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Career as Historian

Career as a Historian

About Historian

A Historian is a person who has committed himself or herself to the study of past events like social movements, political milestones and military conflicts. The biggest role a historian plays is to give a glimpse of the past by evaluating historical records and conducting field researches. There are two types of Historians - Professional and Amateur. An amateur Historian could be anyone who must have studied or read historical events at the most basic level with no formal prior training. A professional Historian is a person who has some formal knowledge regarding the basic facts of history, how to find and use the source materials, knows how to analyze the available information and convert it into a meaningful written piece. The quality of a Historian is always gauged through his/her publishing record. 

Eligibility to become Historian

To become a Historian, an aspirant has to fulfil the following eligibility criteria - 

  • Should have cleared his/her 10+2 examination from a recognised Board
  • Should have at least secured 50% aggregate at the qualifying exam
  • Should have studied History at the qualifying level


Types of Job Roles Historian

A Historian is always deemed perfect for the following job roles - 

  • Consultants and Contractors - An adventurous kind of a job for a Historian, who loves working on a variety of projects and who prefer flexibility. From researching a museum show or court case to surveying the historical wealth of a location for business building, a consultant or a contractor is summoned
  • Archaeologists - An Archeologist is a person who extensively studies the ancient culture and remains by employing the three techniques - survey, identification and excavation of historical sites. 
  • Research Historian - It is one of the most exciting job roles for a historian as this is where the Historians get an opportunity to study a range of objects and subjects to understand the history in a better manner. A good research historian usually has excellent communication skills - both verbal and written
  • Teacher - A good historian can easily become a good teacher or a professor because he/she possesses the right amount of knowledge that can be used to nurture the next generation of historians
  • Editors/Publishers - A historian can easily find an editing or publishing job in either an institutional publication office, museum, journals/magazines, university press etc

Employment Sectors for a Historian

Here is a list of those sectors which usually employs a Historian - 

  • Editing and Publishing
  • Education
  • Historical Associations
  • Government Organizations
  • Research Sphere

Top Recruiting Organizations 

The biggest recruiter of Historians in India is the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) which is located in New Delhi and is an autonomous body of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). 

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Pay Scale/Salary of Historian

The pay scale or salary of a historian in India is determined by various factors like the degree possessed by the historian, work experience and the value of the organization who wish to hire a historian etc. On an average basis, a historian is paid around 6,55,656 rupees per annum which varies again with the above-mentioned factors. 

Books & Study Material to Become Historian

This section contains the list of those books which is a must-read for a Historian in India - 

  • Alberuni’s India by Alberuni (translated by Edward C Sachau)
  • India - A History (by John Keay)
  • The Last Mughal - The Fall of a Dynasty: Delhi 1857 (by William Dalrymple)
  • A Corner of a Foreign Field (by Ramachandra Guha)
  • The Great Indian Novel (by Shashi Tharoor)
  • The Wonder that was India (by A L Basham)
  • India After Gandhi - The History of the World’s Largest Democracy (by Ramachandra Guha)
  • The Argumentative Indian (by Amartya Sen)
  • Freedom at Midnight (by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre)
  • Discovery of India (by Jawaharlal Nehru)

Pros of becoming a Historian

There are so many advantages or pros of becoming a historian out of which the major ones are listed below - 

  • More than a good salary compared to other jobs 
  • Have the freedom to choose to work indoors or outdoors according to the research a historian might want to do
  • Opportunity to visit multiple countries which brings with it experience and knowledge about a new culture
  • Opportunity to learn new languages 

Cons of becoming a Historian

Listed below are some cons or disadvantages of choosing to become a Historian - 

  • Unlike any other jobs, a Historian’s work hours are not fixed
  • Research consumes a lot of time where the probability of finding something meaningful is 50% or sometimes even less than that
  • There is always a risk of getting hurt or fatally injured during a historical expedition
  • For a beginner, one has to travel to major cities for a job opportunity as smaller cities do not have enough scopes for a historian

Paths for Being Historian

FAQs about Historian

What are the work conditions for a Historian?

A Historian can choose an indoor or an outdoor job as per their own preference.

Where can one get employed after becoming a Historian?

After becoming a Historian, one can get employed in Editing and Publishing, Education, Historical Associations, Government Organizations, Research Sphere, etc.

How much does an experienced Historian get paid?

An experienced Historian in India can earn up to 16 LPA and above.

What are some of the top colleges in India to study History?

Some of the top colleges in India to pursue History in India are Loyola College, Kirori Mal College, Punjabi University, VMOU, etc.

What are the different job roles for a Historian?

The different job roles for a Historian include Archeologist, Research Historian, Consultants, Teacher, etc.

Is there any entrance exam to pursue History in India?

Yes, there are various entrance exams to pursue History such as IPU CET, DSAT, JNUEE, etc.

What is the average pay scale of a Historian?

The average pay scale of a Historian is INR 4,00,000 to 6,00,000.

What are the top recruiters in India for Historian?

Some of the top recruiters in India for Historians are Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) which is located in New Delhi and is an autonomous body of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

What is the educational qualification required to become a Historian?

To become a Historian, the candidates must pass 10+2 or a UG degree in History.

What are the responsibilities of a Historian?

A Historian is responsible to study past events like social movements, political milestones and military conflicts.

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