If someone majors in political science or international relations or history, what do they end up actually doing as a career?

I've found numerous sites that give the obvious answers what they can do, but to date no site that says what they actual do.

It's all fine and dandy thinking that an International Studies degree will prepare you for a career as a diplomat, but if 95% of graduates end up selling life insurance, or filling out form 2773A-11 for some bureaucracy, I may want to make a different set of choices.

  • I have a bachelor's degree in History and one in Philosophy. I am now assistant professor in Computer Science. Even if you end up doing something that is not directly connected to your humanities degree, they can help you to face a variety of situation, develop some skills, and I like to believe that they can sometimes make you a better human beings. – Clément Apr 21 '18 at 19:09
  • @aparente001 I have reviewed 2638 Closed Votes on Workplace SE. Based on my experience, this question will be closed there for certain. – scaaahu Apr 23 '18 at 5:23

I'm not aware of any large-scale surveys on the topic.

However, many universities conduct regular surveys on their alumni, to understand where they end up working. You can find them on Google. Here is one example from the University of Stockholm on political science alumni:

Public administration, state level (44 percent)

Public administration, local and regional level (14 percent)

Private companies (14 percent)

NGO's (5 percent)

Universities and university colleges (5 percent)

Political party/party organisation (4 percent)

Think tanks (4 percent)

International organisations (EU, UN, etc.) (3 percent)

Media (2 percent).

As you can see, in this particular University, the outcome is indeed what one would expect.


The reason certain courses (engineering, law, medicine) are referred to as 'professional courses' is that they prepare one for a particular profession, and that is the primary goal of the course.
In any other course, it is a good idea to assume that you are being taught various skills, but not necessarily being prepared for a career. To expect a career out of a humanities degree may therefore be misguided. Best to look at it as a stepping stone that could lead you in a multitude of directions.


Although a specific job path for a humanities graduate can be wildly different from person to person. Many jobs in policy, research or marketing are good choices for a well-rounded humanities grad. The degree program is meant to help you learn how to communicate clearly, think critically and make reasoned choices -- skills that can be beneficial for just about any career. Here are a few of the possible job choices for humanities majors:

Craft and Fine Artists , Social and Human Service Assistants , Community Health Workers , Advertising and sales agents ... etc.

Teaching, art historian at a museum , archeologist and so on might be a better option

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