Career Options

Career Options

Increasingly, employers are less concerned about pre-professional preparation and more concerned that employees can write well, think critically, and analyze material. These are all skills that history majors acquire, and they can be translated into a number of careers in addition to history, including education, law, management, journalism, sales, finance, and health care. A major in history also provides the knowledge about the past that helps WSU graduates navigate our world today and prepare for the variety of careers that a person may have in a lifetime.

A major in history can be combined with a pre-med program [link to course requirements]. We also offer a joint B.A. in History and Computer Science [link to program requirements].

To broaden their education and increase their career options, history majors are encouraged to pursue a minor. Within the College of Liberal Arts, history majors often pursue a minor such as English, Spanish, or Political Science. A minor in another college, such as in the College of Business, can also provide students with the skills needed to obtain a job.

Studies show that students who have an internship are better prepared for the job market. History majors can explore internship possibilities through the Career Services.

If you are interested in applying to law school, visit the Pre-Law Advising website.

If you would like to teach history or social studies in grades 7-12, please investigate the Social Science Education program or contact the program director, Dr. Noeleen McIlvenna.

Famous History Majors

A major in History prepares students for a variety of careers, including:

Acting

  • Steve Carrell
  • Sacha Baron Cohen
  • Janeane Garofalo
  • Ellen Barkin
  • Katharine Hepburn

Business

  • Martha Stewart
  • Chelsea Clinton (hedge fund manager)
  • Chris Hughes (co-founder of Facebook)
  • Donna Dubinsky (CEO of Palm, Inc.; developed the Personal Digital Assistant [PDA])
  • Samuel Palmisano (CEO of the IBM Corporation)
  • Carly Fiorina (president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard)
  • Howard Stringer (chairman and CEO of the Sony Corporation)
  • Richard B. Fisher (chairman of Morgan Stanley)
  • Lee Iacocca (CEO of Chrysler)
  • Charles Sennott (co-founder and vice president of Global News)
  • Ben Silverman (co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and NBC Universal Television Studio)
  • Robert Johnson (CEO of BET TV)
  • James Kilts (CEO of the Gillette Corporation)
  • Charles L. Hill (CEO of Veritas et Lux, president of the Boston Society of Security Analysts)
  • Clemson Smith Muñiz (founder and president of Smith Muñiz Productions, a Spanish-language sports media company)
  • Samuel J. Palmisano (Chief Executive Officer of IBM)
  • Jim Rogers (founder of the Quantum Fund, creator of the Rogers International Commodities Index)

Media

  • Charlie Rose
  • Samantha Power
  • Chris “Boomer” Berman
  • Wolf Blitzer
  • Bill O’Reilly
  • David Brancaccio
  • John Schwarz
  • Ray Suarez
  • Andrés Martinez

Politics

  • Newt Gingrich
  • George McGovern
  • George Mitchell
  • Joe Biden

The Supreme Court

  • Elena Kagan
  • Antonin Scalia
  • Anthony M. Kennedy

And even President of the United States

  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Richard Nixon
  • George W. Bush
  • Dwight Eisenhower

Sources:

Who Knew? Famous History Majors page in the Department of History at Illinois
Some Famous History Majors page in the History Department at Bethel University

For information on History careers, visit the following websites:

History: What Can I Do With This Major?
University of North Carolina Wilmington Career Center: History