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Careers in History

Resources for History Careers

This list was compiled by Susan Ferentinos, public history manager for the Organization of American Historians, who spoke to our history majors in Spring 2004 and Fall 2005 about careers in history. She can be reached at sue@oah.org.

General Information on Careers in History

  • Careers in History, http://www.historians.org/jobs-and-professional-development. Published by the American Historical Association, this "mini-guide" provides an overview of jobs for historians in education, research, communication, information management, advocacy, and business.
  • National Employment Bulletins, http://www.graduatejobs.com. Nationwide job openings for liberal arts majors, specializing in entry-level jobs. Fee required.
  • Occupational Outlook Handbook, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/. Published by the US Department of Labor, this online resource features hundreds of job profiles, each of which includes a description of duties, a salary forecast, and what training is required. Once you've identified some careers that sound interesting to you, this is a good place to go for more information.
  • Camenson, Blythe. Careers for History Buffs & Others Who Learn from the Past, 2nd. Ed.
  • Degalan, Julie, and Stephen E. Lambert. Great Jobs for History Majors. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001. 2nd ed. ISBN: 0-6580-106-11. The first section of this book offers advice on how to decide what type of historical work you are suited for, as well as tips for networking, resume writing, and interviewing. The second section of the book offers descriptions of particular career paths, including job titles, job descriptions, salary information, and training required.
  • Schulz, Constance, et. Al. Careers for Students of History. Washington DC: American Historical Association, 2002. 64 pages, ISBN: 0-87229-128-6. Available for purchase from the American Historical Association, http://www.historians.org/.

Public History/Museum Studies

  • American Association of Museums, http://www.aam-us.org/. Lists job announcements in the museum field (both art and history museums). While entry-level jobs are not commonly listed, this site provides a glimpse at the type of museum jobs available to someone with a Masters degree.
  • American Association of State and Local History, http://www.aaslh.org/. Professional organization for people working in history museums specifically. Job announcements are available to members only.
  • Museum Employment Resource Center, http://museum-employment.com. Listing of museum studies programs, job announcements.
  • National Association for Interpretation, http://www.interpnet.com. This site offers information on careers in cultural interpretation (of both natural and historical resources), job listings, and a special section of the web site devoted to students.)
  • National Council for Public History, http://www.ncph.org/. The web site for this professional organization features a "resources" section containing a list of graduate programs in public history, internship opportunities, and job announcements. A guide to graduate programs in public history is available for sale in the publications section of the site.
  • Public History Resource Center, http://www.publichistory.org/. A wonderful site offering information on various public history careers, schools offering graduate programs in public history, and resources for finding jobs.

Historic Preservation/ Architectural History

  • Academic Programs in Historic Preservation, http://www.uvm.edu/histpres/ncpe/chart.html. Maintained by the National Council for Preservation Education, this site provides a comprehensive listing of graduate programs in preservation.
  • Preservenet, http://www.preservenet.cornell.edu/. A clearinghouse of information on careers, graduate programs, and internships in historic preservation. Of particular note are the field schools (short-term immersion experiences designed to provide an introduction to preservation work) and scholarships listed under the "education" link.
  • Society of Architectural Historians-Graduate Programs, http://www.sah.org/sahgrad0.html. A listing of which schools in the US have Masters' programs in architectural history. Note that some programs are offered through schools of architecture and others are offered through art history departments.

Library Science/ Archival Management

  • American Library Association, http://www.ala.org. The "Education & Careers" section of this web site provides a thorough overview of careers in library science (including entry level jobs not requiring a Masters), as well as information on choosing a graduate school. The organization also offers some funding for graduate education in library science; information appears in the "Awards & Scholarships" section.
  • Society of American Archivists, http://www.archivists.org. Includes an overview of the archival profession, a directory of archival education, and links to job announcements.

Information Management

  • American Society of Information Science and Technology, http://www.asis.org/. Lists job openings in information management, most of which require substantial computer skills.
  • Directory of Masters Programs in Library and Information Studies, http://www.ala.org/accreditedprograms/directory. Maintained by the American Library Association, this directory lists information science programs connected with library schools.

Research

  • American Cultural Resources Association, http://acra-crm.org. Job announcements, information on getting a summer job in cultural resources management, and a listing of CRM firms employing historians (linked under "Hire a Consultant").
  • Archeology Fieldwork, http://www.archaeologyfieldwork.com/AFW. A list (with links) of CRM companies.

Cultural Tourism/ Downtown Revitalization

  • National Main Street Center, http://www.preservationnation.org/main-street. Administered by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, this site provides more information about these programs throughout the country. Includes listing of state organization, further resources, and job announcements.
  • International Exchange Locator: A Resource Directory for Educational and Cultural Exchange, 2002 ed., ISBN: 0-9656459-1-6. Ordering information available from http://www.alliance-exchange.org.

Volunteer Programs (of which many pay living expenses)

  • Americorps, http://www.americorps.org/. A community service program in the United States, which provides living expenses and help with student loans; requires a one-year commitment.
  • Catholic Network of Volunteer Service, http://www.cnvs.org/. A clearinghouse for full-time, faith-based volunteering opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. Most programs cover living expenses; time commitment varies.
  • International Volunteer Programs Association, http://www.volunteerinternational.org/. A clearinghouse for full-time volunteer opportunities abroad, this site includes tips for finding the right project. Most programs require volunteers to raise the money for their living expenses through donations; length of time commitment varies.
  • Peace Corps, http://www.peacecorps.org/. A federal program providing community service volunteers to underdeveloped countries. Provides living expenses and an end-of-service stipend; 27 month commitment.
  • McMillon, Bill. Volunteer Vacations 2003: Short-Term Adventures that will benefit you and Others. (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2003)

Federal Jobs

  • USA Jobs, https://www.usajobs.gov/. The official site for jobs in the federal government.
  • Troutman, Kathryn. Ten Steps to a Federal Job: Navigating the Federal Job System. (Resume Place, 2002). ISBN: 0-964702-533.