reading and Organizing Information
Content: creation and understanding
Navigating the Modern Job Market
Tell your story. Learn to explain your skills to potential employers, in person, on paper, and on-line. Be aware of what words need to be on your resume so that algorithms spot them.
The ability to learn new software and its uses is a valuable skill
History majors have a lot of cultural and learning skills
Most job creation is in “hybrid jobs,” so look at what Burning Glass has to say on the hybrid economy.
Try to be a “T” shaped employee who combines both broad and specific skills
Use common sense when shaping your resume and profile
Organize your skills into Hard Skills and Soft Skills
What software do you know how to use?
Don’t be modest and don’t limit yourself to only those used in the classroom.
Group & teamwork
Communication and presentation
Career planning is part of the advising process. Be sure to bring it up. We’re here to help you succeed.
Keep a record of things your future employer might want. Document them digitally, if possible
Use SBU resources, including the Career and Professional Readiness Center
Go to events on-campus
One of the functions the departmental blog serves is to document student activities
Consider building your LinkedIn page (or another web page)
Join the departmental LinkedIn group
Use your electives, assignments, and activities strategically
Specific Classes and assignments
Neil Irwin, How to Win in a Winner Take All World: The Definitive Guide to Adapting and Succeeding in a High-Performance Careers (2019).
Erik Bryonjolkfsson and Andrew McAfee, Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. (2011).