History graduates have skills in analysing, interpreting and presenting complex historical information and data that they use in a wide range of work settings.
History students use their critical analysis and written communication skills to interpret historical events, trends and documents. They gain knowledge of specific historical periods and apply common themes and outcomes with past and present social, political and environmental issues.
Roles and career pathways
History graduates work in a wide range of roles that involve critical analysis, research, interpreting and a high standard of written communication. Government ministries employ graduates in policy, stakeholder relations, communications and in research analyst and advisory roles. First roles for graduates with undergraduate degrees may be in an administration or coordination role before progressing to an adviser or senior adviser in a policy team. History graduates also work as web content writers, journalists, programme coordinators, customer service managers, parliamentary researchers or education faculty administrators.
Postgraduate study in History such as an Honours or Master’s degree is helpful for a number of intermediate to senior policy and research roles or for positions as archivists or librarians where specialised, in-depth analysis is important. To work as an Historian extensive postgraduate research is normally required. For more information on professional historians’ work, see the PHANZA website. For students looking to work in the museum sector, a Master’s degree in Museum and Heritage studies is a popular choice as it includes an internship as a component of the course.
Adding another subject such as Economics, Art History, Politics, Public Policy, Social Policy, Pacific or Māori Studies or completing a conjoint degree in Law can help broaden your employment options. Completing a postgraduate diploma in secondary teaching (limited entry) may lead to roles teaching History and at least one other subject at secondary level.
Where History graduates work
History graduates work across the private and public sectors. They may work in history-related environments such as museums, archives or libraries as well as in non-profit organisations and government departments.
Recent History graduates have worked in organisations such as:
- Wellington City Libraries
- Ministry of Justice—Office of Treaty Settlements
- Ministry of Justice—Waitangi Tribunal
- Department of Internal Affairs
Build relevant skills and experience
Part-time work and volunteering during study all help to increase your job prospects when you graduate. The WFHSS Internship course run by the Wellington Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences helps develop practical workplace experience. Programmes such as Wellington Plus and Wellington International Leadership Programme (WILP) offer opportunities to gain diverse volunteer and leadership experience.
Make career connections
Making connections with individuals and groups during your degree can help your learn more about career and networking opportunities.
The Stout Centre for New Zealand Studies is an established institute based at the University and offers a range of seminars for students interested in this area. The New Zealand Historical Association offers discounted student membership. Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Wellington Young Professionals also offers various events and opportunities for networking. The Alumni as Mentors scheme also helps enhance your connections and employability while studying.