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    Careers In History: Fields, Job Roles, And More

    By Srividya
    3 Oct'22  8 min read
    Careers In History: Fields, Job Roles, And More
    Synopsis

    Imagine knowing how humans and civilisation evolved to their current form and structure. Imagine being a person who can see what is presently transpiring in the world and connect the dots to how events unfolded in the past? Do you sense in yourself having an inclination towards careers in history? If yes, read on to know more.

    Careers In History: Fields, Job Roles, And More
    Synopsis

    Imagine knowing how humans and civilisation evolved to their current form and structure. Imagine being a person who can see what is presently transpiring in the world and connect the dots to how events unfolded in the past? Do you sense in yourself having an inclination towards careers in history? If yes, read on to know more.

    Good understanding of history helps you connect and draw inferences from the past to the present and understand the possible reasons for wars, conflicts, and alliances. As a student, do you sometimes wonder about how the war in Ukraine started and what were the reasons for the tension brimming between Ukraine and Russia? Do topics like the French Revolution make you sit up and wonder about the challenges, struggles and stories of the people in those times? Does India’s rich historical heritage and independence struggle remind you of the courage of Indians? Do you sometimes reflect and see what the lessons from history are and how countries and people have connected, waged wars and expanded territories? If you answered “yes” to many of these questions, you may want to consider careers in history. What do students who pursue history do for a career? How do they earn a living and fulfil their passion? What are jobs for history majors? This article shares some ideas and insights on careers in history, some of them woven as stories inspired by real-life examples for history related jobs.

    Historian

    Joanna, mother of a student of Class 9, complains about her son’s preoccupation with History. She states she is perfectly fine with him reading history for his interests, but he must opt for Sciences in Class 11 because history will not offer him a lucrative career. She hopes his interest in visiting historical monuments will somehow convert to a career in architecture. Unfortunately, this is the plight for most students who like history, especially if they are boys, for the problem becomes even more intense due to common gender biases. However, with some financial planning and support Joana’s son could try a career as a historian wherein he could write books, publish articles, be a part of academic teams reviewing or writing textbooks as well as provide researching and editorial assistance. Given his inclination towards careers in history, he could also opt to teach as a guest faculty member at a university and connect with media and cultural centres for projects and assignments. Such a career will be interesting to him; however, it would be unconventional and needs careful financial planning. Well-established historians earn well and live comfortable lives, though the journey in the initial years may be less predictable than teaching careers.

    Also Read | How Can You Turn Your Passion Into Your Profession?

    Archaeologist

    In India, the last few years have seen careful restoration and conservation of archaeological sites and monuments. The Archaeological Society of India has been working to ensure the protection of our historical monuments and heritage. If you are interested in history, love going through artefacts, like outdoor work, have great patience and attention to detail, you might have a great career as an archaeologist. Being an archaeologist is one of the great jobs for history majors. Just a word to add here, is that it helps to be good with numbers as carbon dating requires a good mathematical sense and is essential to the study of historical artefacts and dynasties. The government sector pays better as compared to the private sector for entry-level jobs in India. You can take up both part-time as well as regular employment as an archaeologist. To pursue careers in history as an archaeologist, you can study History at the undergraduate level and pursue a master's degree in Archaeology.

    Continue reading to know more about history jobs.

    Museologist

    Do you like to visit museums of natural history and culture? Do the old paintings, clothes, jewellery of our kings, queens and previous civilisations kindle a deep sense of awe and interest in you? Are you good with your hands, patient and like to work for long hours on an intricate piece of work? If this sounds like you, then a career in museology may be just right for you. To have better jobs for history majors, you could pursue History at the undergraduate level and then proceed to complete a postgraduate degree in Museology.

    Also Read | 8 Promising Careers That Don’t Require A College Degree

    Museum Curator

    Want to know about history jobs? Here's a little about a job as a museum curator. Neeta loves history and art, and she completed a course that qualifies her in both areas. She joined an art gallery in India as an assistant museum curator where she coordinates procurement of dated paintings and artworks for display. She is engaged in organising events and raising funds for the upkeep and maintenance of the museum. She has also learnt a lot about art conservation and assists the conservation team when her workload is less. She finds her job very enriching and engaging as she loves art, the presentation of art and has good coordination and interpersonal skills. That of a museum curator is, thus, one of the interesting careers in history.

    Educator

    Some of the most popular and well-established careers in history are about teaching in schools or colleges. Teaching is a good option if you enjoy connecting with younger minds, have good communication and can narrate chapters like stories. You also need to be good at time management, administration and a few extra-curricular activities like debates, drama etc. so you can enjoy your teaching career. So, if you have an inclination towards teaching then being an educator is one of the great jobs for history majors.

    Teaching At Schools | To teach at the school level, a postgraduate degree in History, along with a B.Ed. from a recognised university will earn you a good teaching job. You need to try and complete your degrees in full-time colleges and attend courses in the more established colleges so you can demand pay as per the revised bands suggested by the government and have better opportunities for careers in history.

    Challenges | Teaching as one of the jobs for history majors can also be a bit challenging, as the narratives often colour a certain dynasty or rules as either ‘good’ or ‘evil’. So, as a school teacher it does become essential for you to provide a balanced perspective so young and impressionable minds are not triggered to develop biases based on caste, religion etc. Hence, a teacher of history needs to be aware of their own biases and keep working to build a balanced perspective. This is critical and can change the narrative and understanding of history and its relevance to any student. Also, make sure you don’t reduce it to memorising dates and names which is the reason people dislike such a beautiful subject.

    Teaching At University | History related jobs as a university-level educator, you have a role to help students understand and read more, and critically analyse for themselves how history unfolded and continues to impact current life through government policies, inter group conflicts, division of power etc. You need to ideally have a doctoral degree in the subject and focus on publishing research papers in your area of focus and interest.

    Continue reading to know more about careers in history and jobs for history majors.

    history career options, professions in history, jobs in history field, history graduate jobs, Careers in history, History jobs, Jobs for history majors, History related jobs, Historian degreeOne Of The Well-Established Careers In History Is That Of A Teacher

    Civil Servant

    Civil servant is another one of the jobs for history majors. Moksha was in her third year of BA(Hons) History. She was also preparing for the civil services exams like most of her friends. She loved History as a subject and found that it equipped her with vast knowledge that helped in the preliminary and mains Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) exams. She knew she was attempting one of the toughest exams in India. She managed her time well and worked in a disciplined way through the year. It took her two attempts to clear the exam and join as an IAS officer. She had given herself a deadline of two years to pass the exam before she moved on to considering other careers in history.

    Library Scientist

    Ankur was a voracious reader who loved to spend time reading. He was a very organised student and would keep his projects and books in good order. He pursued an undergraduate degree in History but wasn’t sure what to do next to get into any of the history jobs. As he sat in his huge university library, he realised he wanted to spend the rest of his life with books. This led him to the idea of pursuing a postgraduate degree in Library Sciences. Now, he is working for one of the leading universities in his city and spends part of his time organising and procuring books and has vast access to reading material and continuous learning. For Ankur, job as a library scientist is a good option, even though many would feel that it offers limited growth opportunities.

    Content Writer & Editor

    Publishing houses that focus on books and publish research papers in areas of social sciences are usually on the lookout for social science postgraduates with good knowledge, writing and editing skills. History graduates and post graduates would find suitable roles as writers and editors.

    Tour Guide

    If you have a flair for showing people around, sharing stories from the past, researching new sites and like to spend your time outdoors, you may want to explore history jobs as tour guides. This is one of the respectable and lucrative careers in history outside of India, especially in countries in the west. Some of the five-star hotels in India may also employ tour guides on a consulting or full-time basis though it may be challenging to pursue this profession in India.

    Other Options

    Apart from those we just discussed, graduates in History can easily pursue history related jobs in journalism, mass communication, law or even teach in coaching centres that help students clear entrance exams like the civil services.

    If you have enterprise and the will to carve careers in history, you will find that many options emerge. You do need to apply yourself and work patiently to grow your passion into a profession.

    Also Read | 10 Important Career Tips For College Students

    Srividya is an Organisational Psychologist, Career, and Personal Growth Coach. She works with teens, parents, adults, and returning professionals, to help them align their personal and professional needs, desires, and overcome personal and professional challenges. She can be reached at www.lifevidya.in.

    • Branches of science
    • Education
    • Science
    • Test (assessment)
    • University
    • History
    • Academic degree
    • Postgraduate education
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