Careers and Employability Service

What can I do with my degree in History?

Skills gained

As well as their subject-specific knowledge and skills, a graduate in History will typically:

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  • demonstrate command of a substantial body of historical knowledge
  • understand how people have existed, acted and thought in the context of the past
  • read and use texts and other source materials critically and empathetically
  • appreciate the complexity and diversity of situations, events and past mentalities
  • recognise there are ways of testing statements and that there are rules of evidence which require integrity and maturity
  • reflect critically on the nature and theoretical underpinnings of the discipline
  • marshall an argument, be self-disciplined and independent intellectually
  • express themselves orally and in writing with coherence, clarity and fluency
  • gather, organise and deploy evidence, data and information
  • analyse and solve problems
  • use effectively ICT, information retrieval and presentation skills
  • exercise self-discipline, self-direction and initiative
  • work with others and have respect for others’ reasoned views
  • work collaboratively and participate effectively in group discussions
  • show empathy and imaginative insight.

(Based on the Higher Education Academy Employability Profiles)

Studying History therefore develops a wide range of transferable skills, which are important in many career fields. Understanding and analysis of issues and events are of key importance to historians and can be applied in many other fields of work. Other skill areas that can be developed through studying history include:

Historians develop excellent skills of analysis, frequently assessing multiple and often conflicting sources before condensing opinions into concise, well-structured prose.

Graduates are able to demonstrate self-motivation and the ability to work independently, demonstrating to potential employers that you respond positively to various challenges, that you can work to tight schedules, and that you can manage heavy workloads.

(source)

This is not an exhaustive list of skills - you will develop many skills from your course, extra-curricular activities and work experience. You can find out more about the skills employers look for and how you can develop them here.

 

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Last Updated: 10/09/2019