How to Sell Your History Degree

Alex Indovina
7 min readOct 10, 2020
If thinking about your career path has you looking like this, you’re in the right place. (Photo creds @jeshoots, unsplash.com)

History is one of the most valuable, overlooked degrees by employers and its students. Whether you’re a recent graduate, current student, or a lost historian (bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD), you need to know how to sell your degree.

It ain’t easy to do. If you’re a student like I was, you’re overstressed, on the verge of your 3rd nervous breakdown, and slugging down your 5th bottle of wine. Thinking about marketing your degree or future career choices is likely the last thing on your mind. That’s to say nothing of the stresses the pandemic’s probably causing.

From a recent history graduate to you, then, I offer you 6 tips on how to sell your degree and land your first gig. Try working on at least one tip a day. It’ll save you stress in the long run –believe me — and hopefully will give you a step-up in the battle-royal job market.

1. Know the skills you’re training

Historians are a soft skill goldmine. Just think: what do you do on a daily basis? If I were to guess…

  • Lots of writing
  • Synthesizing information
  • Thinking critically about sources/data
  • Arguing about something
  • Clearly communicating what you’ve researched
  • Building your interpersonal skills by understanding different ideologies, cultures, and philosophies
  • And don’t forget: to write any essay worth a damn, you have to keep your sources organized, and adapt to new information.

“Okay, but how is that gonna get me a job?” you might say. Take a look at some of the top attributes employers seek in a candidate, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Analytical/quantitative skills
  • Communication skills (written and oral)
  • Detail-oriented
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational abilities
  • Flexibility/adaptability

Historians match up well to what employers look for, I’d say. Looking at the list, I’m sure you could find other skills you feel apply to you, too. Just remember not to…

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Alex Indovina

Just your average dude with a master’s in history who enjoys writing, huskies, and cheap wine.