Historians are employed to research individuals and groups of people, geographic areas, and historical for government, business, nonprofit, and other organizations. In addition to writing, they present historical research in the form of educational programming, exhibits, and websites. Historians may also cite and archive the sources and materials they collect as a part of their research. General job responsibilities of historians include:
- Gathering and analyzing historical data from documents, artifacts, and other materials
- Evaluating the authenticity and significance of historical data and its sources
- Reporting historical findings and conclusions in the form of books, articles, and reports
- Presenting historical information in public education programming, exhibits, and forums
The BLS reports that future job growth for historians employed by historical societies, research organizations, and historical consulting firms will depend on the continued public and private funding of such organizations. Since the number of available jobs for historians will remain limited, historians may consider applying their writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills in careers as researchers, educators, or policy analysts.Read More
Job Growth for
Becoming a Historian
The majority of historian jobs require a master's degree in history or a related field such as museum studies, historical preservation, or archival management. As a first step toward entering a master's program, students may consider obtaining an online bachelor's degree in history. Some bachelor's and most master's degree programs require an internship or completed onsite work experience.
A history degree programs may focus on either United States or world history or cover both in its curriculum. Bachelor degree programs in history are designed to provide students the knowledge and skills they need to evaluate and organize historical data, documents, and other materials, and write at a professional level. Some typical classes in history degree programs include:
- History of World Civilization
- Major Figures in History
- The Historian's Craft
- Understanding U.S. History
Potential employers are likely to favor candidates with field experience or who have completed an internship. Internships can provide students with the experience of handling historical artifacts and producing exhibits. Volunteering at a local museum, historical society, or other nonprofit organization is another way of obtaining practical experience applicable toward a career as an historian.