How to Become a Historian in india – Salary, Qualification, Skills
January 03, 2024

History plays a crucial role in shaping the identity and understanding of a nation. In India, a country with a rich and diverse cultural heritage, the role of a historian is of utmost importance. Historians are responsible for preserving and interpreting historical events, providing insights into the past that help us understand the present and shape the future.

The role of a historian in India goes beyond simply documenting events. They are tasked with analyzing and interpreting historical data, uncovering hidden narratives, and challenging existing narratives to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the past. By doing so, historians contribute to the collective memory of a nation and help shape its identity.

Education and Qualifications Required to Become a Historian

To become a historian in India, one must possess a strong educational background in history. A bachelor’s degree in history is typically the first step towards pursuing a career in this field. This degree provides students with a broad understanding of historical events, theories, and methodologies.

After completing a bachelor’s degree, aspiring historians can choose to pursue a master’s degree in history. This advanced degree allows students to specialize in a particular area of historical studies and develop their research skills. Many universities in India offer master’s programs in history, providing students with the opportunity to delve deeper into their areas of interest.

For those who wish to further their studies, a Ph.D. in history is also an option. This terminal degree allows individuals to conduct original research and contribute to the field through their own scholarly work. A Ph.D. is particularly important for those who aspire to become professors or researchers in academia.

Developing Essential Skills for a Career in History

In addition to formal education, aspiring historians must also develop essential skills that are necessary for success in this field. These skills include critical thinking, research skills, analytical skills, and effective communication.

Critical thinking is crucial for historians as they must be able to analyze and interpret historical data objectively. They must be able to evaluate different perspectives and sources of information to form well-rounded conclusions.

Research skills are also essential for historians. They must be able to locate and analyze primary and secondary sources, conduct interviews, and gather data to support their arguments. This requires proficiency in archival research, data analysis, and the ability to navigate through various sources of information.

Analytical skills are necessary for historians to make sense of the vast amount of historical data they encounter. They must be able to identify patterns, draw connections, and synthesize information to form a comprehensive understanding of historical events.

Effective communication is another crucial skill for historians. They must be able to present their findings in a clear and concise manner, both in written and oral form. This includes writing research papers, presenting at conferences, and teaching students.

These skills can be developed through coursework in history programs, as well as through extracurricular activities such as participating in research projects, attending conferences, and engaging in debates and discussions with fellow students.

Gaining Experience through Internships and Volunteer Work

Gaining practical experience in the field of history is essential for aspiring historians. Internships and volunteer work provide opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings, develop practical skills, and build professional networks.

There are various types of internships available to aspiring historians in India. These include internships at museums, historical societies, research institutes, and government organizations. Interns may assist with archival research, curating exhibits, organizing events, or conducting oral history interviews. These experiences not only provide valuable hands-on experience but also allow interns to work alongside professionals in the field and learn from their expertise.

Volunteer work is another way to gain experience in the field of history. Many organizations and institutions rely on volunteers to assist with various tasks such as cataloging artifacts, transcribing documents, or conducting guided tours. Volunteering not only allows individuals to contribute to the preservation and promotion of history but also provides opportunities to learn from experienced professionals and gain practical skills.

Choosing a Specialization in Historical Studies

The field of history is vast and encompasses a wide range of topics and areas of specialization. Aspiring historians have the opportunity to choose a specialization based on their personal interests and career goals.

Some common areas of specialization within the field of history include ancient history, medieval history, modern history, cultural history, social history, economic history, political history, and gender history. Each specialization focuses on a specific time period or aspect of human history and requires in-depth knowledge and expertise.

When choosing a specialization, it is important to consider personal interests, as well as the demand for expertise in that particular area. It is also beneficial to consider the potential career paths associated with each specialization. For example, specializing in cultural history may lead to opportunities in museums or cultural heritage organizations, while specializing in political history may lead to careers in government or policy research.

Understanding the Job Market for Historians in India

The job market for historians in India is competitive, but there are various career opportunities available for those with a passion for history. Historians can find employment in academia, research institutions, museums, archives, government organizations, publishing houses, and media organizations.

In academia, historians can pursue careers as professors or researchers. They can teach at universities or colleges and conduct research in their areas of specialization. This requires a Ph.D. and a strong publication record.

Research institutions also offer opportunities for historians to conduct research and contribute to the field. These institutions may focus on specific areas of historical studies or work on interdisciplinary projects.

Museums and archives employ historians to curate exhibits, conduct research on artifacts and documents, and preserve historical records. Historians working in these settings play a crucial role in preserving and promoting cultural heritage.

Government organizations often hire historians to conduct research on policy issues, provide historical context for decision-making, and contribute to the formulation of public policies.

Publishing houses and media organizations also employ historians as writers, editors, or consultants. Historians can contribute to the production of historical books, documentaries, articles, and other forms of media.

Salary Expectations for Historians in India

Salary expectations for historians in India vary based on factors such as experience, specialization, and the type of organization they work for. Entry-level positions in academia or research institutions may offer lower salaries compared to positions in government organizations or well-established museums.

According to PayScale, the average salary for a historian in India is around INR 400,000 per year. However, this can vary significantly depending on factors such as experience and specialization. Historians with a Ph.D. and several years of experience can expect higher salaries compared to those with only a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Specialization also plays a role in salary expectations. Historians specializing in niche areas or high-demand fields may command higher salaries due to their expertise.

It is important to note that salary expectations for historians in India may not be as high as those in other professions. However, many historians are driven by their passion for history rather than financial gain.

Networking and Building Connections in the Field of History

Networking is crucial for historians as it allows them to build connections with other professionals in the field, stay updated on current research and job opportunities, and collaborate on projects.

One way to network is by attending conferences, seminars, and workshops related to historical studies. These events provide opportunities to meet fellow historians, exchange ideas, and learn from experts in the field. They also often feature panel discussions and presentations by renowned historians, providing valuable insights into current research trends.

Joining professional organizations such as the Indian History Congress or the Indian Council of Historical Research can also be beneficial for networking. These organizations often organize events, publish journals, and provide resources for historians.

Building connections with professors, mentors, and fellow students during one’s educational journey is also important. Professors can provide guidance and mentorship, while fellow students can become future colleagues and collaborators.

Tips for Advancing Your Career as a Historian

Advancing one’s career as a historian requires continuous learning and professional development. Here are some tips for career advancement:

1. Pursue further education: Consider pursuing a Ph.D. to deepen your knowledge and expertise in your area of specialization. A Ph.D. can open up opportunities for research, teaching, and leadership roles.

2. Publish research: Publishing research papers in reputable journals or presenting at conferences can enhance your credibility and visibility in the field. It also allows you to contribute to the body of knowledge in historical studies.

3. Attend workshops and training programs: Participating in workshops and training programs can help you develop new skills, stay updated on research methodologies, and network with professionals in the field.

4. Seek out mentorship: Find mentors who can provide guidance and support throughout your career journey. Mentors can offer valuable insights, help you navigate challenges, and connect you with opportunities.

5. Stay updated on current research: Keep up with the latest research trends and developments in historical studies by reading academic journals, attending conferences, and engaging in discussions with fellow historians.

6. Engage in interdisciplinary collaborations: Collaborate with professionals from other disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, or political science to gain new perspectives and broaden your understanding of historical events.

Challenges and Rewards of Pursuing a Career in History in India

Pursuing a career in history in India comes with its own set of challenges and rewards. One of the main challenges is the competitive job market, which may require individuals to be flexible and open to different career paths.

Another challenge is the limited funding and resources available for historical research in India. Historians often have to rely on external funding or grants to conduct research, which can be a time-consuming and competitive process.

However, the rewards of pursuing a career in history are numerous. Historians have the opportunity to contribute to the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, challenge existing narratives, and shape the collective memory of a nation. They also have the privilege of delving into the past, uncovering hidden stories, and providing insights that help us understand the present and shape the future.

To overcome challenges and achieve success as a historian in India, it is important to stay passionate about the subject, continuously learn and develop new skills, and build a strong professional network. By doing so, historians can make meaningful contributions to the field and leave a lasting impact on society.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a historian in India, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the salary, qualifications, and skills required for this profession. However, it’s equally important to develop professional skills and knowledge that can enhance your career prospects. In a related article by Dheya Career Counselling, titled “How to Develop Professional Skills and Knowledge,” you can explore various strategies and tips to enhance your skills and knowledge in any chosen field. This article provides valuable insights on how to stay updated with industry trends, acquire new skills through training programs, and build a strong professional network. Check out the article here to take your career as a historian to the next level.


What is a historian?

A historian is a professional who studies and writes about the past, including the political, social, economic, and cultural aspects of human societies.

What are the qualifications required to become a historian in India?

To become a historian in India, one must have a bachelor’s degree in history or a related field. A master’s degree or a Ph.D. in history is preferred for higher-level positions.

What skills are required to become a historian?

A historian must have excellent research and analytical skills, critical thinking abilities, strong writing and communication skills, and a deep interest in history.

What is the salary of a historian in India?

The salary of a historian in India varies depending on the level of education, experience, and the organization they work for. On average, a historian can earn between Rs. 3-5 lakhs per annum.

What are the career opportunities for historians in India?

Historians can work in various fields such as academia, research institutions, museums, archives, libraries, government agencies, and non-profit organizations. They can also work as freelance writers, consultants, or historians for media outlets.


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