An annual study of recent alumni reports 94% of history majors who graduated during the most recent 2022-2023 period secured their first destination within six months of commencement.  

Of that figure, 56% of new graduates found employment, and 38% sought further education such as graduate or professional school. The median salary for new history alumni who graduated starting in May 2022 to May 2023 is $41,500.  

The data comes from the Illini Success Initiative, a campuswide report that began in 2016 to shine light on the early career paths of bachelor’s degree recipients. This year’s report examines undergraduates who received their degrees in August 2022, December 2022, and May 2023. The university collected data on 56 percent of graduates—1,788 out of 3,181—from the 2022-2023 class. The data came from a survey of graduates and other sources, such as the National Student Clearinghouse and social media.  

The 94% first destination rate for history majors was higher than average in comparison to College of LAS and campuswide statistics. Campuswide and in the College of LAS, 91% of the 2022-23 graduation cohort secured a first destination. The first destination rate for history majors was similar to other graduates in the humanities.

The College of LAS also reports that salaries of humanities graduates are on the rise. “Students studying the humanities learn skills that are increasingly recognized as valuable: navigating ambiguity, communicating effectively to different audiences, analyzing complex qualitative data,” said Kirstin Wilcox, director of LAS Career Services. “When you take smart, curious, independent-minded students and give them some support in finding and applying for opportunities, they do well.” 


Editor's note: This story was adapted from a piece on the College of LAS website.