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How to Become a Historian: Guide for Aspiring History Lovers

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how to become a historian


How to Become a Historian: A historian is an academic and researcher who has committed themselves to study past events such as social movements, political milestones, and military conflicts. The important role a historian plays is to give a glimpse of the past by evaluating historical records and conducting field research and also obtaining historical data from libraries, archives, and artifacts, determining the authenticity of historical data, and teaching or researching at universities.

If you’re wondering How to Become a Historian, it’s important to understand the different types of historians which can be of amateur status or professional. Amateur status historians are academics who have studied, read, and researched history at the most basic level without any prior experience in the field. On the other hand, a professional historian is a person who is an expert in the field and has formal education and experience in the field of history or knows how to find and use the source materials and knows how to analyze the available information and convert it into a meaningful written piece. This understanding is crucial when considering How to Become a Historian.

The historian needs to have good communication skills as they have to give presentations on their historical speciality to the public. Historians have also required communication skills when they interview people to collect oral histories, consult with clients, or collaborate with colleagues in their designated work environment.

Historians must be able to Analyse the information and data in historical sources and draw logical conclusions from them, whether the sources are written documents, visual images, or material artefacts.

Historians literally try to answer questions about past memories and history, This may require them to investigate something unknown about a past idea, event, or person, they would also decipher historical information, or identify how the past has affected the present.

It is by far the most obvious skill that a historian may require to keep in their arsenal to be truly great at their profession. Historians must be able to research, analyse and process information from a large number of historical documents, texts, and other sources with ease.

Writing skills are not something historians are known for but they do need it more often than you might think. Writing skills are essential for historians due to the fact that they often present their findings in reports, articles, books and nowadays even podcasts.

Another important skill is paying close attention to the details. One of the most important skills a Historian must possess is the ability to pay attention and be attentive to details.


After the Candidates complete their academic studies or even while they are pursuing their studies, they must attend an internship or training program under a reputed Historian in a museum or on an excavation site. In a history internship, you will gain many important skills in writing, teamwork, organization, accountability, and problem-solving among many others. This is a crucial step on how to become a Historian.

Job Prospects

Archivists also known as curators oversee collections of historical pieces such as art or other items and keep them in good care

Librarians work in a historical library and work to assist with searching for information and also conduct their own research

Paralegals work as legal assistants and assist lawyers by preparing legal documents, investigating facts in a case, and researching past cases. Their work involves research and vast legal knowledge.

High school teachers are responsible for educating students from high school such as from ninth through the twelfth standard, often in more than one subject area, such as English, mathematics, and obviously history.

Editors revise and prepare materials, in a historically accurate way to be published in print and digital media. They often work at newspapers, magazine publications, book publishing houses, and media networks.



Q1: What are the educational requirements to become a Historian?

A1: To become a Historian, candidates need to complete their 10+2 education with a decent percentage of marks, preferably with History as one of the subjects. Subsequently, they must pursue a bachelor's degree in Arts, majoring in History, followed by a master's degree for better career prospects.

Q2: What soft skills are important for a Historian?

A2: Important soft skills for Historians include communication, analytical abilities, problem-solving skills, research skills, writing skills, and attention to detail. These skills help them in presenting historical research, analyzing data, and collaborating with colleagues effectively.

Q3: What are the eligibility criteria for admission into History courses?

A3: Eligibility criteria typically include passing 10+2 with a minimum percentage, usually ranging from 50% to 60%, depending on the institute. Candidates can pursue a bachelor's degree in Arts with History as a major, followed by postgraduate studies for specialization.

Q4: Which are some top colleges offering History courses in India?

A4: Some top colleges offering History courses include IGNOU, MSU Baroda, LPU Jalandhar, Jadavpur University, UNIPUNE, and Integral University. These institutions offer undergraduate, postgraduate, and diploma courses in History.

Q5: What are some job prospects and top recruiters for History Majors?

A5: Job prospects for History Majors include roles such as Archivist, Librarian, Paralegal, High School Teacher, and Editor. Top recruiters include universities, government organizations, national heritage agencies, museums, and research institutions.

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