In recent years history graduates have held the following key positions in civil society: Chancellor of the Exchequer, Chair of the BBC Board of Governors, Vice-Chancellor and Chancellor of Oxford University, Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee and head of MI6, Director of the National Criminal Intelligence Service, General Secretary of the TUC, Chairman of Manchester United, Olympic champion and world record holder, and heir to the throne.’
Professor David Nicholls (The Academy of Higher Education), The Employability of History Students, 2005

A History degree is one of the most versatile qualifications you can possibly hold. With a minimal amount of training, history graduates are ideal for jobs in:

  • teaching
  • journalism
  • the Civil Service
  • law
  • criminal investigation
  • archiving
  • libraries

History provides graduates with a wide range of transferable skills. Principally, students develop the ability to understand and analyse issues and events to a high level of competence. Other marketable skills include:

  • a talent for clear expression, both oral and written;
  • putting forward ideas and arguments in a concise manner
  • gathering, investigating and assessing material
  • basing conclusions on research and generating ideas
  • organising material in a logical and coherent way.

To employers who recruit graduates in any discipline, these skills will be more important than the actual subject.

Useful links

CES website – What can I do with my degree in History?

CES website – Library of ‘What can I do with…’ pages – for joint-honours students – in addition to maintaining one of the largest graduate job vacancy databases in the country, Prospects has an invaluable (and free – you just need to register with their website) prospects quiz, which asks you a series of questions about your skills, your personality, and what you like to do, in order to match you with career paths and jobs you might otherwise never have considered.