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‘For Real’: Top Jobs for History Graduates

David Nicholls analyses the potential job market for history graduates.

‘What's the use of that? What sort of job will it get you? Couldn't you do something more useful?' How often has someone said, or implied, something to that effect when you told them you intend to study history at university? What follows will give you the ammunition to answer them. For not only do history graduates enter an extremely wide range of careers, many rise to the very top. As Ali G, just one of many such successful history graduates, might say, 'For real'.

Employment Prospects

Within a few months of leaving university, all but six per cent of history graduates have some form of employment, broadly in line with the average across all degree subjects. These are often temporary jobs that do not require a degree qualification. The main areas of employment six months after graduation are, in descending order: clerical and secretarial; commercial, industrial and public sector managers; retail assistants, catering, waiting and bar staff; business and finance; other professional and technical; marketing, sales, PR and advertising; clerks and cashiers; creative, design and sports professionals; nursing, health and childcare; IT; teaching; armed forces and public profession services; and engineering. However, a history degree is a sound basis for further career development and 30 per cent of its graduates pursue a postgraduate qualification (well ahead of the average of 19 per cent across all subjects) in vocational subjects such as law, accountancy, journalism, librarianship, teaching and IT.

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