Resources Index

  • AHA Career Contacts

    Since its launch in early 2015, the AHA’s Career Contacts program has arranged hundreds of informational interviews between current PhD students (junior contacts) and history PhDs (senior contacts) who have built careers beyond the professoriate. Senior contacts work in a variety of fields, including academic administration, non-profit management, public policy, archives and libraries, K-12 teaching, as well as a range of positions in the federal government and private industry.

  • The Career Diversity Five Skills

    The Career Diversity Five Skills were first identified in focus groups of historians with PhDs who found careers beyond traditional academia—five things they hadn’t learned in grad school but that they found they needed in order to succeed beyond the academy. These five skills are also essential to succeeding as professors. They are:

    1. COMMUNICATION, in a variety of media and to a variety of audiences
    2. COLLABORATION, especially with people who might not share your worldview
    3. QUANTITATIVE LITERACY: a basic ability to understand and communicate information presented in quantitative form, i.e., understanding that numbers tell a story the same way words, images, and artifacts do
    4. INTELLECTUAL SELF-CONFIDENCE: the ability to work beyond subject matter expertise, to be nimble and imaginative in projects and plans
    5. DIGITAL LITERACY: a basic familiarity with digital tools and platforms

    This guide presents an introduction to each skill—adapted from posts originally published on AHA Today in Spring 2016—as well as a list of AHA-produced resources that can help develop an understanding of that skill. The resources include blog posts, Perspectives on History articles, video resources, and more.

    Many thanks to our blog authors for their thoughts and to Lindsey Martin, Mellon career development officer at the University of Chicago, who compiled and annotated these resources.

  • Where Historians Work: An Interactive Database of History PhD Career Outcomes

    Based on the ground-breaking "The Many Careers of History PhDs," the AHA has gathered data from more than 30 departments that grant history PhDs. Using this information, we have created the only interactive, discipline-specific, and cross-institutional database of career outcomes for PhDs.

  • Careers for Students of History

    What can I do with a major in history? History is a discipline and a profession with interests, skills, and methods in which they wish to be engaged. This booklet is for those who want to do history.

  • Careers in Public History

    Resources for those interested in finding a career in public history.

  • Data on the History Profession

    Links to data on various aspects of the history profession

  • Resources for Job Candidates and Search Committees

  • Why Become a Historian?

    The more we can learn of the past—of the entire human experience—the better we may be able to survive. In this fundamental task, historians play a central role. Someone needs to continue the work. Why not you?

  • Are You Thinking of a Career in Secondary Schools? A Supervisor's Perspective on Which Candidate to Hire

  • An Option Worth Pursuing: Teaching Opportunities for History Graduate Students in Secondary Schools

  • The Many Careers of History PhDs: A Study of Job Outcomes, Spring 2013

    Earning a phd in history presents a range of choices, starting with questions about where and what to study, and how to pay for the effort. Too often those choices have to be made with a significant amount of guesswork as to their potential outcomes. As part of the American Historical Association’s assessment of careers for those with a history PhD, the authors of this study undertook a detailed analysis of the current employment held by 2,500 history PhDs, all of whom earned their degrees between 1998 and 2009.