Do you ever wonder what you can do with your history degree after university?

This is a very common question for students of history. While we know there is great value in patiently dissecting the past, we sometimes worry about how the skills we have attained while studying history will translate into a job. Fortunately, historians today have more options than ever before. See, for example, the Canadian Historical Association’s blog on History careers.

No matter what path you choose, as a historian, your skills are transferable. Studying history gives you the ability to think critically, develop a cogent and structured analysis, find patterns and assess evidence, and communicate in written and oral form. These abilities will serve you well in any career. Moreover, these are qualities that employers look for. When searching for a job after university, play up the abilities you’ve gained as a historian. You won’t regret it.

Our graduates have gone on to pursue successful careers in a variety of fields, including:

  • Banking
  • Insurance
  • Law
  • University Teaching
  • Public Administration
  • Primary and Secondary School Education
  • Hospitality Management
  • Journalism
  • Library Sciences
  • Archives Management
  • Museology

Testimonial from Duncan Crabtree

Interview with Jessica Rider ‘18

Jessica Rider ’18
Graduated with a Double Major in History and Fine Arts

What are you doing for work currently and how has the history program helped you?

Jess: “I work as a Proposal Manager within the Strategic Business Development branch of an IT recruitment firm. My job is equal part project management and proposal development, I manage and write proposals in order to win contracts to grow my company’s business. We need contracts in place so we can place IT consultants at our client sites. The history program gave me transferable skills that help me in my current position daily:

  • How to synthesize mass amounts of information into coherent and compelling arguments.
  • How to manage multiple projects concurrently. Having multiple papers and exams due around the same time meant I had to plan out how I was going to complete the research and different phases of my work; I do the same now but with multiple business proposals.
  • How to research (and the importance of it). In my studies I learned through research that sometimes my original argument wasn’t correct and would have to amend my stance. The same happens during proposal development.”

Any plans for the future?

Jess: “I would like to go back to school for Project Management or Law sometime in the next 3-5 years.”

How do we prepare students to succeed?

At the History Department we pride ourselves in providing our students with a rigorous education that hones the critical, communication and analytical skills that are in demand in a variety of careers. In fact, in a 2015 evaluation of all departments at Bishop’s conducted by an external firm, History ranked 2nd overall in student satisfaction with learning these critical thinking and communication skills as well as working well with others, understanding people of other backgrounds and being an informed citizen.

Our program focuses on building these transferable student competencies over different course levels that consciously prepare you for our capstone courses: a series of small seminars which are structured in the same way and with similar requirements to what students can expect to find in Masters-level seminars. Our seminars, thus, combine high expectations and a great deal of support for individual students. Our graduates have often expressed how helpful these seminars were in providing them with the communication and analytical skills to succeed in any educational or career environment.

Finally, the History Department has a track record of optimally preparing our students for graduate or professional studies. Not only have we been very successful in placing our students in the top graduate schools in Canada, but many of them have been awarded with entrance scholarships in their respective institutions or even prestigious federal government graduate scholarships.

Ultimately, we know what skills you need to succeed and we know how to help you build, practice, and hone these skills in a supportive environment.