Understanding our history is a really interesting topic. But have you ever wondered how the world came to be the way it is today? Why did certain events unfold the way they did? A history degree holds the answers for this.
History holds the key to these questions and more. It provides us with a deeper understanding of our origins, the struggles and triumphs of our predecessors, and the forces that have shaped societies. By studying history, we gain insights into human behavior, patterns, and the consequences of our actions.
A degree in history offers valuable lessons, enabling us to make informed decisions, appreciate diverse perspectives, and create a better future. Embracing history means embracing the richness of our collective story and the wisdom it imparts.
Understanding the past is essential to navigating the complexities of the present and shaping the future. A bachelor’s degree in history offers a comprehensive education that explores significant events, cultures, and societal developments throughout human history. This ultimate guide will provide valuable insights into pursuing a history degree, career paths, job prospects, and more.
What is a History Degree?
A bachelor’s degree in history is an academic program that delves into the study of the past. It encompasses a wide range of subjects, including ancient civilizations, military history, world history, political movements, cultural transformations, and economic developments.
By analyzing primary and secondary sources, historical documents, and scholarly research, students gain a deeper understanding of human experiences and how they have shaped our world today.
For this bachelor’s degree, there are schools that provide options on how you want to take the course. You need to pick between an on-site and online history degree.
What are the Benefits of a History Degree?
A history degree offers numerous benefits that extend beyond the acquisition of historical knowledge. It cultivates critical thinking skills, research skills, and the ability to analyze complex information.
Through studying history, students develop strong communication and writing skills, honing their ability to construct persuasive arguments based on evidence. Getting a degree in history also fosters cultural competency, empathy, and a global perspective, preparing individuals to thrive in a diverse and interconnected world.
Skills Developed in a History Degree
A bachelor’s degree in history equips students with a diverse skill set that is highly valued in various professional fields. These skills include:
- Research Skills: History students learn to conduct thorough research, evaluate sources, and gather evidence to support their arguments. These skills are transferable to many careers that require data analysis and critical thinking.
- Analytical Thinking: The study of history trains students to analyze complex information, identify patterns, and draw meaningful conclusions. This skill is valuable in fields such as law, policy-making, and market research.
- Effective Communication: History students develop strong written and oral communication skills, enabling them to articulate their ideas clearly and persuasively. This skill is essential for careers in journalism, public relations, and academia.
- Attention to Detail: History requires meticulous attention to detail, ensuring accuracy and precision in the analysis of historical events and sources. This skill is valuable in fields such as archival work, museum curation, and historical preservation.
Career Paths for History Graduates
A degree in history opens up a wide range of career opportunities. While some graduates pursue careers directly related to history, others leverage their transferable skills to excel in various fields. Here are a few history degree jobs for graduates:
Teaching and pursuing a historian’s path are the most common paths for history major graduates. Teaching history at secondary schools or universities allows a history professor to inspire and educate future generations. Along with this, a history professor foster an understanding and appreciation for world history.
Another path for graduates with history majors is to be researchers. A research position allows them to dive deeper into specific historical periods or topics. To be successful in this path, you will need excellent research skills that include literature reviews, data collection, and analysis.
If you want to establish your reputation in the field, you can pursue graduate studies and focus on developing expertise in a particular area. You can also publish your work in academic journals and attend conferences.
Museum and Archival Work
If you are fond of preserving and curating historical artifacts, pursuing a career in museum and archival work can be a great option. When you choose this path, you will work in museums as curators, exhibit designers, or museum educators, sharing knowledge and connecting visitors with past events that talk about military history, world history, and more.
Journalism and Writing
When you study history, you can develop skills such as research, critical thinking, and effective communication. This makes history graduates well-suited for history degree jobs in journalism and writing. As a history graduate, you can work as a journalist, investigative reporter, or content writer, bringing historical context and analysis to current events.
Public Service and Government
Another unusual path for graduates of history majors is to pursue a career in public service and government. This is a good path since history degree holders have a strong foundation in developing policies, diplomacy, and cultural heritage. A history graduate’s understanding of military history, world history, historical context, and societal dynamics is valuable in shaping policies and making informed decisions.
Job Outlook After Completing a History Degree
The job outlook for history graduates varies depending on their chosen path. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for historians, one of the most common paths for this degree, is 4%. While some fields may have more competitive job markets, a history degree equips graduates with versatile skills that are in demand across various industries.
Average Salary of History Graduates
The salary range for history major graduates can vary significantly based on factors such as experience, location, and industry. Entry-level positions in this field pay around $31,000 per year, but there are opportunities for growth and advancement. For senior positions, a history graduate can make as much as $92,000 per year.
Usually, people with a master’s degree or PhD tend to have higher starting salaries. This is from Glassdoor:
Job Satisfaction of History Graduates
Job satisfaction for bachelor’s degree in history graduates often stems from their inherent passion for the subject matter and their ability to make a meaningful impact through their work. Graduates of history majors appreciate the intellectual stimulation, the opportunity to continue learning, and the chance to contribute to society by preserving and sharing our collective past. Additionally, the flexibility of a degree in history allows individuals to explore different career paths and find their niche.
Here are some screenshots from CareerExplorer about the response of historians when asked about their job satisfaction:
However, when CareerExplorer asked about their satisfaction with their salaries, historians weren’t that happy. Here’s a screenshot from their site:
Real-World Examples About a History Degree
If you’re looking for answers to the most common questions about the degree, here are some threads from Reddit about the degree:
What professions can I pursue with a history degree?
Here’s a thread where the OP wanted to know about the professions a history graduate can pursue:
In another thread, the OP asked about a degree in history. Here’s the answer that stood out of his fellow Redditors:
Is a history degree worth it?
A Redditor also wanted to know whether this degree was worth it. Here’s one reply:
Is a History Degree for You?
Deciding whether a this degree is the right choice for you requires careful consideration of your interests, strengths, and career goals. Here are some key points to help you determine if a history degree aligns with you:
|INTEREST: Do you have a genuine interest in history?|
|JOB PROSPECTS: Are there good job opportunities in the field of history?|
|REQUIRED SKILLS: Do you possess the necessary skills to become a historian?|
|CURRICULUM: Is the history curriculum something that you would like to pursue?|
|COST: Will the cost of pursuing a history degree fit within your budget?|
|TIME COMMITMENT: Are you willing to commit the required amount of time to complete a history degree program?|
|PREREQUISITES: Have you completed the prerequisite courses necessary for history programs?|
|ACCREDITATION: Are the history programs accredited by the relevant authorities?|
|FACULTY: Do you believe the quality of the faculty teaching the history programs is satisfactory?|
|CAREER GOALS: Does obtaining a bachelor’s degree in history align with your long-term career goals?|
Choosing the Best School for Your History Degree Education
When choosing a school for your bachelor’s degree in history, there are some factors you need to consider. This includes curriculum, accreditation, and faculty quality. You need to look for a school that can offer hands-on learning opportunities and access to internships with their history degrees.
Knowing the curriculum for history majors before enrolling is important. This allows you to know what subjects you’ll be able to take and which specializations are available for you.
In addition, it also helps you to carefully tailor the course you’re taking, which means you’ll get to pick the subjects that perfectly align with your interests. For example, if you want to focus on world and military history, you need to look for a school that offers these two courses.
Most schools display their curriculum for a history degree online. So, you might want to check out the site to learn more. When you do so, you can also check whether the school offers an online history degree.
Pursuing an online history degree allows students to focus on their studies while staying in the comfort of their homes. In addition, an online history degree is more convenient since students won’t have to commute to and from the university.
Another factor to consider is the accreditation of the school you’re going to. You’d want to pick schools with accreditation from reputable organizations. This means you’re getting into a school that has passed the rigorous requirements of accrediting organizations for the degree in history.
In addition, you also need to check out the faculty’s quality. A strong faculty would be a team of historians with broad knowledge of its concepts. You’d also want to check out the credentials of the faculty to ensure that they really know what they’re teaching. If most of the faculty have a PhD or Master’s degree, then that is one way to know if the faculty is high quality.
Cost of Education
The cost of education is another crucial factor that will affect your decision. If the school or university offers expensive courses but their faculty quality, accreditation, and curriculum are not up to your standards, then you should immediately cross that school off your list.
When deciding which school to pick, always ensure that the cost aligns with the curriculum offered, current accreditations, and faculty quality. This is to ensure that you get what you paid for.
Pros and Cons of a History Degree
Like any academic pursuit, a history degree has its pros and cons. Here are some advantages and considerations to help you make an informed decision:
- History majors offer a deep understanding of the human experience, fostering intellectual growth and a broad perspective on the world.
- The skills developed during a history degree, such as critical thinking skills, research skills, and effective communication skills, are highly transferable and valuable in various professional fields.
- History majors provide flexibility in career choices, allowing you to explore diverse paths and adapt to changing job markets.
- Studying history promotes cultural competency and a global outlook, fostering empathy, understanding, and respect for diverse societies and perspectives.
- While history majors offer versatility, some specialized history-related careers may have a narrower job market, requiring additional expertise or specialization.
- Some history-related careers, such as teaching at the university level or pursuing research-intensive positions, may require advanced degrees beyond a bachelor’s.
- The salary range for graduates can vary depending on the chosen career path and industry, with entry-level positions potentially offering lower starting salaries.
- As with any field, continuous professional development is essential for staying up-to-date with current trends, expanding your knowledge base, and remaining competitive in the job market. For this you can pursue a PhD or a Master’s degree.
FAQs About the History Degree
Can I pursue a history degree if I don’t intend to become a historian?
Absolutely! A history degree equips you with transferable skills that are highly valued in many fields, including education, journalism, public service, research, and more.
What career options are available to history graduates?
Graduates can pursue careers in education, research, museum and archival work, journalism, public service, government, law, consulting, and various other fields that require critical thinking, communication, and analytical skills.
Is a history degree only focused on studying the past?
While studying the past is a core aspect of history majors, it also provides insights into how historical knowledge can be applied to understand and address present-day challenges and shape the future.
What is the highest degree when pursuing a history degree?
The highest degree when pursuing history majors is typically a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in history. This advanced research degree requires several years of study beyond the bachelor’s and master’s levels. A Ph.D. in history signifies a high level of expertise and prepares individuals for careers in academia, research, or other specialized fields related to history.
Do I need a graduate degree to find employment with a history degree?
While some careers in academia or specialized fields may require a master’s degree, many graduates find employment with a bachelor’s degree. It depends on your career goals and aspirations. If you want more career opportunities, pursuing a master’s degree is an excellent idea.
How can I make the most of my history degree while in college?
To make the most of history programs, you can engage actively in class discussions, participate in research projects, seek internships or volunteer opportunities in relevant organizations, attend conferences, and build a strong network of faculty, peers, and professionals in the field.
History majors offer a captivating journey into the past while providing you with a versatile skill set that has real-world applications. It nurtures critical thinking, research abilities, effective communication, and a global perspective. Whether you aspire to become a historian, educator, journalist, policymaker, or pursue a career in various other fields, a history degree provides a solid foundation for success.
Embrace the opportunity to explore the depths of human history, gain valuable skills, and make a meaningful impact. With a history degree, you can uncover the past, understand the present, and shape the future.
Salary | Score: 6.5/10
The salary of graduates with history majors can vary depending on their career path, industry, experience, and location. While entry-level positions may have lower starting salaries, there are opportunities for growth and advancement with time and experience. Additionally, graduates with specialized knowledge or expertise in related fields may command higher salaries. These are the reasons why I gave this degree a score of 6.5 out of 10.
Satisfaction | Score: 8/10
History graduates often find satisfaction in their careers due to their genuine interest in the subject matter, the opportunity to contribute to knowledge and understanding, and the ability to make a positive impact through their work. For this, I give it a score of 8 out of 10.
Demand | Score: 6.5/10
The demand for history graduates exists in various sectors, including education, government, museums, media, research institutions, and more. However, according to the BLS, the growth rate for this field is only around 4% over the next decade. So, I gave it a score of 6.5 out of 10.
X-Factor | Score: 6.5/10
The unique aspect of history majors lie in their ability to cultivate critical thinking, analytical skills, and a deep understanding of human experiences. This X-factor allows history graduates to bring valuable insights, contextual understanding, and a broad perspective to their chosen careers. This is the reason why I gave it a score of 6.5 out of 10.
Final Score for History Degree | Score: 6.875
Considering all the factors discussed above, the history degree receives a final score of 6.875 out of 10. This score reflects its value and potential for students seeking a rewarding educational and career path.
This indicates that the history degree is a valuable and rewarding educational path for students interested in the study of the past, the development of transferable skills, and pursuing diverse career opportunities.
By pursuing any of the history majors, you embark on a journey of intellectual growth, critical thinking, and a deeper understanding of the world. History degrees equip you with the tools to analyze, interpret, and communicate complex information, making a positive impact in various professional fields.
Alternatives to a History Degree
Here are some alternatives to history majors or history degrees that you might want to check out before pursuing the degree:
- Political Science
- Social Studies Education
- Elementary Education
- International Relations
- Cultural Studies
- Museum Studies
- Library Science
- Archival Studies
- Heritage Studies
- Comparative Literature
- Classical Studies
- Religious Studies