A major in History also provides students with excellent preparation for admission to professional schools and the pursuit of careers in any field where research experience, analytical skills, and good writing are important. The skills that history majors hone are sought after by a variety of employers. Many of our graduates pursue teacher certification programs for secondary education, or go on to pursue careers in research, communications, information management, law, social services, government, and business.
Potential careers for trained historians are as exciting as they are varied.
A list of occupations currently held by Penn State Behrend’s history alumni include:
Historians as Educators
- Assistant Professor of History, Penn State Greater Allegheny
- Admissions Counselor, Penn State Behrend
- Assistant Principal, Shenandoah County Public Schools
- Social Studies Teacher-Secondary Ed., Shaler Area School District
Historians in Public History
- Executive Director, DuPage County Historical Museum
- Museum Educator II, Drake Well Museum (PHMC)
- Interpretive Manager, Delaware State Parks
Historians as Information Managers
- Electronic Records Archivist, SC Dept. of Archives and History
- Director of Library & Research Services, Duane Morris, LLP
- Historians in the Military
- Intelligence Officer, U.S. Army
- Budget Analyst, Department of the Navy
Historians in Government
- Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Field Representative, U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey, Jr.
- Superintendent, National Park Service
Historians as Advocates
- Attorney, Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian
- Caseworker, Erie County
Historians in Business
- Director of Development, EmergyCare
- Commercial Underwriter III, Erie Insurance Group
- Owner, Patty's Place, Pittsburgh Antique Mall
- Owner, Lancaster Custom Construction, Inc.
Others go on to law school or graduate school, completing M.A. and Ph.D. programs in history, anthropology, political science and museum management. Graduate and professional schools recently attended by Penn State Behrend’s history program alumni include the University of Delaware, University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University, Marquette University, Michigan State University, Duquesne University, West Virginia University, SUNY Buffalo, University College London, and Scotland's University of Edinburgh.
Learn more about career opportunities for history majors on the American Historical Association website.
Penn State Behrend strongly encourages students to complete at least one internship. Internships offer useful, real-life work experience and an opportunity to "try out" careers in public history fields such as records management, historical preservation, historical writing, and museum work. Internships provide students with the chance to make professional contacts, build their resume, and gain hands-on public history experience by interning with a history-related institution. A number of students have found jobs at the institution in which they interned.
A wide variety of institutions have offered internship opportunities to Behrend students in recent years: Behrend College Archives, Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg, VA), Drake's Well Museum (Titusville, PA), Erie County Historical Society and Museums (Erie, PA), Erie Maritime Museum (Erie, PA), Erie Insurance Corporate Archives (Erie, PA), Harborcreek Historical Society (Harborcreek, PA), John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh, PA), Meadowcroft Historical Museum and Village (Avella, PA), Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), U.S. State Department (Washington, D.C.), and the Warren County Historical Society (Warren, PA).
An internship coordinator in the Academic and Career Planning Center is available to help students find a placement that fits their needs and interests, and the History program chair maintains a list of history-related internships.
Your Career Starts Here
Penn State Behrend has a comprehensive support system to help you identify and achieve your goals for the classroom and beyond. Meet with your academic adviser often and take advantage of the services offered by the Academic and Career Planning Center beginning in your first semester.
Employers Are Looking For You!
A Wall Street Journal survey of 479 corporate recruiting executives across thirty industries ranked Penn State the number-one overall institution in the nation for producing the best prepared, most well-rounded new hires.