A History Degree Makes the Past Your Future
As a history major, you absorb and interpret information about the past: what has happened and why, as well as the individuals, institutions and nations involved. Students of history garner facts from many sources other than books including government archives, newspapers, personal documents and oral history.
When you earn a history degree, you’ve acquired a broad foundation of skills and knowledge. Depending on your focus within your major, and the type of degree you acquire, you’ll be qualified to seek jobs in a wide array of fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at the US Department of Labor, the top 10 percent of historians earned almost $94,000 in 2006; the median salary for careers in history was more than $54,000. A complementary minor to your history major (such as political science) increases your chances of building a career in your chosen field.
History Degrees and Their Requirements
• Associate’s Degree: If your undergraduate major was not in history and you wish to pursue a history degree in graduate school, an Associate’s Degree in history can be useful preparation. Some schools also offer certificate programs in which you can study a particular historic period or other specialized subject.
• Bachelor’s Degree: This traditionally four-year degree entails studying “core” subjects such as English and literature, foreign language, math and a science as well as a required number of credits in a variety of history courses.
• Master’s Degree: Once your interest focuses on the history of a specific period or place, a Master’s Degree in History deepens your expertise in your area of choice. In addition to course work, completing a Master’s Degree in History will include researching and analyzing source materials and producing a thesis.