Careers as a historian

What is a historian? A historian is a professional who has the responsibilities of analyzing, researching, and interpreting events from the past. They usually use sources from historical documents, government records, photos, or even personal items such as letters and journals. A historian can work in different work atmospheres. Some may work for the federal government, others can museums, archives, or nonprofit organizations.
What are the educational requirements to become a historian? The first thing you will need to do to take the right steps towards becoming a historian is earn a bachelor’s degree in history. While there are some positions that only require a bachelor’s degree, you may find the job prospects to be scarce because many positions will require you to have an advanced degree such as a master’s degree or Ph.D.
It is highly recommended that after college you continue to pursue advanced education. Yes, it can and will take more time, but you will open yourself to many more opportunities as opposed if you settled for a bachelor’s degree in history only. If you want to teach history at some point in your life, you will need to have your Ph.D. in order to do so.
Besides completing a formal education course to becoming a historian, you should aspire to earn some work experience as well. You can do this through an assistantship while you are a graduate student. While working during this period, you will hone and gain the skills that are necessary towards becoming a successful historian.
What are some of the responsibilities of a historian? A historian’s main job is to research. Once they research the information, they need to process it, document it, and communicate their findings. At times they will need to interact with other people from different agencies or organizations in order to further their research. It is important that a historian be comfortable interacting with others but they should also have the ability to work independently as well.
Should you be a historian? Those who have a passion for history may find this to be an exciting career path. Again, it is a lot of research, reading, and analyzing. This means there is a lot of critical thinking, and at times you will need to think out of the box when it comes to figuring out what happened during a particular point of history.
Sources:
1. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3093.00
2. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/historians.htm

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