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Soft Skills Are ​Career Skills

The World Economic Forum surveyed 371 companies around the world and asked them the ten essential skills workers will need by 2020. Their answers are listed below:

  • Complex problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity
  • People management
  • Coordinating with others
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Service orientation
  • Negotiation skills
  • Cognitive flexibility

In other words, HISTORY teaches the skills required for career success. The World Economic Forum “concluded that human skills like originality, initiative, and critical thinking are likely to increase in value as technology and automation advances.”2 Similarly LinkedIn reported that strengthening soft skills “is one of the best investments you can make in your career, as they never go out of style. Plus, the rise of AI is only making soft skills increasingly important, as they are precisely the type of skills robots can’t automate. That’s why 57% of senior leaders today say soft skills are more important than hard skills.”

Career Skills Lead to Positive Career Outcomes

Despite the stereotype that history and other humanities majors are “useless majors,” the skills you acquire as a history major can also lead to amazing career paths in a wide range of well-paying occupations. For young people (aged 25-34) in the US, the unemployment rate of those with a humanities degree is 4%. An engineering or business degree comes with an unemployment rate of a little more than 3%.

According to the New York Federal Reserve Bank’s 2019 Labor Market study, history majors earn a mid-career median salary of $66,000 a year, which is roughly $22,000 higher than the national median salary for those who have received a Bachelor’s degree.

  • Historians as Entertainers

    • Comedian
    • Actor
    • Documentary Filmmaker

    Historians as Business-People

    • Banking
    • Market Research Analyst
    • Human Resources Specialist
    • Public Relations Specialist
    • Social Media Managers

    Historians as Information Managers

    • Curator
    • Information Managers
    • Records Management
    • Librarian
    • Archivist

    Historians as Advocates

    • Lawyer
    • Public Policy Analyst
    • Legislative Staff
  • Historians as Educators

    • Elementary School Teachers
    • Middle School Teachers
    • Secondary School Teachers
    • College Professors

    Historians as Researchers

    • Historian
    • Political Scientist
    • Archeologist
    • Policy Analyst
    • City Planners
    • Museum Educator

    Historians as Writers and Editors

    • Broadcast Journalists
    • Print Journalist
    • Editor
    • Writer

Potential Career Options

Click on any job title to learn more.

Job Title Typical Education Median Wage
Actors Bachelor's Degree $47,647
Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists Bachelor's Degree $63,445
Historians Bachelor's Degree $69,085
Human Resources Specialists Bachelor's Degree $67,433
Public Relations Specialists Bachelor's Degree $61,612
Curators Master's or Professional Degree $61,966
Public Relations and Fundraising Managers Bachelor's Degree $135,463
Administrative Services Managers Bachelor's Degree $107,539
Management Analysts Bachelor's Degree $87,151
Librarians Master's or Professional Degree $80,895
Archivists Master's or Professional Degree $67,815
Lawyers Master's or Professional Degree $144,372
Political Scientists Doctoral Degree or more $66,781
Elementary School Teachers Bachelor's Degree $84,747
Middle School Teachers Bachelor's Degree $77,212
Secondary School Teachers Bachelor's Degree $83,127
History Teachers, Postsecondary Master's or Professional Degree $83,660
Archeologists Master's or Professional Degree $61,459
City and Regional Planning Aides Bachelor's Degree $45,769
Tour Guides and Escorts Associate Degree $35,146
Broadcast News Analysts Bachelor's Degree $70,862
Reporters and Correspondents Bachelor's Degree $48,601
Editors Bachelor's Degree $61,569
Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers Bachelor's Degree $57,154