Do you take History as a serious subject in school? Are you fascinated by human history? Do you love visiting places of historical importance? Do ancient civilizations incite a hunger for knowing more about them? Are you not willing to follow the popular careers and instead want to chart out your own? Are you not doing too well in Science and Mathematics? History gives a very good career option.
The historian is a specialist who studies the past. As a Historian, you will research the past and write it for future generations. You will explore old monuments, old artifacts, old ruins, old ornaments, etc. As a historian, you will also work in museums and preserve rare artifacts. As an archaeologist, you will explore hidden monuments and research more about them. You will find the missing links between ancient times and the present time. You will research the daily life, economy, culture, etc. of ancient cultures and societies.
Why Become a Historian?
Historians are the experts who do historical research and analysis for government, museums, archaeology departments, non-profit organizations, etc. As a Historian, you will use different kinds of resources like government and institutional records, archaeological remains, old books, manuscripts, diaries, letters, newspapers, photographs, and films, photographs, etc. for finding out information and facts. You will also preserve these documents and databases for future reference.
As a Historian, you will interpret historical events and build public knowledge of these past events. You will also build a historical profile of any person, institute, society, area, nation, idea, event, etc. Like you might study a border village on India and Pakistan and create how this village has been affected by all wars between India and Pakistan. Or you might work to find more information about Subash Chandra Bose.
You are free to publish your work in the public domain through books, webpages, exhibits, reports, and education programs through photographs, videos or a written piece.
As a historian, you will also work in the archaeology department or museums.
Popular Specialization in Historian Profession
An ancient Historian is an expert who specializes in the study and findings of historical facts from about the beginning of the writing system until about 500 AD. As an ancient historian, you will study anything from a period that is about 5000 to 4000 BC and ended around 500 AD.
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What Does a Historian do?
As a Historian, depending on your field of specialization, you would have the following roles and responsibilities:
- You will work to conserve and preserve all old books manuscripts, notes, records, artifacts, etc.
- You will collect historical data from all kinds of possible sources including books, artifacts, manuscripts, court records, official documents, diaries, newspapers, photographs, videos, any written source, etc.
- You will work to identify historical places and buildings and work to conserve these places.
- You will research and work on manuscripts to support public programming of exhibits at historic places, sites, museums, libraries, etc.
- You will also present historical accounts to bring political, social, economic or geographic records.
- You will be responsible for authenticating or rejecting any historical claim by people, government, organizations, etc.
- You will engage the public about historical events through programs, presentations, and manuscripts.
- You will preserve artifacts and put them in museums, visitor centers, and historical sites.
- You will work as an archaeologist to dig hidden places without any damage to potential historical sites or artifacts.
How to Become a Historian – Eligibility Criteria
Undergraduate studies after school:
- To become a Historian, you can complete your schooling and join an undergraduate course of a Bachelor of Arts in History.
Post Graduate studies:
- After finishing graduation, you can take a master’s course in the various fields of History. At this level, you will study any of the following specializations like African History / American History / Ancient & Medieval History / Ancient History / Ancient History & Archaeology / Archaeology / Archaeometry / Asian History / Bioarchaeology / Contemporary History / Epigraphy / Ethnoarchaeology / European History / Experimental Archaeology / Forensic Archaeology / Global History / Heritage Studies & Management / Historical Archaeology / History and Travel Management / History of Architecture / History of Art (Humanities) / History of Medicine / History of Politics / History of Religions / History of Science and Technology / Latin American History / Medieval History / Modern History / Social and Cultural History / War and Military History.
- The Historian is a specialized scientist, and thus research becomes an important part of the pathway. Thus, after completing Post Graduate Studies, you can choose to take a Ph.D. in African History / American History / Ancient & Medieval History / Ancient History / Ancient History & Archaeology / Archaeology / Archaeometry / Asian History / Bioarchaeology / Contemporary History / Epigraphy / Ethnoarchaeology / European History / Experimental Archaeology / Forensic Archaeology / Global History / Heritage Studies & Management / Historical Archaeology / History and Travel Management / History of Architecture / History of Art (Humanities) / History of Medicine / History of Politics / History of Religions / History of Science and Technology / Latin American History / Medieval History / Modern History / Social and Cultural History / War and Military History
- Alternatively, you can also take an M.Phil. Course in History after completing a master’s degree and then do Ph.D.
- Most of universities and colleges will hire you as a professor at the position of Junior Professor or Assistant Professor. If you are into research, then you will be hired at the position of research associate.
- You can join the Indian Council of Historical Research and its state wings as Section Officer.
- You can join the Archaeological Survey of India and its 29 different circles as Deputy Superintendent Officer.
- You can also join the Archaeological Survey of India as Assistant Archaeologist.
- You can join different government Museums of India (under different state governments) as Deputy Superintendent Officer.
- You can also join different government Museums of India (under different state governments) as a curator.
You can join different History channels as Historial. You can find job opportunities at the following facilities:
- All India Handicrafts Board, the Ministry of Education and the departments of tourism
- Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR)
- Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR)
- Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)
- National Archives of India
- Colleges and Universities teaching Archaeology, Museology, and History
- Private Museums, Public Museums
- Curators with different Historical monuments
Historians working as Archaeologists, mostly work in the field. They will be working on different structures remains, and artifacts. Sometimes, they might be working in a harsh climate. Their work needs sophistication, and thus it becomes quite difficult in rough terrain. The working hours in the field are not fixed.
Salary of a Historian
At the entry-level, you can join as a research associate with a basic salary of Rs. 25,000 INR to 30,000. As a doctoral research fellow (junior research fellow) you would be earning around Rs. 35,000 INR to 38,000 per month. At the entry-level, as a Section Officer, you would be earning around Rs. 40,000 to 70,000 per month. As an assistant professor, you would be earning anything between Rs. 65,000 to 70,000 per month. As a Deputy Superintendent, you might be earning anything between Rs. 50,000 to 90,000 per month.
At the junior level with a work experience of 2-6 years, you would be earning anything between 50,000 INR to 1,50,000 INR per month.
At the middle level with an experience of 10-12 years, you would be earning anything between 1,00,000 to 1,90,000 INR per month as an Archaeologist/museologist and 1,20,000 INR to 1,60,000 INR as a professor.
At the senior level of over 15 years of work experience, you would be earning anything between Rs. 1,60,000 to 2,00,000 per month as a professor and Rs. 2,10,000 to 2,50,000 per month as an archaeologist/museologist.
Career Progression in Historian Profession
- The career growth in university and college states from Assistant Professor and then Associate Professor, Professor and Professor Emeritus. Professors can also get administrative positions such as Director/Dean/Vice Chancellor, etc.
- If you are hired as a research associate (JRF and SRF), then you will go on to become a Doctoral Research Fellow, then Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and then Historian in Progressive Grades.
- If you have joined Indian Council oh Historical Research as a Section officer, you would be then promoted to Assistant Director, Deputy Director, Member Secretary and then Director.
- If you have joined Museums or ASI as Deputy Superintendent, then you will be promoted to Superintendent and then Director.
What does Industry Trends Say – Future Prospects
Most of the job opportunities in this career lie in the government sector as Archaeology, Museology, and Monuments are mostly under various state governments. Also, there is no sudden increase in these sites; the job is mostly to preserve the present sites and museums. Thus there is a low job prospect in this career.
- Career in Political Science
- Career in Psychology
- Career in Liberal Arts
- Career as a Rural Development Manager
- Career in Sociology
- Career as a Political Analyst
- Career as a Linguist
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