Career Development Resources

The History Department at MSU is committed to offering our graduate students a well-rounded education. While History students have long enjoyed success securing academic positions, the Department seeks to go beyond preparing students only for the professoriate. This ethic is especially important given the paucity of academic opportunity now and in the foreseeable future. Towards this end, the department has long sought to explore and embed non-academic opportunities in the graduate curriculum. In the past three years, for example, community partners such as the Michigan History Center and the Lansing State Journal have become institutions where history graduate students have interned and continue to intern.

In 2018, the MSU History Department was awarded the Career Diversity Implementation Grant by the American Historical Association (AHA). Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and administered by the AHA, the program will support two years of programming at over 20 departments across the United States, including ours. Over the following two years, as a participating department, the History Department worked to embed, institutionalize, and expand non-academic job opportunities as part of the graduate curriculum. We used the grant to further explore and cement partnerships with community partners, create curricular additions in the form of regular workshops to be conducted by community partners and develop further internship opportunities with a broad range of organizations. We also created the position of Graduate Professionalization Coordinator, and now every year a faculty member leads workshops on important professional issues, including pedagogy, publishing, searching for job opportunities in and out of the academy.  

As professionals trained to balance multi-variate contexts, sources, and vantage points, historians bring valuable skills to any profession they may choose, from journalism to entrepreneurship. Our own alumni have secured positions in university presses, university administration, and in a variety of cultural and civic institutions. In the MSU History Department, we believe that career diversity needs to be embedded in pedagogy of graduate education to truly make our well-rounded and competitive candidates in whatever professions they choose to seek.

Additional Resources:

AHA Resources: 

The AHA’s Career Diversity Resources page contains important information on where History PhDs work today, career outcomes for History PhDs in the recent and not-so-recent-past, as well as strategies to begin thinking about career diversity for historians. 

MSU Graduate School:  

The Graduate school has a professional development page which contains links to career planning, teaching, and mentoring, among other things. 

The career planning page has a list of resources for career planning and development. 

The events calendar of the Graduate School contains updated information about upcoming workshops and events. 

Non-MSU Resources: 

ImaginePhD is a career development tool that helps students at any point in their career evaluate their skill sets and possible job families, inside and outside academia. 

Beyond the Professoriate is a website that contains information for PhDs by other PhDs themselves. The website is useful for scholars across fields. 

Job Boards: 

AHA Career Center  

National Council on Public History job board 

Society of American Archivists Career Center  

United States Government Jobs  

American Alliance of Museums job board   

Association of University Presses job board  

Journalism jobs