Careers: Why You Should Choose History As Subject

Shreeprakash Sharma

 “Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.”-Oscar Wilde, the great Irish poet and dramatist

Unlike other subjects of Humanities, history is usually underestimated, especially when it comes to the matter of making it as a career option, that too, considering the shrinking availability of employment opportunities across the nations in the world. But the reality is not so deplorable and the scenario is not as ugly as it is presented because with the fast rush of globalization in the 21st century’s world of today, the contour of employment opportunities and overall scenario of career options for the candidates with the higher degrees in the subject of history have unbelievably undergone an array of tremendous changes. Recently a host of avenues of jobs have unfolded in various sectors of the employment market. A variety of other job opportunities have also been cropped up even in those segments which were considered as unconventional until now.


Any XII passed candidate can take admission in 3-year-graduate course with history as a major. Thereafter the aspirants can apply for 2-year- post graduation course programme and further also go for Doctor in Philosophy. The job opportunities for the candidates with degrees of graduates, post graduates, Master in philosophy and Ph.D in history are available, inter alia, in educational institutes, government organizations, corporate organizations and following other segments-

IMPORTANT INSTITUTES FOR THE STUDY OF HISTORY- Select premier institutes in India reputed for offering quality education in history are:

1. Lady Shri Ram College for Women (LSR), Delhi

2. Loyola College, Chennai

3. St. Stephen’s College, Delhi

4. Miranda House, Delhi

5. Fergusson College, Pune

6. BHU, Varanasi,

7. Sophia College for Women, Mumbai.

8. Symbiosis College of Arts and Commerce, Pune


Over the past a few decades have seen a host of changes in the job prospects of an aspirant with history as a main subject at their graduation and post graduation level –


An aspirant can work as an educator at elementary and secondary schools for which master in the subject and B.Ed and M.Ed degrees are essential. He can also work as associate professor in colleges and universities with NET qualification and a Ph.D degree.. An aspirant with history subject can also work as a historical consultant, archivists, docent, curators, guides, interpreters and filmmakers.


There is a beautiful analogy between the study of history and that of law. In both the streams of human discipline, what one requires is the skill of argument and trying best to stick to ones position through the presentation of various datas, facts and figures. And that is why it is often said that a good historian makes a good advocate. With the professional degrees of law such as LLB and LLM and with the skill of good communication power after completing the master in history may pave the path of a good career in the domain of law.


While working in a company, a history candidate deals with the avalanche of datas and information and he holds the post at par with that of the CEO of the organization. On the basis of vital information, he takes decision whether a particular project or programme proposed would succeed or not and that is why he is reckoned as the think-tank of a company. In the capacity of information manager he is assigned with the responsibility of maintaining the records of various updated documents and disseminating information among the various stakeholders of the organization.


History is the subject of going deep into the finding of the realities and analysing the things in right perspective. In this context, a historian can make a good start of his career in the planning and policy making of the various government sectors. In this capacity, a candidate with history as a main subject may get employment as researchers in a museum and various organisations.


The study of the various policies of the rulers and dynasties enables a history aspirant excel at skill and much-needed talent of establishing a business house and successfully running it. This history graduate may also find the lucrative jobs in banking and insurance sector. Choosing the job as the stock analyst has of late appeared to be another beautiful option for a history graduate and post graduate.


It is generally found that history graduates and post graduates are very good at writing articles which appeal to the readers. They also prove to be very good debater, communicator and orator. So, after graduation and post graduation in history, the candidates may also opt for various jobs in media, marketing, communications and advertising.


The Civil Services Examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission has been one of the favourite career options for the history graduates. The reasons for this choice are not without wisdom. Answering the questions of General Study’s papers of the UPSC examinations becomes much easier for the history graduates and thus they get through the examinations without having put some extra efforts which other candidates without history as a major subject at graduation level have to.


The Archaeological Survey of India offers a two-year post graduate diploma in archaeology. The name of institute is- The Institute of Archaeology, New Delhi. Besides, the Xavier’s College, Mumbai also offers Master degree in Ancient Indian History, Culture and Archaeology. After the doctorate degree in history, a candidate can opt for specialization in archaeology of civilization of a particular country. The Archaeological Survey of India provides a lot of employment opportunities in the form of an archaeologist.


The main job of an archivist is to sustain the history, its relics, remnants, architecture, heredity, civilization, culture, dance, art, music, cinema, literature and various other records of glorious legacy of a nation. For the career as an archivist one needs to have Master and doctorate degrees in conservation and musicology which are offered by the National Museum Institute, New Delhi. With this degree history candidate can get employment opportunities ranging from the post of Director to the Curator in all the museums across the country.


History as a subject in India is vulnerable to an array of changes, especially with the change of the government at the centre or the states. And so there is ever-growing need of history book writers for the students of different level, especially in the wake of fast changing global phenomena. If a candidate is very much skilled in interpreting, analysing and correlating the various facts and information- he can go for a very bright career of writing history books which a number of publishing houses are always in search of.


During the historical period people took barter system for the exchange of the commodities they required in their day-to-day life. But with the fast growth of civilization, money has virtually evolved to be the incarnation of God for entire gamut of exchanges.

The story of how development and evolution of money became possible can prove to be a brilliant avenue of career for the candidates with history as a main subject and postgraduate degree in numismatics and epigraphy. One may also opt for numismatist whose main job is dealing with studying currencies of different periods as well as different countries. One can also choose the career as an epigraphist who deciphers the languages, inscriptions, signs and symbols written on the artefacts, coins and various other objects of historical importance.

Who can deny that history as a major has now been proving as the golden passport of entry into the world of jobs and career options which can provide the candidates the much-expected name, fame and fortune? But for this what is most important for the candidates is staying updated with the various recent developments and the challenges in the economy, polity, religion, languages, cult, culture, life styles and various other rituals of the mankind and civilizations of the nations across the world.

The author is Principal Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Mamit (Mizoram) and can be reached at [email protected]

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