The career choices available to History graduates are broad. The proficiencies gained during a History degree are applicable across a wide range of sectors, including Finance, Management, Retail and more, which means it is up to graduates to decide which kind of career they want to pursue.
While History degrees are typically non-vocational, with no direct career path after graduation, they do provide graduates with a host of versatile and useful skills, such as cross-referencing, writing and research techniques. The key is to know how to sell these competencies in CVs, covering letters and interviews.
Graduates should think about how best to highlight their areas of expertise. They can begin by closely reading job descriptions and thinking of examples from their own experiences during their studies which demonstrate that they have the desired skills.
Source HECSU - What do graduates do? 2013.
Taking Stock of Skills
History graduates have a wide range of skills to offer employers:
Analysis - Reading historical texts helps graduates develop the ability to comprehend large amounts of information and extract key details to apply to specific situations, an approach which is useful in almost any profession.
Communication - Good communication is vital for employment. History graduates excel at writing and presenting to a high standard, indicating that they are able to come into a new work environment and articulate themselves in a professional and appropriate manner. This is relevant across many fields, from Consultancy to Management to Sales.
Intelligent Insight - History graduates are able to take a large amount of data and compile thoughtful and intelligent reports, presentations or recommendations. This is a valuable skill across many sectors, where the ability to notice and highlight trends or anomalies, and provide insight on them, is essential.
Research - Research is important for many jobs, and after three years of independent study, History graduates are especially strong in this regard. Graduates should not underestimate the value of their ability to conduct research and work independently.
Prioritisation - The ability to balance different avenues of work, and recognise each individual part and its effect on others, is a talent which History graduates should be proud they have mastered. Whether it is working through a list of tasks or compiling work, the ability to prioritise is something which makes History graduates stand out.