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Jobs and Careers in History - Columbus State University

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Department of History, Geography, and Philosophy

Jobs and Careers in History

A degree in history offers a wide variety of job and career opportunities ranging from teaching to business, from journalism to law school, from working in libraries/archives to museums. For an overview, see “What can you do with an undergraduate degree in history?” by the American Historical Association. See also the AHA blog on “Entering the job market with a BA in History.”

Indeed, a degree in history offers a wide range of skills that can be applied very broadly. Career coaching webpages such as My Plan, One Day One Job, and Career Planning stress the versatility and usefulness of degrees - like ours - which build advanced critical and writing skills.

The CSU Center for Career Development also assists students and alumni with their career development needs.

Jobs and Careers in Geography

Geography is a broad field (including physical and human geography). There are many different types of jobs open to geographers. To help focus on the variety of jobs geographers are prepared for, explore the following sites:

The Association of American Geographers (AAG) provides support and an online job board for geographers.

The Role of GIS in Your Career

If you are seeking a job upon graduation from CSU or graduate school, geospatial practices taught in GIS (Geographical Information Science) courses opens many doors. These courses combine academic knowledge, technical skills, and real world application to prepare you to practice GIS. The U.S. Department of Labor has identified geospatial technology as an area of high job growth and pay.

In short: learning GIS pays.

When geospatial practices are combined with other disciplinary skills the combinatorial job market is broad. Geospatial skills augment disciplinary skills in ways employers frequently deem valuable. For example, geospatial practices augment skills for those seeking jobs as computer systems analysts, operations research analysts, atmospheric and space scientists, geoscientists, hydrologists, sociologists, urban and regional planners, political scientists, forest conservationists, environmental scientists.

Some of the statistics on job prospects and salary are exciting:

  • Geoscientists earn a median wage of $57,440 per year (2012) and the growth rate is projected at 20% over 10 years (faster than the national average job growth rate).
  • Geographers have a median pay of $74,760 with 29% projected growth making it a profession growing faster than the average rate.
  • Combining GIS skills with the study of physical aspects of the Earth, results in a 2012 median pay of $90,890 and a projected growth rate of 16% over 10 years.
  • A search of Foster & Kahan ( (October 17, 2014), returned 282 entry level GIS jobs advertised of which:
    • 168 had salary estimates in excess of $60,000;
    • 665 GIS Technician jobs of which 288 had estimated salaries in excess of $60,000;
    • 738 GIS Specialist jobs with 485 in excess of $60,000;
    • 1,142 GIS Analysts jobs with 764 in excess of $70,000;
    • 1,808 GIS Managers jobs with 1,200 in excess of $70,000.
  • The Federal Geographic Data Committee's (FGDC) "National Spatial Data Infrastructure Strategic Plan 2014 – 2016 (PDF)" cites a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study that geospatial technologies employ approximately 500,000 people in the United States.
  • Geospatial Information and Technology Association (GITA) report states the sector has been growing by 35% per year (Federal Geographic Data Committee, 2013).

Internship Opportunities

There are a number of opportunities in Columbus, the Chattahoochee Valley, and Georgia as a whole that CSU students can take advantage of. This includes work with the Columbus Museum, the Carter Center, the "Little White House"/Roosevelt Institute, the National Infantry Museum, Port Columbus, Andersonville National History Site, and much more.

Additionally, the department is currently in the process of creating a new course on "applied history," taking aspects of public history and the practical skills of historians and combining them with the work done in our communities.

For more information on all of these internships, and for opportunities to earn academic credit, contact:
Dr. Doug Tompson, Chair of the Department of History and Geography
Phone: 706-507-8350

Are you a historical organization (archive, museum, park, or something else) that would like to connect with our department and, ideally, our students? Please take the time to get in touch - we would would love to hear from you.

Undergraduate Research Grants (SRACE)

Columbus State University invites applications from undergraduate students for funding for Student Research and Creative Endeavors (SRACE). These grants can be used to support individual student projects, fund conference travel, and much more. Please see here for more information on the application process.

Ask Cody

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