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Careers in History

Careers for History graduates are limited only by your own imagination.

Apart from the specific bodies of knowledge history graduates accumulate (which may, in themselves, be relevant for certain jobs), history students develop a range of generic skills which are highly valued by employers such as: analytical ability, problem solving skills, decision making ability, written and oral communication skills, and creative thinking.

Graduates of History at Otago work in areas such as:

  • Advertising
  • Archives and Records Management
  • Business and Commerce
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Freelance Public History (as consultants and writers)
  • Historical Research (for both public and private sector)
  • Human Resources
  • Journalism
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Public Relations
  • Public Sector (Policy Advisers, Policy Analysts, Public Relations)
  • Teaching at all levels
  • University Lecturing

Careers in Art History & Theory and Visual Culture

As art is held in high value due to its cultural and historical significance, a degree in Art History and Theory may lead to multiple possible career paths in cultural heritage, education, and the art industry.

It is a relevant preparation for careers in the media and advertising, or as an accompaniment to practical art courses (in Fine Art, Fashion, or Design).

An Art History and Theory degree is often the first stage of training in specialised fields such as art conservation or administration.

Graduates of Art History and Theory at Otago work in areas such as:

  • Advertising
  • Archives and Records Management
  • Art Conservation and Preservation
  • Art Criticism
  • Art Galleries (Public and Private)
  • Arts Festivals
  • Auction Houses
  • Curating (Exhibitions and Collections)
  • Events Management
  • Exhibition Design and Direction
  • Fashion
  • Libraries
  • Marketing
  • Museums
  • Public Relations
  • Public Sector
  • Teaching at all levels
  • University Lecturing

Employers of History and Art History graduates

  • The Crown Forest Rental Trust
  • The Department of Conservation
  • The Dunedin Public Art Gallery
  • The New Zealand Historic Places Trust
  • The Otago Museum
  • Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand
  • The Waitangi Tribunal
  • The Ministry of Culture and Heritage

For further information and advice

For further information and advice on careers, see Career View on History and Career View on Art History. These pamphlets, produced by Career Development and employment at Victoria University of Wellington, provide excellent information on specific career pathways for graduates.

  • History
  • Art History


University of Otago students should also utilise the services of ‘Career Hub’ (University login required).