Just about anything.
The history major at Alma is designed to provide a broad preparation suitable for immediate employment in a variety of fields or for attending graduate or professional schools. The skills learned through an education in history—research, ability to sort through volumes of historical data, persuasive writing skills—make history majors excellent candidates for a variety of careers in a plethora of fields, including business, law, advocacy, information management, editing, writing and education.
Across the country, history majors have used their degrees in countless ways. Many of them have worked in surprising careers, becoming comedians (Conan O’Brien and Steve Carell), chefs (Julia Child), entrepreneurs and CEOs of major companies (James Kilts, Gillette; Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard; Chris Hughes, Facebook; Donna Dubinsky, Palm, Inc.), writers (Ayn Rand, Malcolm Gladwell), television anchors (Chris Berman, ESPN; Wolf Blitzer, CNN), Nobel prize winners (Robert Fogel, economics; Eric Kandel, physiology), physicians (Louis R. Caplan), scholar-activists (W.E.B. DuBois, Henry Louis Gates), congressmen (Newt Gingrich, George McGovern), Supreme Court justices (Sonia Sotomayor, Antonin Scalia), and presidents of the United States (Franklin D. Roosevelt, George W. Bush).
Likewise, at Alma, the history major has taken students in a variety of directions. Read here about how one Alma alumnus used his degree in history.
Many of our history majors elect to earn an elementary or secondary teaching certificate. Please see the Requirements & Courses page for information on the curriculum you should follow for the History teaching major. For inquiries regarding the Social Studies teaching major, please consult the Education Department.
Summer internships provide an excellent way to explore possible careers. See the links below for information regarding internships offered by historical organizations:
The American Historical Association offers a detailed guide regarding career paths for history majors:
The following article, written by a psychologist, offers a thoughtful reflection on career opportunities for history majors:
Lastly, this article explores some ways in which a variety of liberal arts majors have used their education in surprising ways: