Fortunately, the options are far broader than many people think! Indeed, as one of the strong liberal arts disciplines, history provides students with extremely valuable skills that are applicable to a wide range of careers.
Success gaining admission to Education professional certification programs. “I learned skills that were transferable to many fields, especially education. Resourcefulness, researching, formulating a point of view and organizational skills are just a few.” (HIST concentration, 2000)
Success gaining admission to graduate programs. E.g. into M.A. programs at UBC, Simon Fraser, U of Victoria, U of Toronto, McMaster, Carleton, U of Saskatchewan, U of Alberta, Melbourne, TWU
Other: National Aviation Museum (contract work): “My research skills and broad knowledge have allowed me to be successful, respected and influential.” (HIST Minor, 1984)
Experience shows that history students with good grades are very successful in gaining admission to the required professional schools and excelling in those programs and in their chosen careers. E.g. Law schools include: UBC, U of Saskatchewan, U of Toronto, U of Alberta, Carleton
Lawyer, Calgary “TWU’s History Department prepared me for my future career in that it...provided me with the skill to research issues thoroughly and document events and ideas accurately. It gave me a basis to begin critical thinking…” (HIST Concentration, 1994)
Many of our History alumni in these careers speak with enthusiasm about how their history training helped them gain broad knowledge of the world and Important skills which they transferred to other areas of work:
Manager at Canada Space Agency and, more recently, VP of large aviation manufacturer. “The feeling among those who hired me (at Canada Space Agency) was that they wanted someone who could think, write, and understand; the job training itself could come later.” (HIST Major, 1991)
Child protection supervisor and real estate. “I clearly attribute much of my career success to writing skills which were developed while a History major at TWU.” (HIST Major, 1983)
Town councilor, reporter, writer. “Probably the most helpful thing was learning to do research and to communicate the results of that clearly.” (HIST Major 1981)
Member of Senior Writing Team, major American NGO. “Some of the strengths my supervisors have commented on are excellent discernment, research skills and organization.” (HIST Major, 1999)
The positive experience of these TWU alumni regarding the usefulness of their transferable skills confirms the findings of many studies. E.g. “When it comes to skills, firms want employees who can think critically, read and write well, do research, do math, communicate well, learn quickly and work in teams.” Business Council of British Columbia (2000). Millennium Survey Report.