Obtaining an online master’s in history degree can prepare you to pursue a range of competitive occupations, such as historian, curator and archivist. Other master’s in history job options for graduates include working at federal and state agencies, nonprofit organizations, consulting firms, historical societies and more.
“Companies want humanities majors. They want people with critical thinking skills, with logical comprehension, people who are able to translate really difficult ideas into clear and concise information,” said Dr. Peter Van Cleave, clinical assistant professor of history and director of online programs at the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. “Silicon Valley has a demand for humanities and history majors because of the skills that history offers that aren’t necessarily translatable to a specific job."
Top skills you’ll earn with your master’s in history
One of the advantages of graduating with a master’s degree in history is that most history programs are not tied to any single career path. Instead, a history degree can help you to hone well-rounded skills and abilities that employers in many fields are looking for. These skills include:
- Ability to conduct a critical analysis.
- Connecting the past to better understand current events.
- Effective oral and written communication.
- Research and investigation techniques.
- Understanding cultural frameworks.
Effective oral and written communication are essential for many jobs. While earning a master’s degree in history online, students discuss complex and sensitive topics. For example, you may be asked to write or speak about global literacy, or comparative colonialism. These graduate-level courses and assignments build up your ability to effectively communicate in order to present your research and theories.
Nearly all history master’s programs involve examining the past through different critical frameworks. History students also learn to challenge their own assumptions about accepted historical and cultural narratives. As a master’s student in history, you have the chance to study different time periods, geographical regions and historical events. This means your understanding of cultures and places of today may deepen as you look at the changes that have happened over time in global communities. Using this knowledge, you can expand your understanding of what to do with a history degree that will make a real impact on societies around the world.
“History is not static. It isn’t something that you’re just reading back and recreating the past as it exactly was,” said Van Cleave. “History is dynamic; interpretations change. They’re constantly changing, being reevaluated, challenged, revised. And so history thrives as a result of that.”
How much you can earn with a master’s in history
Graduates with a master’s degree in history can earn a widely ranging salary depending on their career path. The four jobs we delve into below range in salary between about $50,000–$64,000 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The overall range for graduates is even broader, since master’s of history graduates can enter fields as wide ranging as public service, teaching and executive management.
With a rich understanding of the past and diverse set of skills from your graduate-level classes, new career opportunities may unfold. For graduates with a master’s in history, jobs and careers such as the ones below can be explored.