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 Erie, The Behrend College
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
Dir. of Library & Research Serv., 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, Emergy Care
Commercial Underwriter, III Erie Insurance Group
Owner, Pattys 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 and build their resume. 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.
The Academic and Career Planning Center (ACPC) assists students with career and life planning. You may schedule appointments with the ACPC staff to discuss career interests, skills, values, and goal setting, as well as how to find career information, internships, full-time jobs, and graduate schools. Students are encouraged to utilize the services of the ACPC.