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What Can I Do With A Major In Public History?

As a Public History student, you will learn the field's foundations, methods, theories, and ethics through study of museums, historic preservation, heritage tourism, and oral history. You'll learn how to develop and write for exhibitions, interpretive programs, digital archives, grants, and preservation projects. Course projects include digitizing historical photographs and documents, collecting oral histories, surveying audience engagement, creating physical and virtual exhibits, and writing history curriculum and programming for museums and historic sites. You'll be actively engaged in academic and community projects.

Possible Career Options

(Some may require further education/specialization)

Aquarium Curator
Archaeological Technician
Architectural Historian
Archivist
Author
Book Conservator
Community Coordinator
Consultant
Curator
Digital Collections Manager
Education Coordinator
Elementary/Secondary Teacher
Freelance Writer
Fundraising Manager
Genealogist
Historian
Historic Preservationist
Historic Site Administrator
Historical Archivist
History Consultant
Interpreter
Lawyer
Librarian
Media Producer
Museum Marketing Coordinator
Museum Preserver
Oral History Coordinator
Outreach Historian
Preservation Architect
Professor
Project Coordinator
Repatriation Specialist
Researcher
Reservations Agent
Resident Living History Caretaker
Tour Guide
Transcriber
Volunteer Manager

Types of Employers

Advertising Agencies
Archives
Banks
Book/Magazine Publishing Companies
Churches
Civic Organizations
Colleges/Universities
Community Arts Centers
Community Organizations
Consulting Firms
Cultural Organizations
Educational Institutions
Environmental Organizations
Foundations
Government Agencies
Historic Sites
Historical Societies
K-12 School Systems
Law Firms
Libraries
Magazines
Media Corporations
Medical Offices
Museums
National Parks and Services
Newspapers
Political Organizations
Professional Associations
Public Archaeologist
Public Interest Groups
Public Relations Firms
Radio/TV Companies
Research Facilities
Research Firms
Tourism Organizations

Transferrable Skills

Weighs out the options in a situation or problem and logically chooses the best course of action

Pays attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made

Determines how much money is required to get a job done, allocating those monies, and then accounting for all expenditures

Assigns duties to others, motivating them, and evaluating their performance

Allocates and budgets time for different tasks to ensure things get done when needed

Understands complex written paragraphs, instructions or reports

Uses logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems

Comfortable giving speeches or speaking in a group to convey information, explain ideas or give instructions

Composes and communicates ideas in written form

 

Experiential Education

Create and design exhibits

Manage projects and people in a museum setting

Work with records for a library

Write articles for a historical society

Develop a web-cast about public history

Work with children at a museum camp

Preserve museum materials

Organize cultural events for the community

Manage a historical site

Find local archaeological programs

Volunteer with tourism venues and/or libraries

Professional Associations

American Alliance of Museums,
aam-us.org

American Association for State and Local History,
aaslh.org

American Cultural Resources Association,
acra-crm.org

American Historical Association,
historians.org

Association of Academic Museums and Galleries,
aamg-us.org

Florida Public Archaeology Network,
flpublicarchaeology.org

National Council on Public History,
ncph.org

Society of American Archivists,
archivists.org

Enhancing Your Employability

Take additional coursework in Communications, Journalism, and Radio/Television/Film

Join relevant student organizations to develop leadership skills

Participate in internships and field experience placements

Participate in a study abroad trip

Become active in alumni and/or mentor networks

Source: PublicHistory.org