How to become a Historian

Historians are professionals who carry out research and look into the history of mankind. Travelling to places where one could find the remains of the older civilizations, going through various processes to determine the era to which the remains belong and then finding out about the ways of living of the people of that time, is what historians majorly do. The main reason of all this research is to find out how man evolved to become what he is today and what are the major things that influenced man’s behavior to lead him into the lifestyle that he leads today. Human beings more often not learn how to live by following their ancestors and history is a study of those ancestors, starting from the beginning of the time.

How to become a Historian in India

Skills required

In order to become a historian, it is imperative that the person hones a set of skills. These skills will not only help him/her become a historian, but will make him/her successful in the long run too.

1. Good analytical skills and good presentation skills -The person will have to analyze and present reports about their findings from the particular era that they’re researching for.

2. Critical Thinking – The person should be logical and have good reasoning as to why he has come up with a particular finding. This will help him/her with conclusions and solutions regarding a particular problem.

3. Good communication skills and open-minded – A person should be able to communicate well, in order to tell people about his findings and reports. Also, it is important for a person to be open-minded and not let any bias or prejudice influence his/her report.


To become a historian, one would need to pass 12th boards in any stream with at least 50 percent marks. After clearing 12th grade, the student could choose which university or college he/she wants to go to, based on their reputation. There are a few options when it comes to choosing a course. You could choose any of the following – Advanced certificate in ancient Indian history, B.A. (History), B.A, (Ancient History).

After completing graduation from a reputed college or university in India, it is advisable to go ahead and look at PG courses from reputed colleges, because a lot of jobs will ask for a PG degree in the long run. So, one could do a Masters or choose to do a Ph.D. in History. The courses that one would be looking at would be – M.A (history), M.A.(Ancient History), M.Phil. (History and Archaeology), Ph.D. (Ancient History). In order to M.Phil., a Masters degree becomes a pre-requisite.

After completing a Masters degree or Ph.D., one can easily get a job in research firms, museums, universities, public sector firms or historical societies.

 Career Prospects – There are various career options that are readily available to historians. Beginning from teaching at different levels in universities and reputed colleges around the world, to getting into historic preservation and resources management. Also, a person could be employed by administrative services for report writing and drafting policies and procedures.

Salary – At the beginning of his/her career, a historian can easily draw a salary of 30,000 to 40,000 rupees and can keep growing. This is one field which will give you more as you keep going deeper and deeper. All those long hours of research and great experience will be duly rewarded and you can also go and give lectures in reputed colleges about your research.

History is a field full of adventure, travel and knowledge. It can be quite interesting if you’re willing to get deeper and deeper and keep your research going until you get to the root of a civilization. No doubt it will ask for a lot of hard work and perseverance, but then success would never come without that anyway. So, all the best while you decide to embark on a new journey in life.


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